Fried Rice

April 16, 2020

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Fried Rice! A classic, easy to make recipe. It’s filled with tender rice, colorful vegetables, hearty eggs, flavorful ham and it’s all fried with a delicious, robustly seasoned sauce.

Looking for more take-out favorites? See my collection here.

Close up image of rice rice in a skillet with bamboo serving spoons.Restaurant Style Fried Rice

Fried rice has always been one of my favorite take-out dishes, how about you?

Sure many people consider it a side but I usually just eat it as the entire meal. A generous sized bowl of it, with plenty of sriracha drizzled over the top.

This fried rice recipe is deliciously flavorful, super hearty and perfectly filling, and incredibly easy to make! And it’s just as good as what you find at restaurants.

Plus it’s easy to switch up and use other vegetables or meats you like.

I love that it uses ingredients I usually have stocked, and for the few you may not it’s pretty easy to find a replacement.

A versatile, forgiving, foolproof recipe people of all ages love! A recipe worthy of the dinner rotation.

Image of ingredients used in fried rice.

Fried Rice Ingredients and Possible Substitutions

Cooked jasmine rice: Long grain white rice or brown rice works great too.

Soy sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce may be substituted. Just keep in mind the flavors aren’t quite as potent.

Oyster sauce: I like to use the green label oyster sauce. There aren’t really any great substitutions for it but in a pinch you can omit.

Sesame oil: A little of this goes a long way. This is a key ingredient to bring flavors to the dish.

Sriracha: This just gives the sauce a little kick. You could also try Thai chili sauce or a few pinches of red pepper flakes.

Eggs: There aren’t really any good substitutes for eggs in a traditional fried rice, but if you were to try to make it vegan you could opt for tofu.

Light olive oil: Vegetable oil works fine too.

Carrots: Frozen carrots and peas can be used in place of fresh, they only need to cook a few minutes.

Yellow onion: A white or red onion will work too if that’s all you have.

Garlic: If possible I recommend sticking with fresh garlic for best flavor. In a rut dried granulated garlic will work, use 1/2 tsp.

Ginger: It won’t taste quite the same but a 1/4 tsp of dried ginger may be substituted.

Frozen peas: I recommend using baby peas if possible they taste better than the larger ones. If you don’t have them add another vegetable like small diced broccoli or asparagus.

Ham (optional): Another option is to add cooked chicken, beef, salmon or shrimp. You could even try adding cooked ground turkey or low sodium bacon.

Green onions: These can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand. They just add one more final layer of flavor.

Scroll below for ingredient amounts and full directions.

Stir fry sauce mixture for fried rice. Scrambling and cooking eggs in a large skillet.

How to Make Fried Rice

Here is a quick summary of the steps to prepare and cook it:

  1. Whisk sauce ingredients together, set aside.
  2. Cook eggs in large skillet, transfer.
  3. Saute base vegetables, scoot to one far side.
  4. Fry pre-cooked rice.
  5. Add ham and peas and continue to fry.
  6. Return eggs, drizzle in sauce and cook 1 minute longer.
  7. Stir in green onions if using and serve warm.

Sautéing carrots, onions, ginger and garlic in a skillet. Frying white rice in a skillet with vegetables.

How Many Cups Dry Rice for Cooked Rice

Keep in mind rice usually triples in volume once cooked, for example 1/4 cup dry rice yields about 3/4 cups cooked. So for this recipe calling for 4 cups cooked you’ll begin with 1 1/3 cups dry rice.

Is Fried Rice Healthy?

With a few simple swaps you can make a healthy fried rice:

  • Opt for an oyster sauce that has no msg.
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Omit the ham or replace with cooked lean chicken or more vegetables.
  • Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

Peas and ham added to fried rice mixture in skillet. Scrambled eggs added to fried rice mixture in pan.

How to Store and How Long Does it Keep?

  • Fried rice should be chilled shortly after preparing to reduce risk of food borne illness (never leave rice out longer than 2 hours).
  • It should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Store there up to 3 days.

How to Freeze Fried Rice

Fried rice can be frozen in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How to Reheat Fried Rice

Fried rice can be reheated in a skillet set over medium heat on the stovetop in a little oil, with little splash of water if it seems dry. Another option is to use the microwave and reheat in a microwave safe dish.

Is it Gluten-Free?

No. Fried rice is naturally not gluten-free because of the wheat in the soy sauce but you can make it gluten-free by:

  • Substituting a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari for the regular soy sauce.
  • Use gluten-free oysters sauce.
  • Be sure to use gluten-free ham if you opt to add it.
  • And as always be sure other ingredients aren’t packed in a facility that could manufacture other gluten contained products.

Four servings of fried rice shown overhead in white serving bowls set over blue plates with chopsticks to the side.

Tips for the Best Fried Rice

  • Number one rule, use rice cooked a day prior. Otherwise the rice is too wet and doesn’t absorb the sauce very well and the dish ends up mushy.
  • Only lightly salt rice when cooking. The sauces added are pretty salty so you won’t want to overdue it.
  • Dice ingredients up small for uniform texture.
  • Fry the rice. Add a decent amount of oil and sauté the rice, rather than just heating briefly. This will add flavor and steam out excess moisture.
  • Add a blend of sauces and vegetables for flavor. Adjust to taste.

Close up side view of fried rice in a skillet.Serving of fried rice in a white bowl set over a blue plate.

What to Serve with Fried Rice?

Fried rice shown in four bowls in a row.

More Fried Rice Recipes You’ll Love

Check out my other delicious variations:

Fried Rice
5 from 3 votes

Fried Rice

A classic, easy to make fried rice recipe! This is filled with tender rice, colorful vegetables, hearty eggs, tender (optional) ham and it's all fried with a delicious, robustly seasoned sauce.
Servings: 5
Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice* or long grain white rice, day old chilled
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, then more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork in a bowl
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup small diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed under hot water and drained well
  • 1 cup small diced ham,** (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)

Instructions

  • Make sauce: In a small mixing bowl stir together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and sriracha. Set aside.
  • Cook eggs: Heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp oil add eggs and cook, folding constantly until eggs are just set. Break up eggs, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Clean skillet: Off heat wipe pan clean using tongs and a ball of damp paper towels.
  • Saute vegetables: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and saute until nearly tender about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds longer. Scoot to the far side of the pan.
  • Fry rice: Pour in remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Add rice and spread even (I like to even sort of fold that carrot mixture at the edge up over the top). Let fry, stirring only occasionally (about every 1 minute), for about 4 minutes.
  • Heat ham and peas: Add ham and peas. Fry 1 minute longer.
  • Return eggs, cook fried rice with sauce: Add in eggs and drizzle in sauce. Toss and let cook 1 minute. Season with more soy sauce to taste.
  • Cook a little longer if needed: If mixture still seems a little to wet you can reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook a few minutes longer to dry the rice a little. Toss in green onions and serve warm.

Notes

  • *Use unsalted or lightly salted rice so dish isn't overly salty once sauces are added.
  • **I usually make this using Simple Truth uncured diced ham (I get it at Kroger. Used for nutrition estimate). This type of ham is usually package with a little liquid so spread onto a few layers of paper towels, wrap and dab dry. Leftover diced ham is another good option. 

To Cook Rice

  • I use 1 1/3 cups jasmine rice (or white rice) to make 4 cups cooked.
  • Bring 2 1/3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and gently stir, cover, reduce heat to low. 
  • Simmer until water has been absorbed, about 16 - 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork let rest about 10 minutes then transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
Nutrition Facts
Fried Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 376 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 129mg43%
Sodium 482mg21%
Potassium 345mg10%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3586IU72%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.