Rice is one of the world’s staple foods. This is probably because it is a healthy choice and is easy to digest.
More importantly, it’s simple to make at home. However, there are so many ways to prepare rice, including using a stir fry pan or a wok.
On the flip side, though, not many people know how to cook rice in a wok. So, if you are one of them, here are some tips for you.
Simple Tips on How to Prepare Rice Using a Wok
Cooking stir-fried rice isn’t a science, especially when using a wok. This is because you don’t need exact ingredients or even measurements. So, here are some tips to keep in mind.
* Use the Correct Rice
If you don’t want to end up with burnt or clumpy rice, you should use the right type of rice. You see, the perfect fried rice is all about texture. Generally, it is recommended to use the medium to long-grain rice.
Medium-grain rice is the best choice if you want fluffy and sturdy grains that don’t fall apart or clump when cooked.
Short-grain rice tends to be softer and sticks together. This makes it difficult to stir-fry in a wok without getting clumps.
* Plan in Advance
Another important tip to keep in mind is that you should plan in advance. This is because stir-fried rice is best prepared with cold-cooked rice that has been refrigerated overnight.
So, make sure to cook the rice a day before. You see, cold rice tends to be firmer and easier to separate. This helps prevent the probability of mushy rice.
However, you can also use fresh-cooked rice as long as you allow the surface moisture to evaporate so it’s dry.
* Always Rinse the Rice
As it turns out, the excess starch in rice can cause it to clump. Therefore, you need to rinse it thoroughly to get rid of any excess starch.
* Use the Right Size Wok
Woks come in a range of sizes. So, the right size will depend on the amount of fried rice you will be preparing. For instance, you need at least a 16-inch unit if you will be cooking rice for more than two people.
But if you will be making the rice for you and your spouse, a 12 or 14-inch wok will be sufficient. Just make sure you don’t crowd the tool with ingredients.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cook Rice in a Wok
Woks are precisely designed for stir-frying. Therefore, it is easy to make stir-fried rice using this kitchen appliance. However, if you don’t follow the right steps, the rice could stick to the wok. Also, you could end up with burnt rice. Below are the steps to follow.
Step One: Season the Appliance
If you want to cook delicious fried rice, start by seasoning your wok. Seasoned woks tend to be naturally nonstick, which enables you to cook with minimal oil.
Generally, most units are sold unseasoned. Therefore, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to season the cookware.
Typically, you will need to pour an adequate amount of oil into the wok for seasoning. Then, heat up the appliance on a gas stove for a couple of minutes.
Step Two: Prep Ahead
Once you are done with the seasoning, you need to prepare the ingredients before you start cooking. And to achieve even cooking, make sure to cut them into uniform sizes preferably bite-size pieces.
Also, measure out the seasonings and place all the ingredients next to the gas stove.
Step Three: Preheat the Wok
Next up, preheat your pan over high heat for at least one minute before adding about 2 tablespoons of oil. A very hot wok helps sear food quickly, thereby locking in the best flavor.
If you want to know whether the tool is hot enough, simply add a drop of water. It will sizzle and then evaporate instantly.
Step Four: Add the Vegetables
There are so many different types of vegetables you can use, including broccoli, carrots, napa cabbage, and peas. Therefore, it all depends on what you like.
Once the wok is hot enough, add the chopped vegetables and let them cook until tender. This may take between 2 and 3 minutes. However, since carrots and broccoli take longer to cook, they should be added first.
Step Five: Toss the Cooked Meat
When the vegetables are cooked, throw the cooked chicken into the wok. You can choose to use meat that you’ve cooked the day before. And for the best results, dice the chicken into thin strips and allow it to cook for at least a minute.
Step Six: Add 2-3 Eggs
Crack the eggs into a bowl and then whisk them together until you achieve a consistent paste. After that, move all the ingredients to one side of the appliance and pour the eggs into the middle.
Once the eggs start to set, stir scramble them until they are nearly cooked. However, they should still be a little soggy.
Step Seven: Add your Rice
Next up, you will need to add the rice and make sure to stir and toss between each addition. This way, it does not stick on the wok. Also, use a spatula to break up any clumps, and then add a few tablespoons of your favorite sauce.
Of course, don’t forget to add salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste. However, don’t add too much sauce to prevent the rice from getting mushy.
Step Eight: Stir Constantly
Last but not least, you need to keep stirring the food swiftly around the wok. This is until the rice is well-coated, heated through, and well-colored.
If you notice the rice sticking to the cookware, you can add more oil or reduce the heat to prevent scorching. Then, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary, before serving it.
Cooking rice in a wok doesn’t have to be difficult as most people make it look. If you know what steps to follow, you can make the tastiest rice dish at any time. So, we hope that you’ll never have to order fried rice for takeout again when the craving kicks in. Just remember to buy the right type of rice.