When trying to make fried rice a few days ago, I only had a packet of basmati rice in my pantry. Funnily enough, in the past, I had only prepared fried rice with jasmine or medium-grain rice; I had never tried using basmati rice.
So, the results of using basmati rice for fried rice were a pleasant surprise for me!
Basmati rice is excellent for fried rice as it is non-mushy and delicious. You just need to rinse basmati rice and boil it. Then, follow the general recipe for fried rice by scrambling eggs, stir-frying rice with vegetables at high heat, and adding the liquid ingredients.
Read on if you want to know more about how to cook a fried rice dish using basmati rice.
Best Rice for Fried Rice
People have differing opinions on which rice is the best for fried rice. Most prefer jasmine rice for its aroma and texture, whereas some love medium-grain rice for its slight stickiness.
In my experience, the best rice for fried rice depends on your preferred flavor, aroma, and texture.
The table below lists several rice varieties to use for fried rice, along with their pros and cons.
|Rice Type||Rice Variety||Pros||Cons|
|Long-grain||Jasmine Rice||Floral aroma, long grains, easy to cook, moist, and hold flavors well||Not suitable if you require dry rice grains|
|Basmati Rice||Long and thin grains, non-sticky, earthy aroma, and flavorful||Can get too dry for fried rice|
|Medium-grain||Calrose Rice||Has slight stickiness and can hold flavors well||The grains may clump together too much|
|Arborio Rice||Has slight stickiness and can hold flavors well||Can get a little creamy|
|Short-grain||Sticky Rice||Best for authentic Japanese-style fried rice||Difficult to cook, too sticky, starchy flavor|
Can You Use Basmati Rice for Fried Rice?
As stated above, you can use basmati rice for fried rice.
Basmati rice grains are long, non-sticky, and possess a drool-worthy aroma.
Amylopectin, a type of starch responsible for a mushy texture in rice, is present in basmati rice in lower amounts than other rice varieties. As a result, the grains are naturally dry and separated, which is ideal for fried rice.
Pros of Using Basmati Rice for Fried Rice
Let’s discuss a few pros of using basmati rice to cook fried rice.
- Flavorful: Basmati rice possesses a unique taste of its own. Therefore, it enhances the overall dish’s flavor.
- Aromatic: If you want fried rice that tastes good and smells beautiful, basmati rice won’t disappoint. It has an earthy and fruity smell, which goes well with the fried rice’s aroma.
- Dry and Separated Grains: Basmati grains remain separated in most cases. Also, as there’s barely any starch, this rice absorbs the flavors of the oil and spices used.
- Easy to Cook: Basmati rice is the easiest to cook for fried rice. You don’t need to soak it for hours or worry about the rice turning too sticky or clumpy.
Cons of Using Basmati Rice for Fried Rice
You might be convinced that basmati rice is the best for fried rice, but hold up! Basmati rice also has certain limitations when you use it for fried rice.
- Grains May Get Too Long: Traditional Japanese fried rice uses short-grain sticky rice. If you plan to make that, basmati rice is too long and dry.
- No Stickiness: Fried rice is a part of Asian cuisine. Most Asian rice-based dishes are slightly sticky or starchy. Basmati rice won’t impart any stickiness to your rice.
How to Cook Basmati Rice for Fried Rice?
After weighing the pros and cons, if you have decided to use basmati rice for fried rice, you’re in for a yummy treat!
Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Wash the Basmati Rice
Basmati rice doesn’t require extensive preparation for cooking.
First, you need to rinse your basmati rice once or twice. There’s no need to soak as it doesn’t have excessive starch content to remove.
Step 2: Transfer the Rice to the Cooking Pot
In this step, drain the rice using a strainer. Then, transfer the rice to a cooking pot and add two cups of water for every cup of basmati rice and salt to taste.
Step 3: Let the Rice Boil
Basmati rice generally takes between 10 to 15 minutes to cook thoroughly.
You just need to ensure that the grains have absorbed the water and are tender. If they’re not tender, let them cook for more time.
You can add two to three more tablespoons of water if the rice looks dry and undercooked.
Step 4: Allow the Rice to Cool and Refrigerate It (Important!)
I always recommend using one-day-old cooked rice for fried rice.
Refrigerated rice has the perfect texture to ensure your fried rice is fluffy and not soggy.
You need to transfer the cooked rice from the cooking pot to a dish, let it cool, and then store it in an airtight container. Then, simply refrigerate it for a day.
If you can’t wait a whole day, just let the rice cool for as many hours as possible.
How to Fry Basmati Rice for Fried Rice?
Once you’ve your refrigerated basmati rice, you can stir-fry it.
Step 1: Scramble the Eggs
Preheat a wok on a high flame first, and add vegetable or any other neutral oil.
Then, crack one to two eggs, scramble them, and break them into tiny pieces.
Once done, transfer the scrambled egg pieces from the wok to a bowl.
Step 2: Fry Garlic and Rice
Add oil to the wok again, and fry garlic until it’s slightly golden brown. Next, add the basmati rice to the wok and toss it on high heat.
Step 3: Add the Dry Ingredients
In this step, add the dry ingredients like any vegetables ( scallions, carrots, bell peppers), salt, and scrambled egg to the wok.
Continue stirring and tossing the rice and vegetables on high heat.
Step 4: Add the Wet Ingredients
Add soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, or any other sauces to the rice. Ensure you stir-fry the rice at high heat so each grain absorbs the flavors.
Note: Wet ingredients should always go last. Adding them first may add too much moisture to the pan and make your fried rice mushy.
Step 6: Transfer Fried Rice to a Bowl
Once your fried rice has the standard Asian cuisine-style aroma, you can transfer it to a bowl. Serve and enjoy.
That’s all you’ve to do for the perfect basmati fried rice!
Additional Tips While Cooking Fried Rice
If you’re worried about messing up your basmati fried rice, these tips are for you!
- Always use a wok or a pan with a considerable surface area to prevent the rice from sticking together.
- Avoid using too many ingredients, especially wet ingredients.
- Cut your vegetables beforehand, as stir-frying rice is a quick process.
- Try using fresh vegetables instead of frozen ones, as they release moisture on heating.
- Don’t go for olive oil or similar oils with a strong flavor.
- Add shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, or ham for the umami taste.
- If you’re not too quick, fry vegetables, rice, and eggs separately. Then, add them together along with the sauces.
Basmati rice is one of the best options for cooking fried rice. You’ll notice that your basmati fried rice has a fluffy and dry texture, a mouth-watering aroma, and an explosion of delicious flavors.
All you need to do is follow all the steps and tips correctly to cook the best basmati fried rice.
Is basmati rice healthy for fried rice?
Basmati rice has a lower glycemic index and arsenic content than other rice varieties. Therefore, it is suitable for people with Type-2 Diabetes, too.
Which is better for fried rice – basmati rice or regular rice?
Basmati rice is much better than regular rice, as it’s aromatic, more flavorful, and doesn’t get too sticky or mushy. However, basmati rice feels heavier on the stomach compared to regular rice.