When you can't make it to your favorite Chinese restaurant, you can make this easy fried rice recipe at home in less than 20 minutes. Not only is this a great recipe to make when you're short on time, but it's also the perfect way to use leftover rice and veggies. I guarantee the entire family will love it. It tastes even better than take-out.
Once you get the basic technique down, you can add almost any kind of vegetables you like and add in your favorite protein. Chicken and pork fried rice are two house favorites. Say hello to your new favorite fried rice recipes!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy: Recipes don't get much easier than this. This is the best fried rice recipe and it's so easy to customize.
- Fast: Again, because everything is already cooked and veggies only need a quick toss in a hot pan, this dinner entree is ready in no time.
- Better than take-out: I'm not even joking. Once you make this, you will wonder why the heck you haven't made this sooner.
- Healthy: Fried rice is pretty healthy, and when you make it at home, you know exactly what you are putting into it. So, it's even better.
This recipe starts with making a simple veggie fried rice with scrambled egg.
If you have leftover veggies or leftover grilled chicken, you can toss it into a pan and make this delicious side dish recipe. Or who are we kidding fried rice is totally main dish material.
- Leftover Rice: This recipe calls for 3 to 4 cups of leftover rice. This can be white or brown rice. Use whatever day-old rice you have on hand. You can even use cauliflower rice or quinoa.
- Oil: Plain vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil.
- Aromatics: garlic, ginger, onions, and green onions.
- Veggies: Carrots and peas. These are the bare minimum veggies. But you can add any veggies you like. (see below for some of my favorites)
- Eggs: Two eggs, beaten. You will scramble these right in the pan.
- Soy sauce: Use regular or low sodium soy sauce. If you want to avoid soy altogether you can even use coconut aminos or Bragg' aminos.
- Broth: Chicken broth or vegetable broth. Adding in a small amount of broth helps to rehydrate the rice and also adds to the flavor.
HOW TO MAKE FRIED RICE
Step 1 Stir-fry: Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet or wok and stir-fry the rice on medium-high heat until it is a little bit crispy. Create a well in the pan with the rice and then add the onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots. Sauté until fragrant and tender. About 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 2 Scramble: Move the veggies to the outside of the pan creating a well. Turn the heat down to medium heat and add the sesame oil and the beaten eggs. Scramble.
Step 3 Toss and Sauce: Add the peas and the soy sauce, mirin, and rice wine vinegar. Toss to combine all of the ingredients.
Step 4 Garnish: Add sliced green onions.
You can use raw or cooked veggies when making fried rice. I often use leftover vegetables in this recipe.
Other colorful vegetables make a great addition to this recipe:
- bok choy
- red bell peppers
- snap peas or snow peas
You can also add meat if you want to make this a heartier meal. If you're using uncooked meat and not leftover meat, I recommend cutting the meat into small pieces and sautéing it in a skillet before adding it to the rice.
You can also cook the meat in your pan first thing before adding the rice, remove it and set it aside, then add it back I at the end.
A few of my favorites meats for fried rice are:
- crispy bacon
- char siu
FAQs and Fried Rice Tips
WHAT KIND OF RICE DO YOU NEED FOR FRIED RICE?
Day-old rice that has been in the refrigerator works best when making fried rice because it is slightly dried out, and when you add it to the pan with the oil, it gets a little bit crispy, which is magical, of course!
Don't have leftover rice?
Don't worry; fresh rice works fine too! If you are cooking the rice the same day that you are using it, I suggest spreading the cooked rice out on a large baking sheet to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
What variety of rice?
The best rice to use for Asian dishes is Nishiki rice. Nishiki is a short-grain rice that is used in sushi. Botan or Calrose rice are also short-grain varieties of rice that work well in this recipe.
You can also use long-grain white rice or jasmine rice. Watching your carbs, no problem? Substitute the rice in this recipe with cauliflower rice or even quinoa.
Yes, absolutely, just like in this recipe: Spam Fried Rice.
In addition to spam, you can add almost any leftover protein. Leftover pork chops or chicken are clear choices here.
If you don't have leftover meat and need to cook some, I recommend dicing the protein into small pieces and then sautéing it in the pan first. Remove it, set it aside, and then add it back to the rice at the end.
Yes, it is vegetarian. If you want to keep it vegan, you can leave out the eggs.
Yes, you can freeze this dish in an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for several months.
Rice can be dry once it's refrigerated or frozen. Adding liquid will help to restream the rice and make it tender again. I usually add a few tablespoons of water, up to a quarter cup.
Reheat in the microwave: Simply microwave the fried rice for about 2 minutes, loosely covered.
Reheat on the stove-top: Add a little bit of oil to a skillet or wok. Add the rice and stir-fry until warm. Add a few tablespoons of liquid if the rice is dry and cover. Let the rice steam for a few minutes off the heat before serving.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH FRIED RICE
There's something about fried rice that just begs for company. In fact, it's the perfect dish to serve up when you're looking to impress your guests. But what do you serve with it? other recipes that are just as delicious and will have your guests asking for more.
If you're feeling like something a little more exotic, our mai tais are sure to hit the spot - or try our pineapple martini for a sweet and refreshing drink. No matter what you choose, we know you'll love these tasty Hawaiian recipes.
HUNGRY FOR MORE RICE RECIPES
Looking for a new way to enjoy your rice? Check out these delicious fried rice recipes! From spam fried rice to cauliflower fried rice, there's something for everyone. So why not give one of these recipes a try today? You won't be disappointed!
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Easy Fried Rice Recipe
Other Veggies (optional)
- bok choy
- snap peas
- red bell peppers
- Place the oil into your wok pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Create a well in the center of the wok pan.
- Add the carrots, onions, ginger, and garlic.
- Sauté for a few minutes until the veggies are soft and fragrant.
- PRO-TIP: At this stage, you can add any additional veggies or even a protein like chicken or shrimp. See the notes below for a few suggestions. [note 1]
- Move the veggies to the outside of the wok to re-create the well.
- Add the sesame oil to the middle of the pan.
- Add the beaten eggs and scramble them in the center of the pan.
- Add in the soy sauce, mirin, and rice wine vinegar.
- Add the peas, then use a large spoon or spatula to mix everything together.
- Garnish with chopped green onions
Laura's Tips + Notes
- Chicken fried rice and pork fried rice are two of our favorites. Add leftover diced chicken or pork chop to the fried rice.