The Best Time To Add Your Eggs For Takeout-Style Fried Rice At Home

fried rice with egg on placemat with chopsticks
fried rice with egg on placemat with chopsticks - Ravsky/Getty Images

Fried rice is the ultimate takeout item — whether you're ordering it as a starter or side, it's a staple in Chinese restaurants. But as with many restaurant-style dishes, fried rice that tastes like it just came out of the takeout container can be hard to make at home. It's hard, but not impossible. One of the key ingredients in fried rice is the bites of seasoned egg, and thanks to Jon Kung, food influencer and author of "Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third Culture Kitchen," we can tell you exactly when to add them to your rice.

According to Kung, who spoke to Daily Meal, the best time to cook and add your egg is "the step before you add the rice." This means that you cook and scramble your eggs in the wok, and once they've cooked you dump your rice on top to start combining ingredients. By preparing your eggs separately, you ensure they cook fully and can properly meld with your rice.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

Adding Eggs Into Your Fried Rice

scrambled eggs cooked in hot wok
scrambled eggs cooked in hot wok - siamionau pavel/Shutterstock

According to Kung, preparing your ingredients ahead of time seems to be the key to successful fried rice, meaning the rice is the final ingredient to be added. But before we can add the egg to our dish, we have to prep it. Per Kung's advice, it's best to start "with beaten eggs in a bowl seasoned with some salt and pepper" and "pour it into a seasoned wok and cook before adding in the rice."

Seasoning the egg seems normal, but what does it mean to season a wok? Kung says that seasoning a wok means giving a hot, dry wok "a light coating of oil." You'll know when to add the egg when "light white wisps of smoke" start rising from the wok, and Kung reminds us that "an overly hot wok will scorch and burn your eggs too quickly if you're not moving fast enough."

Kung also notes that the addition and cooking of your egg is "considering that you've precooked your meat and vegetables that you're cooking into the fried rice as well." By prepping the other ingredients beforehand, your egg will be the freshest and won't be cross-contaminated by raw meat.

Making The Most Of Your Fried Rice

beef fried rice in black bowl
beef fried rice in black bowl - DronG/Shutterstock

One of the most popular variations of fried rice is golden fried rice, in which the egg plays a key role. In golden fried rice, egg yolks are added to the rice before frying, giving it a golden coating and extra flavor that keeps it sticky. You can still add the usual scrambled egg to this type of fried rice, or even just the leftover egg whites, but be sure to follow Kung's advice of scrambling the eggs last.

There are of course other ingredients in fried rice, the chief of which is the rice itself. According to Kung, the dryer your rice is, the better it is for frying. "Day old rice is ideal because of its lower water content and slightly rigid structure, helping it keep its shape," he shares. This makes it ideal for frying because it will absorb the sauce instead of drowning the ingredients in absorbed water.

You can also add protein and vegetables to your fried rice, but remember Kung suggests cooking those ahead of time. You can try making beef fried rice with fresh ginger, following a classic style of preparation, or add some Korean flavors to this Chinese dish and make a kimchi fried rice, Kimchi Bokkeumbab. Fried rice really knows no bounds when it comes to adding new flavors, and there are plenty of underrated ingredients that will amp up your fried rice in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.