How to Cool Rice Quickly for Fried Rice

Making fried rice is a great way to use up leftover fresh rice, and it’s a dish that everyone loves. But what makes fried rice really special is the rice itself. When done correctly, the rice should be nice and crispy on the outside while still being soft and fluffy on the inside.

This can be a bit tricky to achieve, but luckily, a little trick will help you get it just right.

The key to perfect fried rice is to use cold rice (often day-old rice). This may seem counterintuitive, but trust us, it works.

You can see this in action in our Indonesian Fried Rice Recipe.

When you use cold white rice, the rice grains will separate better and won’t stick together. Plus, the rice will be less likely to overcook and become mushy.

So how do you quickly cool rice for fried rice? It’s actually simpler than you probably think.

Three Fastest Ways to Cool Rice for Fried Rice

When making fried rice, one of the most important steps is cooling it properly. If the rice is too hot, it will make the fried rice mushy and unappetizing.

Hot Rice Cooling Inside a Fridge
Hot Rice Cooling Inside a Fridge

On the other hand, if the rice is too cold, it will make the fried rice dry and crumbly. The best way to cool rice for fried rice is to use one of the following two methods, especially if you are making rice for a lot of guests and what to know how much to serve per person.

Refrigerate The Rice

One quickest and most effective way to cool rice for fried rice is to refrigerate it. This will help to stop the cooking process and prevent the rice from overcooking.

To refrigerate the rice, simply spread it on a baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the rice to cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes or until it is completely cool to the touch.

Once the rice is cooled, you can proceed with making your fried rice, and do not forget you can use peppers, garlic and herbs to season rice without salt.

Use The Freezer To Cool The Rice

Another quick and easy way to cool rice for fried rice is to place it on a tray (spread out) and place it in the freezer to cool. This method will also help to stop the cooking process and prevent the rice from overcooking.

Simply spread the rice on a baking sheet and freeze it until the steam disappears.

What Is the Fastest Way to Cool Rice for Fried Rice

When we had a food manufacturing business, we used blast chillers to cool the rice quickly. Basically, in a standing freezer, there was a fan that passed cold air over the rice (or other food). This cooled it down very quickly and safely. This was necessary, and rice that is not cooled correctly can easily grow food pathogens.

So if your freezer has a fan to circulate air, put the tray of rice close to that air movement, and it will cool quicker.

Spreed the Rice in A Thin Layer - It Will Cool Quicker
Spread the Rice in A Thin Layer – It Will Cool Quicker

Cool The Rice in an Ice Bath

If you’re short on time, you can cool the rice in an ice bath. Simply place the cooked rice in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover it. Then, add a few handfuls of ice cubes and stir well. Let the rice sit in the ice bath for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches 41°F.

If the rice is too hard and not cooked use this method to fix it.

Once the rice is cooled, it’s time to start making your fried rice! Simply follow your favorite recipe and enjoy.

Whichever method you choose, cooling the rice properly is essential for making great fried rice. So take your time and ensure the rice is cooled before you start cooking.

I tend to use plain white rice, rather than basmati rice or jasmine rice which are more fragrant and used in other rice recipes.

Can You Cool Rice Too Quickly?

The answer is yes; you can cool dry rice too quickly for fried rice. If the rice is cooled too quickly, it will not have the same texture and flavor as properly cooked rice.

To avoid this, cook the rice at a lower temperature or for a shorter time. Alternatively, you can add a little oil or butter to the rice while it is cooling. This will help keep the rice moist and prevent it from drying.

Why Is It Important To Cool Rice Quickly?

Rice is a versatile grain that can be used in various dishes. It is a staple food in many cultures known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture. Rice is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, and it is low in fat.

However, leftover rice can also be a breeding ground for bacteria if it is not cooked properly. Raw rice can contain Bacillus cereus spores, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. Cooked rice can also support the growth of other harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli.

That’s why it’s important to cool the rice quickly after it has been cooked. If you leave rice sitting at room temperature, the bacteria can multiply and cause food poisoning.

So, next time you cook fried rice, cool it quickly and store it safely to avoid food poisoning.

What Is the Fastest Way to Cool Down Rice

Hot Rice Cooling Inside a Fridge

How do you quickly dry rice for fried rice – the fastest way is in a blast chiller, which is also the safest. If that is not available use rice spread out in a thin layer and place it in a cold part of the freezer for 45-60 minutes and then check the temperature.

How Long Does It Take for Rice to Cool

Spreed the Rice in A Thin Layer - It Will Cool Quicker

Rice takes approximately 45 minutes to cool down once cooked. To speed up the process, you can put the pot of rice in the refrigerator until it reaches an acceptable temperature. Once cooled, store the rice in airtight containers in the fridge.

Can You Put Hot Rice in The Freezer

Yes, you can, but make sure it is only a small quantity – not enough to destroy other frozen food. Have it on a baking tray and not too thickly spread.