Fried Rice vs Brown Rice- How To Tell The Difference

We all know that rice is a staple in many cultures around the world. It’s a go-to food for so many because it’s relatively inexpensive and can be very filling. 

But what about the different types of rice? For instance, is a bowl of fried rice better than a bowl of brown rice?

In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular types of rice – fried rice vs brown rice – to see which is the better option.

What is fried rice?

Fried rice is a dish typically made with white rice, vegetables, onions, carrots, peas, and proteins like chicken, shrimp, or beef.

It is stir-fried in a pan/wok with oil and can also be seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, or fish sauce.

Fried rice is popular in Chinese, Thai cuisine, and most parts of the world. 

What is brown rice?

Brown rice is simply white rice that has not been milled or had its husk removed. Because the husk is left on, brown rice retains more of its nutrients than white rice. It also has a chewier texture and a nuttier flavor.

How is fried rice different from brown rice?

Don’t confuse the two. Just because fried rice can be prepared from brown rice doesn’t mean there’s no difference between these dishes. 

Here are some of the differences you’ve probably not thought about before now:

1. Processing

The first difference is in the processing of the rice.

White rice, which is most commonly used to make fried rice, goes through a milling process that removes the bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm.

This results in a more polished grain with a higher glycemic index and cooks more quickly than brown rice. 

Brown rice, on the other hand, is only partially milled, so it still has the bran and germ intact. This rice has a chewy texture, a nutty flavor, and a lower glycemic index. Brown rice also takes longer to cook than white rice.

2. Nutrient

The second difference is in the nutrient content.

White rice is lower in fiber and vitamins because of the milling process.

Brown rice has a higher fiber content, which can help with bowel regularity and digestion. Brown rice also contains reasonable amounts of phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6.

3. Meal prep

The third difference is in the cooking time.

White rice only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook, while brown rice takes about 40-50 minutes. Brown rice is also more difficult to overcook because of its higher fiber content.

4. Price

The fourth difference is in the price. White rice is usually cheaper than brown rice because it is more processed and has a longer shelf life.

5. Taste

The difference is in the taste.

White rice has a bland taste because of the removal of the bran and germ. On the other hand, brown rice has a nuttier, earthier flavor because it still contains these parts of the grain.

6. Calories

A cup (140g) of brown rice has about 216 calories, while a cup (140g) of fried rice has about 228 calories.

So, when considering the calorie content of fried rice vs brown rice, the latter (brown rice) contains more.

Is fried rice healthier than brown rice?

Brown rice is more healthy. When it comes to your health, brown rice is the clear winner. It is a whole grain; that is, it has more fiber and nutrients than white rice. 

On the other hand, fried rice is often made with white rice and does not have the same nutrient content as brown rice. In addition, the oil and soy sauce used for frying the rice can add unhealthy fats to the dish.

So, fried rice vs brown rice? Brown rice is the way to go if you need a healthier option.

5 Ways to enjoy brown rice

Make a pilaf

Cook the rice in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor. Then, sauté some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until softened. Stir in the rice, cook until crispy, then add your favorite herbs and spices. It’s that simple.

Use it as a base for stir-fries

Cook the rice in advance, then when you’re ready to make your stir-fry, simply add your brown rice at the end. This will help absorb all of the flavors from the sauce and vegetables.

Create a healthy rice bowl

Start with a bed of brown rice, then top with grilled chicken or salmon, roasted vegetables, and a drizzle of olive oil or avocado.

Make it into a soup

Cook the rice in chicken or vegetable broth, and then add some chopped vegetables and let simmer until all the flavors meld together.

Use it as a filling for tacos

Cook the rice with some chopped onions, bell peppers, and tomato sauce. Once it’s cooked, use it as a filling for soft tacos or burritos. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.

5 Fried rice recipes you should try

Fried rice is a tasty and easy way to use up leftover rice. It’s also a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your diet. Here are five delicious fried rice recipes that will make you return for more.

Sesame chicken fried rice

This sesame chicken fried rice is packed with flavor and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The rice is fried in a savory sesame sauce and then tossed with chicken, veggies, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Spicy shrimp fried rice

This spicy shrimp-fried rice is perfect for those who like a little heat in their food. The rice is fried with shrimp, veggies, and a spicy sauce made with sriracha and chili pepper flakes.

Vegetable fried rice

This vegetable fried rice is a great way to get your daily dose of veggies. The rice is fried with a variety of vegetables, including peas, broccoli, and carrots. You can also add in some tofu or chicken for a heartier meal.

Fried rice with egg

This fried rice with egg is a classic dish that is simple and delicious. The rice is fried with an egg and then tossed with green onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. You can also add some meat or vegetables if you want.

Coconut fried rice

This coconut fried rice is a tropical twist on the classic dish. The rice is fried with different aromatic spices and then tossed with coconut milk, chopped nuts, and raisins. It’s a delicious and healthy meal that will satisfy your cravings.

These are just a few of the many delicious fried rice recipes out there. So, next time you’re looking for an easy and tasty meal, be sure to give one of these a try. Your taste buds will thank you!


Is fried rice made with white or brown rice?

The type of rice you use to make fried rice is up to you. You can make fried rice with white or brown rice.

Which rice is best for weight loss, fried rice or brown rice?

Brown rice has a lower glycemic index which makes it a better option for people looking to lose weight.

Is it okay to eat brown rice every day?

No, eating brown rice every day is not a good idea. Eating it every day might eventually spike blood glucose levels.


So, which is the better option – fried rice vs brown rice? It depends on what you’re looking for. If you need a more filling dish with savory flavor, then fried rice is the way to go. 

However, brown rice is the better choice if you’re looking for a healthier option that is lower in calories and fat. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

Thanks for reading.

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