That's right - left-overs, day-old, doggie-bag material, cooked rice!
Prepare a fried rice dish with left-over rice from earlier in the week or simply make a fresh batch a day in advance. Refrigerate it for at least a day.
Refrigerating it causes it to shed extra moisture and become firm, which makes the grains easier to separate when you stir fry. There's nothing worse than having a tasty stir-fry ruined by clumps of wet rice that stick together.
It probably doesn't do anything at all to the flavor but it certainly has an impact on the presentation. If fresh rice is your only option, allow it cool for a few hours before using it.
Also, using a fairly hot pan is pretty fundamental for great fried rice. A wok is ideal if you have one. The oil you use can make a difference as well. Using grape seed oil, which has a higher smoke point than other fats, is a good option here. A light oil with a nutty taste, grape seed oil is a natural byproduct of grapes. Like canola and olive oils (which can be substituted if needed) grape seed oil is low in saturated fat.
For our fried rice recipes we splash in some vivid colors thanks to a myriad of fresh vegetables. Carrots bright hue is due to a hefty dose of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that scientists believe may play a role in fighting esophageal cancer. In addition, one medium carrot provides more than two times the recommended Daily Value of vitamin A.
Fresh zucchini offers a source of vitamin C and vitamin B6, while the mushrooms supply selenium, which may play a role in reducing risk for prostate cancer.
So, for great fried rice, we use day-old rice and a minimum amount of oil with a whole-grain variety of rice for extra fiber content. Try it!
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