Cooked Rice: A Jump Start to Profit
A batch of cooked rice—steamed, baked or prepared pilaf-style—gives you a running start on the day's menu. Think of it as a kitchen staple, like chicken stock. With cooked rice on hand, you can create profitable specials that begin with rice and incorporate smaller amounts of high-cost but high-impact ingredients like portobello mushrooms, pine nuts, marinated artichokes or shrimp.
And if your patrons dine with you frequently—on a college campus, for example—in addition to ever-popular enriched white rice and parboiled long-grain rice, you can offer variety easily by alternating rice types, introducing whole-grain brown rice; aromatic rice like U.S. jasmine or U.S. basmati; medium- and short-grain rice perfectly suited to Asian-style dishes, sushi and desserts; or seasoned rice mixes, like Spanish rice or rice pilaf, that offer even greater convenience in a foodservice kitchen.
- Mix rice cooked in broth with legumes like chick peas, black beans or lentils to make a healthful and colorful foundation for kebabs.
- Toss cooked rice with a vinaigrette and add cherry tomatoes, corn, baby shrimp and fresh herbs for a summer rice salad.
- Stir-fry rice with scallions, ham, peas and egg to make authentic Cantonese fried rice. Set up a cooked-to-order “fried rice” station with add-ons like Mongolian barbecue pork, roasted peanuts, water chestnuts, mushrooms, bean sprouts and cilantro. Serve whole-grain brown rice as an option to lure health-conscious diners.
View the video demonstration with Chef Brenda LaNoue to learn the basic technique for fried rice, which you can apply to whatever ingredients you have at hand. As you'll see, Mongolian Barbecued Pork Fried Rice is a three-minute dish when you have cooked rice in the kitchen.
Cooked rice must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by food-borne bacteria. For service, hold rice in a steam table or warmer above 140°F (60°C). To prepare hot cooked rice for storage, cool it as quickly as possible by transferring it to a shallow pan or baking sheet. Cool to 70°F (21°F) within two hours, then wrap, date and refrigerate. When reheating rice, make sure it reaches a core temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).