The real reason your fried rice is dry and crunchy

White rice is delicious but fried rice is on a whole different level. Whether you prefer it with shrimp, chicken, or just veggies, it's a staple Chinese takeout order for many of us and can be either a side dish or a main course. Fluffy stir-fried rice tossed with hunks of veggies and sliced scallions, buttery yellow egg bits, and the protein of your choosing? We'll take a to-go box (or two or three) full.

You can also make your own fried rice at home with just a few ingredients. However, according to some people on Reddit who have tried to recreate their favorite Chinese dish in their own kitchens, they've run into one big problem. Their fried rice, rather than being fluffy and chewy, ends up being crunchy and hard. Yikes. If you've experienced the same issue — or if you simply want to prevent it — here's what you should do the next time you try making homemade fried rice.

Make sure you're cooking the rice properly

According to the Redditors on the thread, the reason for hard and crunchy rice is typically due to how you cook the rice. For starters, you should be stirring constantly to make sure all of the grains are submerged and not sticking to the sides of the pot. "If you are not stirring very often with a hot pan, grains immediately touching the pan may start to crisp and become hard," one commenter explains.

Along those same lines, you want to make sure you're using enough water. If all of the water is absorbed, yet you leave the rice on the stove, it will harden against the hot edges of the pot, one Reddit user warns. How much water should you use? According to The Mom 100, a general rule of thumb is two cups of water per cup of rice. She adds that you can leave the rice covered on the stove after removing it from the heat so that the grains absorb any leftover water. This results in that perfectly chewy, soft rice.