Fried rice is made by stir frying cooked rice in either using a frying pan or a wok. Ingredients such as eggs, seafood, mixed vegetables are added to the cooked rice. Making the perfect fried rice is simple and easy however there are instances where fried rice becomes mushy. There are several reasons fried rice is mushy. In today’s post, let us talk about why your fried rice is mushy and the different ways on how to fix mushy fried rice.
How To Fix Mushy Fried Rice
There are several causes why your fried rice ends up mushy such as too much moisture either on the ingredients or on the rice itself, fresh rice was used, overcooked rice, and the pan is overcrowded. To be able to make a perfect fried rice, when making large batches of rice make sure to cook by batch so as not to overcrowd the pan or the wok. This will allow the moisture to escape from the pan. Make sure to use to the correct size of pan according to the amount fried rice you will make.
Below are the reasons why you are getting a mushy fried rice”
When you cook the rice for your fried rice, make sure to steam it first. Leftover plain white rice that was made as pilaf or it was overcooked often lead to a mushy fried rice.
Freshly cooked rice was used
Leftover or a day old cooked rice is way better than using freshly cooked rice this is because with fresh rice there will be more moisture hence your fried rice becomes mushy. Although allowing the fresh rice to cool down for a hours might actually help but the fresh rice must be dried out some more of its moisture.
If you’re planning to cook fresh rice to turn it into fried rice cooking and thinking about using less water than usual to lessen its moisture, the result will be an uncooked or raw rice and still will not be suitable for making fried rice.
Too much Moisture on the ingredients
Most of the time, a fried rice does not only include the rice but rather additional ingredients are added to make it more delicious. Ingredients such as eggs, meat and vegetables are added to your fried rice.
Ingredients such as onions and fresh meat are added while cooking fried rice, these ingredients tend to create more moisture that can cause your fried rice to be mushy. Therefore make sure there are no ingredients in the pan before the cooked rice and then make sure the ingredients you add are dry since adding soy sauce will add then add moisture to your fried rice.
The size of the pan or wok used
The size of the pan or the wok used in making fried rice matters. Often we make large batches at once that we forget that we are already overcrowding the pan. Doing so, it will be hard for you to stir or mix the rice and the ingredients in the pan. As previously mentioned, most of the vegetables that are usually added to the fried rice you are making creates moisture and with an overcrowded pan, stirring will be difficult and the moisture will not be able to escape resulting to a mushy fried rice.
Listed below is a step by step guide on how to save mushy fried rice, although there are no other way that you can do fix mushy rice but there are ways on how to fix mushy fried rice for it to still be usable.
Step 1: Make sure the Rice is dry
The very first thing you need to do to fix mushy rice is to drain water from the fried rice. There are several ways on how to do this:
- Use a colander or a strainer: to remove excess water on the rice, place a colander or a strainer on the sink and then pour the rice to help the rice become dry.
- Allow water to evaporate: if you notice any water or moisture on the pan or wok, allow it to evaporate first before adding cooked rice. You can do this by allowing the steam to escape from the wok or pan.
- Bake fried rice in oven: for mushy fried rice, you can help it dry out by placing it inside a preheated oven to at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for at least 4 minutes to 6 minutes max then place inside the container and put inside the refrigerator.
Step 2: Cook Fried Rice using different methods
When you have a mushy fried rice, you can still use the fried rice in making other recipes such used in making rice pudding, make crackers using the mushy fried rice, and make vegetable burgers.
Step 3: Put inside the fridge
To save mushy fried rice, you can simply place it inside a container then put it inside the refrigerator. Cooked rice can be stored in the fridge for a maximum of 7 days and when placed inside the freezer can still be used for at least 6 months.
Although aside from placing it inside the container, you can follow these steps below:
- Cover or lined the baking sheet with parchment paper
- Scoop the rice with a spoon and place it evenly on the baking sheet.
For the rice to dry quickly in this process, make sure to just place a thin layer of rice.
- Place baking tray with rice inside the fridge. Check after 30 minutes if the rice has already dried.
- Once rice has dried out, remove from the fridge and reheat dried cooked rice using the microwave oven.
Tips that you need to know to prevent mushy rice from happening:
- Freshly cooked rice should be dried out first (air-dried is preferable) and allow to cool down for a few hours to remove excess moisture before turning into fried rice.
- The type of rice to use are the medium to long grain rice that are durable and does not break or clump as compared to short grain rice that is more softer and tends to clump.
- If making large batches of fried rice, make sure to use large pan or wok. In short, make sure the amount of rice does not overcrowd the pan especially after the rice and the ingredients are placed inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can be added to mushy fried rice?
If you want to improve the texture of the fried rice, when reheating it you can simply add more oil to the pan or the wok. It’ll help make your fried rice crispier.
How will you know if the fried rice is already spoiled?
There are obvious signs that your rice is already spoiled such as having a strange smell, rice becomes slimy, or rice becomes tough and super dry.
Do you cook the rice before making fried rice?
Fresh batch of cooked rice can be used to make fried rice but a day old rice is best suited simply because fresh rice have more moisture that would result to a mushy fried rice. Therefore make sure the rice is cooked first then stir frying the cooked rice for a few minutes while adding a small amount of oil then seasonings and other ingredients are combined with the rice.
For how long should freshly cooked rice be allowed to sit?
If you will be using fresh rice in making fried rice, allow it to sit and cool down for a few hours. You can simply evenly and thinly spread the rice on a baking sheet pan and placed at room temperature or you can place inside the fridge and allow to dry for at least 10 minutes.
Mentioned above are some of the ways on how to fix mushy fried rice. But if there are circumstances that you are not able to fix your mushy fried rice, not to worry as you can simply make a new batch of rice, a fresh rice if you have extra time.