How To Dry Rice For Fried Rice

How To Dry Rice For Fried Rice? Explained (Updated)

Last Updated on April 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Do you ever struggle to make a perfect bowl of fried rice, even though it only requires a few simple ingredients like fragrant spices, protein, and a hot pan? The process may seem challenging at times. However, with the right technique, anyone can master it.

Did you know that the secret to perfect fried rice lies in the rice? Knowing how to dry rice for fried rice is crucial, but we’ll share some tips to make it easier. Let’s start.    

Top 5 Ways to Dry Rice for Fried Rice 

1. Refrigerate It

rice on a tupperware

It’s important to keep rice inside the refrigerator for around 30 minutes to allow it to cool down completely.

This method involves making steamed rice dry quickly by removing its moisture. This is because refrigerators can absorb moisture from food. 

The refrigerator cools down the food by cooling it using the air that circulates through the compartments.

Keeping the steamed rice inside the refrigerator for a while is also beneficial, as this allows the grains to absorb the nutrients properly.


2. Spread On A Tray (Use a fan)

You should carefully strain the rice from the pot. It should have little water content. 

However, the excess water will force it to break down and lose its texture while preparing fried rice. To avoid this, remove the rice from the pot and spread it on a tray.

Read: What Does It Mean When Rice Is Broken?

Doing so will allow the steam from the grains to escape and cool the rice down. Letting it sit in a pot or bowl will take a long time to cool down. Also, you can dry it faster using a fan. Find out how to cook a pot of rice using the shallow pan method.

3. Use Day Old Rice 

leftover rice

Aside from using cooled-down rice, it’s recommended to use day-old rice. 

Rice cooked the day before is already cooled down and dried, which is perfect for making fried rice. 

You can cook rice the night before or the day before– giving ample time for the rice to get rid of its moisture. 

Read: What Kind Of Rice Do Chinese Restaurants Use?

4. Cook Rice With Less Water 

If you really want perfectly dry rice, you must cook rice by adding less water than usual. Instead of the 2:1 water to ratio, you reduce the water to 1 ½ cups. 

This makes it a bit drier than when you add 2 cups of water. 

Read: How To Steam Buns Without Steamer

5. Bake In the Oven

cooked rice in the oven

If you’re in a hurry, you can bake the cooked rice in the oven to dry it faster. The heat will absorb the moisture from the rice, leaving you with perfect dry rice. 

The drying time depends on the amount of rice. It can be anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes or until you achieve your desired rice consistency. 

Read: How To Cook Rice On An Electric Stove?

Why Is Dry Rice Better For Fried Rice? 

Dry rice is better than fried rice because, after a certain amount of time, the rice grains [1] will become a bit dry and turn slender. 

This period will also allow the grains to absorb more moisture and flavor. But although it is not a general rule to store rice a day ahead, it is a good idea to store it overnight. So what sauce do Hibachi chefs use for rice?


Does rice need to be cold for fried rice?

Yes. Using cold rice is recommended for fried rice. Store it in the fridge for at least 24 hours or overnight to prevent it from sticking.

This will help prevent it from turning brown and making it difficult to separate. If you have to wait, air-dry the rice before cooking it. 

How do you dry rice quickly?

The best and quickest way to dry rice quickly is by baking it in the oven. But if you want a more natural way, spreading it on a plate and air-drying it using a fan would be ideal. 


Drying rice for fried rice isn’t complicated at all. You have five simple ways to do it, and you can go with the method that works best for you. 

Whether you opt to refrigerate it overnight, spread it on a tray, use day-old rice, cook it with less water, or bake it, it all comes down to one result – perfectly dry rice. 


Shari Mason

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