Today, we’re going to be talking about the delicious, staple cuisine that is used in many meals, whether it is given as a side dish or as a substantial part of the overall meal.
It can be boiled, fried, and even cooked into a dessert. This dish is loved by many, and it is not difficult to understand why: its versatility, nutritional values and great flavor has survived through the centuries, and is still vastly popular all over the world to this day.
So, let’s talk about rice.
Due to it being included within so many recipes, this is a food that almost cannot be avoided. Rice is often seen as a healthier alternative to most side dishes, which makes it a popular addition to many meals.
It is a staple food in most areas of Asia, and is vastly consumed by many people all over the world.
However, there are so many ways to serve rice, and everyone has their favorite version: whether your preference is white or brown, or you prefer it plainly boiled or fried up with several kinds of vegetables and sauces. There are so many options to choose from.
In this article, we will be looking at two of the most popular versions of this food: white rice, and fried rice.
Despite both versions being made with the same base ingredient, they have vastly contrasting flavors and textures, and are used in specific meals.
It has been debated for many years which variant is the best, whether the discussion is focused on taste, texture, and nutritional value. Most people will have a favorite between the two, and you may be one of them.
However, today, we’re going to be looking at the many differences, and discussing the pros and cons of both.
So, which is better: white rice or fried rice?
Let’s get into it.
What is The Difference?
Before we start discussing which is the better rice alternative, let’s find out what makes fried rice and white rice so different from each other.
White rice is a type of milled, processed rice that has been stripped of its husk, germ, and bran: if these words mean nothing to you, all that it means is that this alteration extends its shelf life, makes it easier to digest, and changes its taste and texture.
White rice is actually polished, which is what gives it its shiny, white appearance. During the milling process, the white rice loses many nutrients, but it is often then enriched with the same nutrients during the processing to replace the lost vitamins and minerals.
Overall, white rice can be pretty good for you, and works well complimenting more flavorful dishes due to its own lack of flavor.
Fried rice, on the other hand, is filled with flavor: it is leftover or pre-cooked rice that has been stir-fried with many kinds of vegetables, meats and sauces, and will often be served as a dish on its own, although it is also served as a popular side.
There are many different types of fried rice, as there are so many different foods that can be added to it.
While this dish has the potential to be healthy, it all depends on who is cooking it: if you were to make your own homemade fried rice, you could prepare it in a way that is pretty wholesome.
If you ordered it from a restaurant, however, the odds are that it will be filled with calories and salt, due to increased amounts of oil and soy sauce being added for flavor.
Fried rice is usually made out of pre-cooked white rice, so it is interesting to see how different the two dishes become once their individual cooking processes are finished.
1. Which is the Healthiest?
So, first of all, let’s consider which rice is best for those who aren’t so worried about the flavor, and care more about which is best for their diet.
We mentioned previously that white rice is milled so that it is easier to digest, and this strips the vitamins and minerals from the food. However, the nutrients are often re-added later on during this process, and so the odds are that your white rice will still be pretty nutritious overall.
Fried rice can be healthy if you make the meal yourself, using ingredients with less calories, but if you buy it ready-made from a restaurant, it will probably be jam-packed with calories and unhealthy additives.
Both versions are filled with carbohydrates, of course, so both should be avoided if you’re on a strict, no-carbs diet.
If we’re focusing on calories, however, one cup of white rice loosely equals to around 200 calories, while a cup of plain fried rice with no vegetables, meats or seafood added, ordered from a Chinese restaurant, may be around 333 calories: this makes sense as, after all, fried rice is just white rice that has been stir-fried with other ingredients.
So, overall, white rice is the healthier alternative out of the two.
WINNER: White rice.
2. Which is the Tastiest?
White rice is usually used to accompany flavorful dishes, such as curries and stews, therefore there isn’t a great need for the rice itself to be flavorful.
Aside from added salt, white rice doesn’t have a particularly strong taste, and this is why it goes so well with dishes filled with flavor.
Fried rice, however, is created in a way that it can be served as a main dish on its own, not needing any other accompaniments. It is often mixed with chicken, pork, prawns, peas and egg, as well as salt, pepper and soy sauce, which adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
It can be served with a main meal, but more often than not, it is eaten alone as a standalone dish.
This means that, out of the two, fried rice is definitely filled with the most flavor. Due to its many accompaniments.
WINNER: Fried rice.
3. Which is the Easiest to Make?
Making your own basic white rice at home is fairly simple: while it is easier to use a rice cooker, it isn’t mandatory. You simply add however much rice you want into a saucepan or a pot, and add double the amount of water.
Allow the water to boil, and the rice should be fully cooked within twenty minutes. Once it is done, fluff the rice up with a fork, and it will be ready for consumption.
While it does take skill and patience to cook the rice in a way that it doesn’t become a mushy mess, it is still a fairly easy dish to make.
If you want to make your own fried rice from scratch, you need to repeat the process previously mentioned. Once your white rice is made, pour some oil into a frying pan or a wok, and fry the rice with your chosen chopped up vegetables, seasonings, and soy sauce.
This will take around fifteen minutes, not including the time it will take to make the white rice at the start of the process.
So, of course, it is common sense that fried rice takes a little longer to make, as more preparation is needed as you gather up the excess ingredients and prepare them to cook. White rice is definitely the easiest to create.
WINNER: White rice.
4. Which is the Most Popular?
This is, without a doubt, the most difficult to answer out of all the questions in this list.
Both dishes are extremely popular, and are individually more popular than the other in different areas around the world.
Healthier people are more likely to choose a side of white rice, wanting to miss out on extra, unnecessary calories, but those who love Chinese and Indian takeaways may be more inclined to favor fried rice.
It also depends on which meal is being consumed, as both rices compliment their chosen, specific dishes in their own unique ways. This question is almost unanswerable, as it is pretty difficult to compare the two in this way.
Many people favor white rice, but others favor fried rice. There is no doubt that you, the reader, have your own preference.
Overall, both dishes are extremely popular in most places around the world, and are consumed by happy eaters every day.
So, which is better: white rice or fried rice?
It depends. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference: if you prefer something with a little more flavor and that can be eaten as a standalone meal, fried rice is better.
If you want something to accompany a dish already filled with flavor, and you’re looking for something with a more bland taste to perfectly compliment the meal, white rice is better.
Both rices are delicious in their own rights, and when used correctly for the right meals, they are both perfect side dishes. In the end, we can’t tell you which is better out of the two, because everyone has their own opinions.
In conclusion, let’s push the rivalry aside and enjoy both dishes for what they are. After all, why should we choose when we can have the best of both worlds?