Do These Two Simple Tips To Stop Rice From Sticking To The Pan

Are you guilty of not doing these basic fried rice cooking tips?

IMAGE Shutterstock

One of the easiest dishes to make as a beginner cook is fried rice. Learning how to make garlic fried rice or sinangag is a basic dish that many of us attempt because it's easy, delicious, and pretty necessary since many of us eat a form of the silog meals every morning. It's actually a lesson in how to cook garlic so that you do not burn it! 

However, there is another lesson in fried rice that many of us do not think about. It's all about learning how to stir fry, and it's easy to learn with an ingredient that won't overcook easily: rice. The other ingredients may make the fried rice more delicious but at the heart of the dish is really the rice. However, rice sticking to the pan is a problem many of us face. You need to pay attention to how to cook the rice as much as you do the other ingredients.


The most basic thing to do when cooking fried rice is to use a nonstick pan. However, if your pan is not new and already has some cooking experience, even a nonstick pan can cause some sticking. The good news is that you can make still make it work so you're not battling a sticky rice cooking session every time.  

You just need two basic tips which are easy to do. The key is doing it every time you cook. Are you doing these cooking tips when you cook fried rice? 

1 Heat the oil until almost smoking. 

You probably already know this but it's a fact that many cooks, especially those who are in a hurry, don't take the time to heat their cookware enough. The pan, the wok, or any cookware you use on the stove need time to get hot to do its job better. 

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If you are in a hurry, you can heat up your pan and just lower the heat to Low while you finish preparing the ingredients you need. This way, you work with a hot pan when you're ready to cook without waiting too long. 


How do you know the pan is hot enough? Check the oil when you add it in. It should be shimmering and almost smoking. A few wisps here and there are perfect. If needed, turn off the heat if you're not ready yet. Your pan will stay hot for a few minutes longer. 

Did you know you can use freshly cooked rice for fried rice?
Photo by Shutterstock

2 Use day-old rice or dried rice. 

You do this every morning whenever there is leftover rice, but did you know that you can achieve the same level of dryness with freshly cooked rice, too? What you need to do is dry out the rice out a bit. It's easy to do when it's freshly cooked rice since the rice is so hot that any moisture will continue to steam and evaporate as it cools. You just need to give it a few minutes to do this before adding to the wok or frying pan. 

The exception to this tip is rice that's too sticky. Avoid making fried rice with rice that has been cooked with too much water or you will make fried rice that clumps and are basically mushy as well. You can of course try to make the mushy rice to dry it out but note that it won't be as loose as fried rice made with properly cooked rice.  



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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