White Rice Vs Fried Rice – Major Difference

White rice vs fried rice. What is the biggest difference? Is the one healthier or tastier than the other? Let us see.

Rice is one of the most popular foods in the world. Everybody loves this extremely versatile delight. There are thousands of varieties of raw and cooked rice. The two most important types of rice are white rice and fried rice. You can eat both of them as a main meal or a side dish.

What is White Rice?

Any kind of rice that is not fried is white or steamed rice. It includes the common plain white rice, red rice, brown rice, or even black rice.

You can experiment a lot with white rice. It is just like a blank slate to write on. In some Asian countries, people like to have flavor in their dishes. Therefore, the white rice only serves as a side dish or is used to balance the flavor of the main course. Also, white rice is healthier than other popular complementary dishes.

White rice is the simplest of dishes out there. It complements all the flavors and you can easily enhance its taste by adding different kinds of sauces.

What is Fried Rice?

When you fry rice, it becomes fried rice. It is as simple as that.

There is no hard and fast rule to making fried rice. You can do many different things and use any ingredient you want. You can fry other types of rice such as brown rice if you are not into white rice.

While white rice is normally a side dish, fried rice with a lot of ingredients is mostly the main meal. It is a complete dish and you can eat it on its own.

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What is the difference between White Rice and Fried Rice?

People have been in hot debate for years about which variety is better and healthier. The main focus of the discussion is texture, taste, and nutritional value. Some people like white rice while others favor fried rice.

The following lines highlight the main difference between the two.


The first thing to discuss is fried rice vs white rice calories. White rice is the way to go if you want to eat healthily. A bowl of white rice only has approximately 130 calories.

A bowl of fried rice has almost twice these calories. Depending on the cooking method and ingredients such as thick sauces and butter, it can easily triple the calorie amount.

However, there are many ways to make fried rice with limited calories. For example, egg fried rice will only have around 200 calories.

Fried rice can also be quite healthy if you only use low calorie ingredients.


In some Asian countries like Pakistan and India, people use white rice as the main mail especially when eaten with spicy lentil curry. The combination of the two makes for an extremely delicious and mouthwatering dish.

However, in most countries, white rice is synonymous with plain bread. It is normally used to compliment the main dish or soak its sauces. This doesn’t undermine the value of white rice. It only means steamed rice is quite bland when eaten on its own.

Fried rice can be the tastiest dish in the world. You can do anything you want and use any ingredient to make it even tastier. The choices are limitless here.

Cooking Method

One of the easiest dishes to cook is white rice. Just fill the cooker with raw rice and pour the necessary amount of water. Now close the cooker and press cook. That is it.

Cooking fried rice takes more effort. You have to prepare the ingredients and heat the stove. However, it is still an easy dish to cook especially if you have everything ready.


Plain white rice has very few calories. It is mostly made of carbohydrates. Fried rice has more calories and nutrients because of all the ingredients it has.

For example, steamed rice has little to no fat. Fried rice, on the other hand, can have a high amount of fat depending on how much oil you have used.

How many and which ingredients you use will determine how nutritional fried rice is. You can put anything ranging from eggs to sauces, garlic, and even chicken to fried rice.

Ease of Cooking

Cooking white rice is easier than making fried rice without any doubt. You just have to put the right amount of water in a bowl of rice and then put them in the cooker. Or, just boil the rice at medium to high temperatures if you don’t have a rice cooker.

Cover the rice with a lid once it starts boiling. Don’t forget to lower the heat as well. Check after regular intervals to ensure the rice has become fluffy.

Making fried rice is also incredibly easy. However, it involves a few more steps than cooking steamed rice.

How to Cook Fried Rice

For making fried rice, you need items like oil, sauce, some vegetables, and rice. You can also use some eggs or chicken to add more flavor to the rice.

Steamed rice is an integral part of fried rice. You can add the remaining ingredient while cooking the fried rice. Put all the ingredients of your choice and fry the rice.

You can do whatever you want with the fried rice. It all depends on how creative and imaginative you are.

Is White Rice Healthier than Fried Rice

White rice is always healthier than fried rice. As mentioned above, fried rice has twice as many calories as white rice. The calorie count can increase considerably depending on the ingredients. Steam rice also retains water-soluble nutrients whereas fried rice loses all of them. Your body uses water-soluble nutrients to regulate blood pressure.

White rice is quite rich in carbohydrates and therefore, many people avoid it altogether. However, it is still better than fried rice and offers a lot of benefits for health. On the other hand, you can consume hundreds of calories (about 450 calories) in one sitting if you eat a bowl of fried rice.

Is Fried Rice Healthy

Setting aside the white rice vs fried rice argument, all kinds of rice are healthy foods. It is a very versatile dish and is loved by all and sundry.

Fried rice can be healthier if you prepare it at home using healthy ingredients. However, it will be loaded with unhealthy ingredients and additives as well as calories if you buy it from a restaurant.

You should avoid both white and fried rice if you are trying to lose weight. Both types of rice are rich in carbohydrates which is not beneficial for weight loss.

Is Fried Rice more Popular than White Rice?

There is no definite answer to this question. Both varieties are extremely popular around the globe. White rice is more popular in some countries while fried rice enjoys more popularity in others.

People who are serious about their health will only eat white rice. Those who love subcontinental or Chinese dishes prefer fried or flavored rice.

The choice of rice also depends on the main meal. White rice is usually taken as a side-dish while fried rice can be a main meal as well as a side dish.

Everyone has his preference when it comes to deciding between white and fried rice. Both dishes enjoy immense popularity and it is difficult to declare a clear winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chinese white rice healthy?

Chinese rice or regular white rice contains a lot of carbohydrates and a good number of calories. It has zero fat or any other nutrient, making it an extremely healthy food. You cannot gain weight if you only eat rice which is also very cheap and common.

Is fried rice just white rice?

Mostly, people use white rice to make fried rice. However, you can use any kind of rice such as brown rice for this purpose. Just ensure to cook the rice and then chill it before making fried rice. It will considerably enhance the taste of the rice.

What type of rice is used for fried rice?

Long grain rice is best for fried rice. It has the least amount of starch and thus, has fewer chances of becoming mushy. For example, Jasmine rice will always offer fluffy and soft rice. Short grain Sushi or similar varieties are not ideal for fried rice. Avoid them if you don’t want fried rice to get gummy and clumpy.

What ingredients are in fried rice?

Two things necessary to make fried rice are cooked white rice and oil. However, you can add as many ingredients as you want such as eggs, sauces, vegetables, chicken, etc.

Final Thoughts

So, who wins the white rice vs fried rice debate? There is no clear winner and it is hard to choose one. It all depends on your preferences. Fried rice is the winner for people who love some flavor in their food. People conscious about their health are inclined towards white rice. Both varieties have their advantages and disadvantages but one thing is certain, both are extremely delicious to eat.

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