Fried Rice Recipe
Here is a basic fried rice recipe to jump off from and add whatever vegetable or meat bits you happen to have. Typical Chinese restaurant fried rice (in the US anyway) includes egg, peas, carrots and green onions. Slightly fancier restaurants may also include corn, celery, green beans, and even broccoli. Fried rice is an excellent way to use up anything left in your fridge from the week: chicken, pork, ham, shrimp, cauliflower, even greens can go in it. You can make it without the egg, but it does add that classic “Fried Rice Flavor”.
The best rice for fried rice is day-old rice. Cook an extra 2-4 cups of rice a day (or two) before you plan to make the fried rice. If possible, leave it covered in the fridge overnight. Cold cooked rice seems to work a little better than room temperature cooked rice. Also be sure to use long grain rice. Short grain rice will turn to mush in the frying process.
Use the recipe below for the basic technique, then make up your own fried rice recipe! Scroll down to see some more interesting combinations for your fried rice.
Fried Rice Recipe Video (Scroll down for printable recipe)
Fried Rice Recipe – Printable!Print
Fried Rice Recipe – Pineapple Fried Rice
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 cups cold cooked long grain rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- Optional: 1/2 cup cooked or raw diced meat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- Dash soy sauce
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions or chives
- Crumble the rice with your fingers to break it up. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs well with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the eggs and stir quickly until just set, breaking them up into pieces. Remove from the wok and set aside.
- Add remaining oil and heat. Add onion and saute 60 seconds. (If using raw meat, add with onion and stir fry until cooked.)
- Add rice, salt and peas and carrots (if using cooked meat, add now). Stir constantly until the ingredients are mixed up and heated through, about 8 minutes.
- Season with soy sauce.
- Add green onions before serving.
- Calories: 300
Fried Rice Add-In Ideas
These combinations have been tried and tested in my own kitchen. Some of them aren’t very authentic, but they are all delicious.
Pineapple Fried Rice: Use fresh or canned diced pineapple in place of the peas and carrots; add red bell pepper, celery, and a pinch of dried thyme. This unusual fried rice combination goes great alongside pork chops.
Shrimp Fried Rice: Add 1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage with the onion; 1 cup cooked small shrimp with the peas and carrots; season with 1 teaspoon oyster sauce at the end
Veggie Fried Rice: Omit egg if desired; add 1 cup steamed broccoli florets; 1/2 cup chopped steamed green beans; 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
Texas Fried Rice: Omit egg; add 1 cup barbecue brisket or pork, finely chopped; add 1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeño with the green onion
Thai Fried Rice: Add 1 cup cooked chopped chicken; add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons fish sauce and a pinch of sugar at the end; serve with chili sauce and fresh cilantro
And don’t forget the egg rolls! Try my egg roll recipe.
Thanks for this one Hilah. I make fried rice regularly but never quite figured out what do with the egg for best results. I like it with a little kick and load in some ginger and minced Thai chili or sambal oelek along with the garlic, depending on what is in the fridge.
I made this tonight and it turned out great.
Hooray! Glad to hear that the egg worked for you this way!
I make it basically the same way, but I don’t do the egg first. I do the rice/veggies/diced leftover cooked protein first, but then I push that all up away from the center, leaving an empty space in the middle. Add just a touch more oil in the center, and then add your beaten egg. Leave it alone until it is barely set (only takes seconds), then break it up and stir fry back into all the other ingredients.
Thanks for your videos!
Thanks, Chris! That’s a great method!
Fried rice is my comfort food from back in college days . . . but now I do a better job! Peas, mushrooms, scallions or leeks, and (oddly) cayenne pepper are all essential for me. Aside from the egg of course . . . and brown rice, ’cause I’m all healthy and stuff.
Yum! I love brown rice, too, Diane! Can’t believe I’ve never put in cayenne!
I am a big fried rice fan. I love your ideas about using day old rice, and for it to be cold. Thanks for the ideas as always.
Hope you try making it with this recipe, Gene! It’s so simple and satisfying.
This looks similar to what I make except I don’t use onion, and I would add both salt and pepper (I’m really not sure if I can taste any difference but it makes me feel better. lol). I love fried rice!
Ha! Pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world for a reason, Link! 🙂
When I was a kid, I remember picking out onions and egg when my grandparents made Chicken Fried Rice (I was super picky), but now I love it. My Granddaddy learned it while he was in the Navy from some Filipino men that came aboard their ship from time to time, and he taught it to my grandmother and the rest of us. I’ve tried pineapple fried rice recently (as I’m starting to like Tai food), and I would love to try this out.
That’s a great story, Amber! Hope this one is similar to the one your grandparents made.
Fried rice is so versatile. Thanks for sharing the basics! Your great list of variations is just a few of a million. Your tip of keeping little broth on the side to deglaze the pan, if necessary, is one I’ll start doing. Either of your oil suggestions is fine. Canola oil is good for cooking at high temps, but I find that peanut oil has more flavor.
Here is a version I once made using chopped-up kimchi as the vegetable and Trader Joe’s seafood blend (frozen bag of uncooked shrimp, calamari, and scallops).
My friend Lee Gordon first taught me how to make fried rice when we were in high school. He’d start with cold salami chunks in a hot pan with very little oil, then render out some of the salami fat and cook the onions in it. Then, Le would add the chopped vegetables, and pour a beaten egg over it all and stir it up, breaking up the egg as it cooked. Finished with soy sauce.
I later learned that cooking the egg separately improves the texture and the looks of the dish. Also, using day-old cooked white rice from the fridge works well, because it is slightly dehydrated and somewhat dry cooked rice is the ticket to a good/great dish. (I will not mention what Internet cooking show I once watched, but that lady used just-cooked Minute Rice!!! Aauugghh!!)
Be careful to cool & store in the fridge right away that plain cooked rice, especially brown rice, the night before you use it in fried rice. (Look up bacillus cereus.)
Thanks again for a great recipe!
Oh boy oh boy! I love kimchi fried rice and your friend’s salami fried rice sounds great! Maybe even add some cheese on that, I bet it would be good, if a little strange.
Thanks for the tip on refrigeration. I hadn’t heard of bacillus cereus, but it sounds “serious”!
I hope that “cereus” is pronounced like “serious” or that joke makes no sense. 😉
I grew up eating my mom’s fried rice, which she learned how to make while we were stationed in the Philippines. I was so young, I don’t even remember living there. I think she said she learned it from our maid (everyone had them there, apparently). Her fried rice was made with onions, green peppers, some garlic, scrambled eggs, and bacon; the bacon grease was used to cook the veggies. Then it was all seasoned with soy sauce to taste. Now, I’ve had lots of different fried rice variations over the years, but nothing compares to bacon and egg fried rice, for me. 🙂
Mmm, sounds like comfort food for sure, Calli. I was surprised to read from so many people whose parents or grandparents were stationed in the Philippines at some point and learned to make fried rice. I feel like I missed out!
Long grain rice cooked at low tempreture can be a better substitute. Mild hot green chillies and bay leaves can be added.
One of my kids favorite . I do everything the same with just two exception. I use a butter instead of the oil. It makes a big differenc . But the best trick that I learned from a friend is to wisk the eggs with soya before frying them. It really works well. I keep a bag of small size peeled shrimps in the freezer that I add in the end. Love your show and use your videos for inspiration.
That’s a great idea to add frozen shrimp to make the fried rice a complete meal.
Can you use pasta instead of rice?
I’m not sure about that. Maybe it would with small, cold pasta
This is great thanks for this..my husband lives loves fried rice alot..I would have to prepare this..