The physics of fried rice

The physics of fried rice


Mechanical engineers have revealed the extraordinary complexities involved in cooking perfect fried rice.

Making an authentic stir-requires quickly tossing ingredients in a wok over extremely high temperatures up to 1200 degrees Celsius – and fried rice is one of the most ubiquitous, and one of the most challenging, variants.

Doctoral student Hungtang Ko from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US videotaped expert chefs making the dish at two restaurants in Taiwan. (He had to explain to the restaurant’s patrons that they weren’t going to be on TV; rather that the filming was part of a serious scientific experiment.)

Back in his lab, Ko and lead researcher David Hu analysed the videos in order to break down the kinematics of wok-tossing.



Published by Cosmos Magazine.

Photo and video credit: Ko and Hu.


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