How to improve your fried rice using physics

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Physics, is there anything you can’t do? :heart:


Also: MSG


More difficult: Improving your fried rice without using physics :slight_smile:


I’m actually making a lot of fried rice during this, I have found the one thing that helps most is drying out the rice.

I have considered putting the rice from the cooker in the oven spread out on parchment paper to quickly drive the moisture out, but I haven’t tried it yet.

I do not have a large enough flame to use a wok so I use a standard oyster electric skillet on the highest temp, and canola oil.


Small dried shrimp is a major game changer for home made fried rice.


Uh, do tell! At some point I tried making a omelet using just the jerk technique. Worked perfectly the first time, but ever afterwards, I sucked at the technique. With everything.


What the centigrade fuck?!


I use a simple Zojirushi 6 cup rice cooker. 1:1 water to rice ratio, regardless of the type of rice, works every time. Even makes quinoa with the same settings perfectly. Been using it for maybe 8 years flawless rice every time never once burned. The thing is pretty much bulletproof. Anything Zojirushi is fantastic quality.

Zojirushi NHS-10 6-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

Make sure you get a shamoji (textured rice spoon, not external dimpled one- a negative dimpled one, cleans easier, works better) and an Inomata rice strainer. Makes quick work of serving and prep. Beware- there are chinese knockoff Inomata strainers even on Amazon- I got one once and was furious. Make sure its’s heavy very unflexible polypropylene and has Inomata molded with Japanese characters saying made in Japan on the bottom.

I hesitate to put a link for the Inomata strainer because the last one I got ended up being a fake even though they used a picture of a genuine one it came out of Thailand and was made in China.

Other than that use 2 stubby heavy plastic spatulas in a oyster electric skillet left on highest heat (420 deg) with rice that has been fluffed after cooking and left on warm for an hour without lid to dry out. Add just enough canola oil to coat the amount of rice you add after tossing. Let sit fla few minutes between tossings to get proper okoge (crispy rice bits)

I just use Sunbird fried rice mix, but to be perfectly honest if you can get ahold of any number of multitudes of different fried rice mix from Japan at a good Asian grocer they have some really interesting flavors available that are a lot better than the American mix.

Add canned baby corn and water chestnuts and anything else AFTER you get the rice near crispy for best results. That rice cooker comes with a steamer tray as well- steamed broccoli added is great, just use a 1/2" of water and set to cook.


Yes! Everyone seems to agree drying it out is the key. Generally, day old rice in the fridge is the simplest (I break it up with wet hands before using it). The short-cut often suggested are to cook it, spread it onto a cookie sheet and let evaporation do it for you. I’ve also heard cooking it with slightly less water helps if you’re doing it same-day.


I dry mine out by just fluffing it after its done, and leaving lid off, while leaving on warm for an hour, works quite well


I am looking forward to the first movie in the Aliens franchise to feature someone fighting an alien using a rice-frying exoskeleton.


I just bought a Zojirushi rice cooker for our family a couple weeks ago and, yes, it is a life-changer! One of those “why didn’t we buy this 20 years ago” kitchen appliances.


When we make sushi we can never remember/be bothered to cook it far enough ahead of time to let it get really cool, so we speak it thin on a silicon making mat placed on a baking tray, and leave it on the counter. Flipping it all over with a spatula now and then gets it cool quickly, and presumably dry since it’s steaming out so much.

(Ok, for sushi we also add vinegar, so it doesn’t actually get dry, but it would if we didn’t.)

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Everything they make is super high quality. It’s the to-to brand in Japan for appliances for a reason.

The cool thing is the rice cooker I linked is the simple 1 button model- the very fancy rice cookers they make over 200$ that many Japanese families have (like my host family did) can do some ridiculous things, so if you want to go even better, it can get even better, but their simple version is already better than any western made device.


I think it is interesting to look at the wok technique shown here in combination with the high heat used in Chinese cooking compared to Japanese wok and western pan techniques. Temperature and technique can effect the flavor and texture of food in dramatic ways as much as the sharpness of a knife can. All good cooks will know the importance of temperature control.

The temperature of a domestic or even a professional hob will never reach the temperatures to properly cook a good fried rice which is why the restaurants use special burners. I noticed on one episode of the Japanese Iron Chef that a guest Chinese chef bought in his own burners because he needed the extra heat!

Also the order of adding ingredients is important, adding liquids at a certain point will create a burst of super heated steam that lifts the heat further off the wok.

The cooking of the rice is another thing, for example in sushi the vinegar-ed rice is fanned cool to aid the drying process.

Wok and pan skills will take time to develop through repetition. A good way to practice is with rice or dried beans in a cold pan. Keep a broom handy :slight_smile:

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Tossing Robots?

That is up around the melting points of common metals…

We’ve used one of those (Chinese, not Japanese) several times/week for around 30 years. I think we paid $15 for it new. No need to get anything fancier, these just work.