Friday, October 14, 2011

Fried Rice Interlude

I've figured out how it is that restaurants always have adequately dried, cooked rice on hand to make fried rice!

In my previous post on fried rice, you'll note that I talk about the refrigerating-your-rice method. For restaurants, though, it wouldn't seem to make much sense to use precious cubic footage and electricity keeping refrigerators full of rice ready to go for whenever an order comes up. This is conjecture, but: no, rather, things work out for them to use their rice straight out of their (industrial sized) rice cookers because they have to have rice ready to serve during their hours of being open. Rice slowly dries out as it's "keeping warm" in a rice cooker. In fact, it dries out very nicely for use in fried rice--and is often too dry eaten as steamed rice. The other thing is that they seem to use medium to long grain rice more commonly in restaurants rather than short grain, which is more moist and sticky.

I realized this recently when I used some rice that'd been sitting in the rice cooker for a day or two to make fried rice. (One of my roommates cooks exorbitant amounts of rice at one time and then just abandons it to sit in the cooker or in the refrigerator...)

Actually, Patricia Tanumihardja at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook has a good summary of tips for great fried rice on her blog. I agree with all her points, though I hadn't thought of the "blazing hot wok" one. And I always eat short grain rice, so I don't ever have medium to long grain rice on hand. [EDIT: and by short grain, I mean medium grain. ;) Checked my bag of rice which is the brand I usually buy.]

Back to my usual, pictured posting, soon to come-


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