Warm rice, an cooked egg, a soy-sesame sauce, and a few vegetables (and possibly meat) are comforting. It’s a Chinese takeout favorite, but you can make it at home too. Here are seven tips for making the perfect fried rice without a recipe.

Rinse your rice Before cooking

Give your rice a quick wash before cooking to remove some starch. This will result in less clumpy grains. The rice will absorb all the flavorful seasonings and good bits of egg. Place the rice in a mesh colander or sieve with small holes. Run cool tap water on top of it for about one minute while stirring with your hands or spoon.

Rest your rice After cooking

Spread the cooked rice on a baking tray, then place it on a cooling rack to circulate air. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. The rice will cool and rest, allowing excess moisture to evaporate. This helps prevent grains from clumping. Let the rice cool down completely, and then store it in an airtight bag. If you already have plain rice in your fridge, it will work great with fried rice.

Prepare for the Future

The rest of the meal will be ready in no time at all after the rice has cooled. Prepare all the desired ingredients and arrange them in small bowls on your stovetop to quickly cook the dish.

Keep it Simple

It takes less than 20 ingredients to make the perfect fried rice. You can combine cooked rice, eggs, and some vegetables (carrots, peas, or baby spinach), along with some aromatics like garlic, ginger, or scallions.

Use an Extra Large Skillet or Wok

Use a pan large enough to accommodate the rice and other ingredients. It allows for the ingredients to cook quickly and evenly without being overcooked. You can also toss the ingredients together without them bursting out.

Get Hot or Get Home

Be sure to heat your pan before adding your rice or other ingredients. You want everything cooked together quickly so the rice doesn’t become overcooked.

Season with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Rice Vinegar

Although not all recipes call for this trifecta of fried rice, some of our favorites do.

Cook your rice first, and then let it cool. One cup of uncooked/dry rice can serve four people.

Cook your protein in a skillet on high heat with 1 to 2 teaspoons of vegetable or canola oil. Please remove it from the pan. If you use leftover protein, skip the step and add it later.

Then add the scallions, ginger, and garlic. After a few minutes, add the vegetables and continue to cook until they are crisp-tender.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oils (starting with 4 tbsp. : 2 tbsp. You can adjust the amount to your taste.

Stir in the four beaten eggs and heat everything thoroughly. As the mixture cooks, work the eggs in. If desired, serve immediately with additional scallion leaves and Sriracha sauce or chili garlic on the side.