A Dash Of Sugar Is The Secret To Restaurant-Quality Fried Rice

Fried rice
Fried rice - Ravsky/Getty Images

When you get fried rice at one of your favorite restaurants, you're treated to a delicious dish that has all kinds of flavor. Restaurant fried rice is often peppered with different spices including garlic and ginger, as well as doused with tasty sauces such as soy sauce, which gives it a rich, aromatic flavor. And if you get chicken, pork, or shrimp added to your fried rice, those small chunks of meat add even more layers of flavor and texture. What you may not have noticed about the fried rice from your favorite restaurant is that it has some subtly sweet flavor. And if you'd like to replicate that light sugary taste when making fried rice at home, just add a little bit of sugar.

By dusting your homemade fried rice with a small amount of sugar, it will develop a mildly sweet flavor that will make it taste like you bought it from your go-to takeout joint. This can save you a few bucks because you'll be able to spurn the cost of the meal and delivery fee, if you're ordering in, by making a comparable dish in the comfy confines of your kitchen. But this isn't the only reason why you'll achieve restaurant-quality fried rice by adding sugar.

Read more: 5 Rice Brands To Buy, And 5 To Avoid

Why Including Sugar In Homemade Fried Rice Makes It Just Like Takeout

Sugar - Photoongraphy/Shutterstock

The sugar won't just make your fried rice taste like you purchased it, it will also make it look like you bought it as well. This is because the sugar caramelizes the rice, which gives it that light hue you often find on fried rice made in restaurants. Sugar will also offer a nice contrast to the saltiness in your homemade fried rice, which helps replicate the flavor of takeout. This is why sugar should be considered one of the underrated ingredients to amp up your fried rice game.

If you're wondering what kind of sugar you should incorporate in your fried rice recipe, you can opt for palm sugar, which has a mild caramel flavor. You can also sprinkle in a little bit of granulated sugar, which is purely sweet. If you choose to pepper your fried rice with brown sugar, your dish will have some added toffee flavor. But sugar isn't the only ingredient that will elevate your homemade fried rice to the quality of the fried rice you get when you eat out.

Mirin Can Also Bring Sugar To Your Fried Rice

Mirin - kai keisuke/Shutterstock

Most restaurants incorporate mirin in a sauce for their fried rice recipes, which means it's an ingredient you absolutely need for take-out style fried rice. Mirin is a Japanese rice wine that packs a sharp blend of sugar and spicy flavors. The umami flavor of this rice wine actually complements the flavor of soy sauce really well, which may be why both are blended into a sauce for fried rice made at restaurants (which you should do also).

It's unlikely that the supermarket in your neighborhood will have mirin on its shelves, but you can check the internet to see where it may be sold online. If you're fortunate enough to get your hands on pure mirin, then mix it into the sauce for your homemade fried rice. Your dish will get that light sweetness that will make it taste just like takeout. If you can't get any mirin, just remember that adding a little bit of sugar to your fried rice recipe will make it taste like you got it during a trip to your favorite takeout spot.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.