The Overnight Step You Shouldn't Skip When Making Fried Rice

shrimp fried rice
shrimp fried rice - 4kodiak/Getty Images

Fried rice is arguably the best way to use up leftovers ever invented, and that counts double for leftover rice! We think making extra rice any time you get the rice cooker out is a great idea so you'll have plenty for a fried rice meal the next day, especially because rice just becomes better for stir-frying after spending the night in your fridge. Hot, steamy rice has too much moisture to fry, which means you need to cool it anyway, so why not plan ahead?

As cooked rice cools off in the refrigerator, its starch slowly changes in a process called retrogradation, meaning the starch molecules form a new structure that happens to force water out of the cooked rice grains. This creates the familiar hard, dry texture of refrigerated cooked rice — but in this case, that texture is a bonus because good fried rice needs to start as dry, separate grains for the best outcome.

Read more: 30 Chinese Dishes You Need To Try At Least Once

How To Store Your Rice For Tomorrow

steamed white rice
steamed white rice - By Ch0fu/Getty Images

If you want to take our recommendation and make (or even buy!) extra rice, here are our tips for storing it. When the rice is hot, spread it out on a cookie sheet that will fit in your refrigerator so it cools quickly. Don't cover the pan, we want the rice to dry out, and a cover would keep the steam in. Chill the tray of rice, stirring it once or twice and then simply leave it alone overnight to cool completely.

When you're ready to stir fry, use your hands to crumble the rice up, making sure the grains are not clumped up. This way, they'll all get the flavor of the wok or pan with no lumps of unflavored rice. Your only dilemma will be what kind of fried rice to make — and we can help with some more tips. Whether you decide to make pineapple fried rice or a simple, easy recipe with ingredients on hand in the freezer, chilling your rice ahead of time is the best hack for success!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.