Food & Drink

Why does restaurant rice taste better than home-cooked rice?

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  • Feb 11th, 2020 11:22 am
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May 22, 2003
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Why does restaurant rice taste better than home-cooked rice?

I find that Chinese-restaurant rice always seem to be more fragrant than my home-cooked rice. Using Costco jasmine rice in a Zojirushi cooker. Do they add something to it or use a specific type of rice that lends it more fragrance?
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Aug 10, 2015
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I'm no expert, but typically, to make food more delicious, you add more fat, salt, or sugar. I'm thinking salt might be applicable here.
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Dec 28, 2007
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For nearly all Chinese restaurants, they use MSG as a flavour enhancer. Even when they advertise that they don't add it, it's usually already in the ingredients they use.
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Sep 19, 2002
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I find the opposite - restaurant rice quality is terrible. It's dry and flavorless.

Use Ox Head rice.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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jackrabbit000 wrote: For nearly all Chinese restaurants, they use MSG as a flavour enhancer. Even when they advertise that they don't add it, it's usually already in the ingredients they use.
That's not just Chinese restaurants. Every restaurant uses MSG in some form because it's damn delicious.

Guess what Parmesan cheese is? MSG in cheese form.
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Apr 8, 2006
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you probably do not have good rice. I haven't found good tasting restaurant rice in asian restaurant. Middle east and Indian rice are much better with added spices.
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Sep 3, 2018
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Spinner wrote: I find the opposite - restaurant rice quality is terrible. It's dry and flavorless.

Use Ox Head rice.
Same here, especially when you try to heat it up the next day it is hard and dry as bricks
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Jul 22, 2006
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Restaurant rice tastes like crap

Buy some proper rice from a Asian grocery store and get a good rice cooker (쿠쿠, cuckoo rice cooker)

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Jul 7, 2017
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lensbuyer wrote: Same here, especially when you try to heat it up the next day it is hard and dry as bricks
Perfect for fried rice though?
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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Sep 3, 2018
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thriftshopper wrote: Perfect for fried rice though?
True often we make some fried rice with whatever is leftover in our fridge.
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Dec 28, 2004
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Jasmine rice varied from brand to brand. But the most important is if you are close to the supplier who has first hand on the new harvest. Like everything the fresher it is, the better it is. If you are lucky enough to get the new batch of the harvest, the fragrant of the jasmine rice is so strong and delicious. But you have to know how to cook it. Unlike more age rice grain, these first batch store more water so if you cook them use a bit less water than what you normally use or it will be a bit more starchy and mushy. The older longer dried rice will contain less water and also the fragrant will be wane. That is why old rice is commonly used for fried rice, it has less water content making frying rice much easier with less crushed mushy kernel.
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hieppo wrote: That is why old rice is commonly used for fried rice, it has less water content making frying rice much easier with less crushed mushy kernel.
Haven't bought jasmine rice in a few years but thanks for the tip re: how to buy (probably not much help where I am). I was wondering how it was done to make the rice so you can see each grain which is almost like in its prec-ooked shape, let alone not mushy and soggy (or is it v-v?) Eventually figured out a partial solution that partially cooking with less water helped quite a bit. The other tip I got (from a newspaper food writer who learned it from a Cantonese cooking school class mate was to let the rice really cool and dry out then fry it until it pops. Supposed to crumble the rice by hand before you fry it (did I read that here?)
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