Learn how to make your own delicious take-out-style fried rice at home in just 20 minutes! It's quick and easy and goes well with so many other dishes. Not only is this recipe super satisfying, but it's also great for using leftover rice, meat or veggies you have on hand as well. In this post, I also cover how to use this recipe as a framework for your own yummy version of fried rice!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! ❤️ If you give it a try, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section at the bottom of the page or share a pic of your om noms on Instagram and tag @dishesanddustbunnies! ❤️
Fried Rice Ingredients & Variations
One of the wonderful things about fried rice is how the ingredients used are so versatile, and you can really make it your own. Here are the basic ingredients most used in Chinese fried rice.
Day-old chilled rice – It's best to use leftover chilled day-old, long grain rice. You can use other kinds of rice if you like, but please make sure it's day-old as it's more dry than fresh. I explain this a little more below.
Onion & garlic – You can use standard yellow onions, chopped finely, or you can use green/spring onions. Add these to the pan along with garlic to give the rice a nice flavour. You could also add a little grated ginger if you like.
Vegetables – For this recipe, I added peas and cubed carrots. If you'd like, you could also add other veggies you enjoy, like broccoli, corn niblets, etc. I've also added kimchi before to give my rice a nice kick!
Protein – I used a little scrambled egg for the protein for this recipe, but you could also use shrimp, scallops, chicken, pork or beef. I find that it's a great way to use up leftover meat that you need to use up. For example, if I have leftover chicken or pork, I'll chop it up and add it to the fried rice.
Fried rice sauce – the sauce used to flavour fried rice usually consists of soy sauce, butter/cooking oil, sesame oil and sometimes a little oyster sauce. One of the great things about fried rice is that you can adjust how much sauce you put in… a little or a lot, according to your tastes, and it'll be absolutely delicious! I use about 1/2 cup of soy sauce in this recipe, but that's just a suggestion – use however much is yummy to you!
How to make Chinese fried rice – An Overview
Homemade fried rice is super easy to make. Before we get into the full recipe at the bottom of the page, here's a little overview on how to make it:
Cook the protein – Begin by cooking your protein, such as scrambled egg (or shrimp, etc.) in your pan with a bit of oil, then set aside. If you're using leftover chicken, pork, or other meat, have that on hand. Make sure your protein has been removed from the pan and set aside, before the next part.
Cook the garlic and onions – In the pan, along with a little oil or butter, cook the onions until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.
Cook the vegetables – To the pan, add the veggies and cook until softened. For this recipe, I used carrots and peas.
Add the sauce – To the pan along with the veggies, garlic and onions, add the soy sauce and the oyster sauce (if you're using it). Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice and protein – Next, add the rice and the protein/meat and stir fry so that everything is coated in the sauce and well combined. When stir-frying, allow the rice to sit still in the pan for a little bit between stirs so everything fries up nicely. Turn off the heat, then add the sesame oil to the pan and combine. Garnish with green onions (if using them). Serve!
Do you cook rice before frying it?
Does rice have to be cold to make fried rice?
For this recipe, yes, it's best to use pre-cooked chilled day-old rice. Chilled day-old rice will be drier than freshly made – this allows the fried rice to have the perfect texture while soaking up all the flours of the soy sauce, garlic, onion, sesame oil, etc. Using freshly cooked rice will result in too much moisture, thus creating soggy rice… which is not what you want.
How to Reheat Fried Rice:
It's best to reheat fried rice in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Also, keep in mind that it's best to only reheat your rice once for the best quality.
Microwave: Reheat in a microwave-safe container with the lid on but partially open to vent. Before microwaving, you might need to add a little splash of water to rehydrate. The amount of time it takes to reheat your rice depends on your specific microwave, but I find that it takes about 3-4 minutes.
Stove Top: On medium heat, reheat the rice in a pot on the stove with the lid on. Before reheating, you might need to add a little splash of water to the pot to rehydrate. I find it usually takes about 5-8 minutes to reheat, but please watch your temperature and turn it down if you need to.
How long is fried rice good for?
When stored in an air-tight container in the fridge, fried rice will be good for about 5-7 days. When stored in the freezer, fried rice should keep for about 6 months.
What to Serve with Fried Rice
Practically and Chinese or Asian-inspired dishes, sides and appetizers will go perfectly with homemade fried rice. Egg rolls, chicken balls and the usual take-out food are excellent with this rice. Here are some more recipe ideas I know you'll enjoy!
- 4 cups cooked and chilled rice – long-grain is best (I used basmati for this recipe)
- 1 cup chicken, shrimp, pork, scrambled eggs, etc – chopped (leftover proteins are great!)
- 3 tbsps butter (you can use canola out instead if you prefer)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- OR 3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated (you're using the white and green parts at different times in the recipe)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced salt
- 1–2 tsps oyster sauce (optional but highly recommended)
- 1/2 – 1 tsps sesame oil
- Cook the protein – Begin by cooking your protein, such as scrambled egg (or chicken, shrimp, etc.) in your pan with 1 tbsp of the butter on medium heat, then set aside. If you're using leftover chicken, pork, or other meat, make sure you have it set aside on hand until you need it again.
- Cook the garlic and onions – In the pan, along with 1 tbsp of the butter, cook the onions (or white parts of the green onions if using them) until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.
- Cook the vegetables – To the pan, add the remaining butter, the veggies and cook until softened. I used carrots and peas for this recipe, but you can use other veggies you have on hand or enjoy.
- Add the sauce – To the pan, along with the veggies, garlic and onions, add the soy sauce and the oyster sauce (if you're using it). Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rice and protein – Next, add the rice and protein/meat, and stir fry so that everything is coated in the sauce and well combined. When stir-frying, allow the rice to sit still in the pan for a little bit between stirs so everything fries up nicely. Turn off the heat, then add the sesame oil to the pan and combine. Garnish with green parts of the onions (if using them). Serve!
You can use this recipe is a framework and change things around to suit your tastes! Try different vegetables, meats, proteins, etc. More sauce, more sesame oil or something else that inspires you! If you make some interesting additions and they work out well for you, I'd love to hear it! leave a comment at the bottom of the page or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram (@dishesanddustbunnies).
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese