Can you use fresh rice for fried rice?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: July 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Table of Contents

Can you use fresh rice for fried rice?

You may think that you need to use day-old rice for fried rice, but this isn’t necessarily true. You can use fresh rice for fried rice. In fact, a lot of people prefer using fresh rice because it has softer and more flavorful grains.

This is especially the case when making Thai or Vietnamese dishes like Pad Thai or Pho Bo. The key thing to keep in mind is that you should always cook the rice until it’s tender before adding any other ingredients. If not, your dish will be chewy and hard instead of soft and fluffy!

This blog post has a couple of things to discuss fried rice, their preparation methods, and their freshness impact on the cooked meal.

Let’s get started!

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Origin of rice

Before jumping towards the main questions of this blog post, let’s see the origin of rice. So, rice belongs to the “Oryza sativa” family of grass species, which is native to Asia. The cultivated rice was first discovered in the 10th millennium BC in China during the Neolithic period which later spread throughout other regions including modern-day Vietnam and Thailand.

With the passage of time, many countries across Asia started cultivating rice as their staple food. This also resulted in the formation of various international types of rice.

Rice is rich in starch and is highly consumed mostly in Asian countries.

The term “fried rice” became prevalent when the dish found its way to America, especially during the Vietnam War. Since then, fried rice has been a popular American meal. It consists of cooked white rice that is stir-fried with other ingredients, which may include vegetables, meat, or seafood.

How fried rice is prepared?

Fried rice is a form of cooked rice that is stir-fried or pan-fried with several other ingredients which may include vegetables, eggs, meat, and seafood.

Here are the steps to prepare fried rice:

Wash it first

Wash the rice as usual, as it will help in making the cooked rice soft and remove any traces of starch. Washing rice beforehand also helps in removing excess water.

Leave it to dry

After washing the rice, you must let it sit for some time so that the excess water can drain away and not mix with the other ingredients during cooking. This helps in making better-tasting fried rice as unwanted ingredients such as starch and moisture will affect its flavor.

Boil properly

Boil the rice until tender with a little bit of water or broth then drain it well. Boiling it first will help in making the rice soft and fluffy.

Add oil to it

Next, add a tablespoon of oil to the boiled rice then mix well so that all the rice grains are separated from each other. Adding oil will help in preventing the rice from sticking together during stir-frying. Also, it will make the cooked dish taste better because rice absorbs the flavors of oil quite well.

Use the right ratio of rice to vegetables

You can now drop your choice of veggies, eggs, meat, seafood, etc into the pan with the fried rice. But make sure you are using the right ratio.

After cooking preparing fried rice, use around one cup of uncooked rice for every half-cup of meat and/or vegetables. Using this formula will help in making an evenly-cooked dish with optimal flavor. However, you can also experiment by adding more or less of the ingredients.


Now, you can stir-fry your fried rice with vegetables and meat without any oil for around 7-8 minutes or until the rice grains turn transparent. You can use butter or oil if you want, which will enhance the dish’s flavor. After stir-frying, season your dish with salt and a little bit of soy sauce. Cooking fried rice will take around 10 minutes.

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Tips to cook fried rice properly

Fresh or frozen vegetables?

It’s best to use fresh ingredients but if you are very busy, then you can use some frozen vegetables instead of going through the hassle of chopping and cooking fresh ones.

Frozen veggies make a great addition as they help in adding even texture and color to the dish.

Choosing the right oil

You can use any cooking oil that you like as long as it has a high smoke point temperature. Corn oil, avocado oil, peanut oil have a high smoke point.

Use a good amount of oil

The key element to be included while cooking fried rice is a good amount of oil for ensuring a soft texture every time.

You can use 2 tablespoons of oil for 1 cup of rice.

Adjust the seasoning properly

Adding too much soy sauce won’t taste good, so make sure you are adding it in small amounts. You may consider tasting your dish every time before making the next addition to find out if you need more salt or soy sauce.

Don’t add too much water

If you add too much water then the answer to this question will be yes, but if you add a small amount of water while cooking fried rice, then there is no chance that your dish will end up being soggy.

The only purpose of adding water is to help the ingredients mix well.

Do not overcook it

Last but not least, do not overcook your fried rice as it will leave the rice grains hard.

Fried rice is an easy dish to cook so you can easily try different variations by adding vegetables, meat, or seafood. It tastes best when served hot and fresh.

Do you have to use cold rice for fried rice?

The answer to this question is pretty surprising. Yes, many restaurants prefer using cold rice for fried rice. Using cold rice will help in producing a better-tasting fried rice dish. Make sure the rice is at room temperature before you start cooking it.

But at the same time, using fresh and hot cooked rice will produce a more flavorful fried rice dish. If you don’t have any other option then you can go ahead and use fresh rice for fried rice. Just make sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly to prevent it from sticking together during cooking.

Does rice have to be old for fried rice?

This is another myth surrounding this dish. Absolutely not! You can use freshly cooked rice if you want to; it won’t make much of a difference.

The only difference between cooked and fresh rice is the texture. Fresh rice tends to produce a softer texture while cold or cooked rice will give you a crunchier result.

Make sure that the rice has cooled down properly before cooking, then stir-fry it twice or thrice to ensure the grains are separated from each other. This will create evenly-cooked fried rice.

Why do you have to use old rice for fried rice?

So you want to use old rice for your fried rice? Yes, Go for it. There is no harm in using old rice for fried rice. Using old rice gives you a different texture and look of the cooked meal. As mentioned above, it’ll just change the end results.

Following are the reasons why some people prefer using old rice:


Using old rice will produce a dry texture which is what many customers are looking for. If you don’t want your fried rice to look dry, try using fresh rice.

Grains won’t stick

Also, the grains won’t stick together so it’s easier to separate them while stir-frying. It’ll save you the trouble of separating them.

Cooked well

Lastly, old rice is already cooked properly so you don’t have to worry about it becoming too soft after stir-frying.

Final Thoughts

To summarize it all, yes one can use both fresh and old rice for fried rice. The difference between fresh and old rice is merely the texture, so you decide which one to use.

As long as it has been cooked properly, choose any type of rice you want! You can go ahead and experiment with different types of rice for fried rice to find which one works best for your recipe. Just make sure you don’t forget the above-mentioned tips while cooking the delicious fried rice for your family.

Happy cooking!

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