Taste Show premium recipe
Chinese cuisine

How to Cook Rice for Fried Rice | Chef John’s Cooking Class

Dive into the art of crafting the perfect base for any fried rice dish with this simple yet essential rice preparation guide. The secret to mouth-watering fried rice lies in the quality and texture of its foundational ingredient – the rice itself. Achieving that quintessential, non-sticky, and distinctively separate grain texture is not just a cooking technique, but a form of culinary art.


In this recipe, you’ll learn how to prepare rice that’s impeccably cooked and optimally conditioned for the ultimate fried rice experience. Whether you’re using a rice cooker, a regular pot, or opting for the healthier brown rice alternative, this guide covers all the bases. From the initial rinse to the final cooling, each step is designed to ensure your rice is flawlessly cooked, with each grain maintaining its integrity and ready to be transformed into a delicious fried rice dish.


Understanding the nuances of rice preparation is key: the right water-to-rice ratio, the importance of rinsing, the subtleties of cooking methods, and the crucial cooling process. These steps are pivotal in achieving rice that’s perfectly tender, slightly dry, and ready to be stir-fried into a dish that’s not just a meal, but an experience.

How to Cook Rice for Fried Rice | Chef John’s Cooking Class
5 stars rating if you like it!
PRE TIME: 5 min
TOTAL TIME: 20 min
  • 1 cup White Rice (or Brown Rice for a healthier option)
  • 0.9 cup Water (1.2 cups for Brown Rice)
  • 1/2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. White Vinegar (only for Brown Rice)
Rinsing the Rice: Begin by rinsing your rice thoroughly under cold water. It’s crucial to rinse it several times to remove any surface starch which can cause the rice to clump together during cooking.
Cooking Rice in a Rice Cooker: • If you have a rice cooker, it’s the ideal choice for cooking any type of rice as it enhances the flavor and texture. • After rinsing, place 1 cup of white rice into the rice cooker, add 0.9 cup of water and 1/2 tablespoon of oil. • Close the lid and press the start button. Let the rice cooker do its magic!
Tip 1: Oil for Improved Texture and Separation: Adding a bit of oil (like vegetable, canola, or olive oil) to rice before cooking helps to coat the grains. This coating can prevent the rice grains from sticking together excessively once cooked. The result is a fluffier, more separate texture which is especially desirable in dishes like fried rice where individual grain integrity is important. Oil also imparts a subtle richness to the rice, enhancing its flavor.
Cooking Rice in a Regular Pot: • If you don’t have a rice cooker, a regular pot will work fine. • After rinsing, add 1 cup of white rice, 0.9 cup of water, and 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pot. • Bring it to a boil on high heat, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Cooking Brown Rice: • For a healthier option, you can use brown rice. However, brown rice is harder and requires more water. • Use a ratio of 1:1.2 for brown rice to water. It’s best to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker to achieve a softer texture. • Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and a little white vinegar while cooking to enhance the soft and sticky texture. • Once cooked, let the rice cool without covering it.
Tip 2: Vinegar for Softness and Stickiness: White vinegar, when added in small amounts to the cooking water of rice, can influence the final texture. For brown rice, which tends to be harder and less sticky due to its higher fiber content, vinegar can help soften the grains and make them stickier. This is particularly useful if the brown rice is being used in dishes where a slightly stickier consistency is preferred, such as sushi or certain types of fried rice.
Cooling and Storing: If the rice turns out a bit wet, it’s advisable to refrigerate or freeze it overnight before frying. This will help evaporate some of the moisture, making the grains easier to separate and preventing clumping during stir-frying.
Final Notes
Final Notes
The addition of oil and vinegar when cooking rice is a simple trick that can make a noticeable difference in both the texture and flavor of the rice. It's a small step that can elevate a basic ingredient into a delightful component of a meal.
More Like This
Reduce Stress See all