The beauty of using quinoa – which is generally a lot less fussy to prepare than rice – is that you don’t have to make it in advance and let it dry out. If you use fresh rice versus stale leftover grains from a take out container, the final dish ends up being a little mushy. The grains don’t toast as well in the pan, and when they’re not over the hill and starved for hydration, they don’t absorb all the flavors you add to them. Quinoa, on the other hand, can be cooked to al dente without being too toothsome in the middle. And when you finish it in the pan, you get the benefit of all that flavor being infused into the grains (a la a pilaf) and the sturdy texture that a good fried rice demands.