Choose Basmati Over Jasmine To Avoid Overly Sticky Fried Rice

Few dishes are a better fridge-cleanout meal than fried rice. Load in varying vegetables, meats, and sauces, and the meal only bursts with more flavor. Yet, no matter how malleable the dish's components, there's still technique to abide by. And as per its name, that largely rests on the rice — specifically preparing its texture.

Utilizing leftover rice is a noted starting point, but it's also useful to consider the rice type, too. Carefully selecting the base grain will avoid the dreaded mushiness, making sure each kernel separates on its own, thereby meshing with other components. For such a characteristic, there's not one variety that stands above the rest; regional fried rice renditions reach for different bases.

However, some offerings do offer special attributes, and such is precisely the case for basmati. The Indian-grown rice variety has a different starch composition, all the while offering a delicious flavor. As a result, the kernels aren't sticky, but the fried rice will have a delicious palate. Let's dig into the details.

Utilize basmati rice for a perfectly-textured fried rice

Fried rice is a forgiving dish; few rice varieties would yield an outright unpalatable result. Plus, the desired texture depends on personal taste, since some do prefer their fried rice on the chewier side. Yet, when perusing all the rice offerings at the grocery store, it can be difficult to pinpoint which variety to purchase for the job. After all, both jasmine and basmati are long-grain types — why would they impact the dish differently?

Largely, it's all due to molecular composition. Long grain varieties contain more amylose, a compound that causes kernels to separate once cooked. Conversely, sticky rice types have more amylopectin, a different starch molecule that contributes to more adhesive texture. Basmati offers a higher amount of amylose than jasmine while maintaining a low amylopectin level, thereby resulting in even more separated grains after cooking. So with this variety, there's less need to worry about overcooking or letting the rice turn to mush. Simply steam and enjoy a delicious fried rice result.