What To Do If You've Added Too Much Sauce To Fried Rice

Often assembled with day-old white rice, whatever vegetables might be in your fridge, some soy sauce and rice vinegar in your pantry, and a dash of stir-fry sauce, fried rice proves that the most amazing dishes can come together with leftovers. 

The best fried rice is fluffy with a slightly toasted exterior and just a dash of flavoring. Yet, sometimes it's easy to mistakenly add a bit too much soy sauce or stir-fry sauce into the wok, turning the light texture of fried rice into mush. Truthfully, adding the right amount of ingredients is a pretty common mistake you can make with fried rice. But, luckily, too much sauce is an easy fix. You'll just need some cornstarch — a simple dash will soak up the excess liquid while also separating the rice so the grains don't glob together. Rice flour, all-purpose flour, and potato starch can also do the trick if you don't have any cornstarch in your pantry.

Another downside of adding too much soy sauce or stir-fry sauce is that your fried rice can end up being way too salty or too sweet. If that's the case, just add a sprinkle of sugar to balance out the salt — for the opposite problem, add a dash of salt for the perfect balanced taste.

More tips for the perfect fried rice every time

Beyond finding the right balance of sauce, there are other handy tips when it comes to making perfect fried rice. First, whether you're cooking the rice a day or two ahead, or letting it cool down right before frying it, the grains should always be rinsed. Washing the rice to get rid of excess starch will prevent the small pieces from sticking together, which also bars seasonings from being properly dispersed. So, before steaming, rinse the rice with cool water until the water runs clear and then it will be good to fry.

As for the type of rice to use, that's based on preference. However, medium-grain rice tends to work the best. While long-grain rice tends to be on the dryer side, short-grain rice absorbs too much liquid, making the dish mushy and overly soft. With medium-grain options, however, you can attain the fluffy, slightly crisp texture that the dish is known for.

Since fried rice is cooked at a high heat, doing as much prep work as possible beforehand will keep things from burning while you're gathering everything you need. Mixing your seasonings together first is the key to ensuring that you're not missing an important ingredient. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, and any other flavorings, and pour it into the wok after adding the rice. This method also allows you to taste the sauce to make sure that it's not too salty, sweet, or acidic.