Chinese Fried Rice

Learn how to make Chinese fried rice at home and you’ll never order it for take-out again. Chinese fried rice is easy to make and you can customize it with different ingredients to suit your tastes. It’s a fast and easy side dish or light dinner.

overhead photo of a bowl of Chinese Fried Rice

Fried rice is my favorite way to use up leftover rice. It’s so easy to make at home and a tasty way to use up leftovers. My mom made homemade fried rice for us all the time growing up and it’s always been a favorite dish.

Fried rice is not hard to make and you can customize it to your tastes. You can use a variety of ingredients, though most versions will include scrambled eggs and frozen peas, corn and carrots. Usually, a protein is added like chicken, beef, ham or shrimp. And, of course, you can add other items in as well. The rice is flavored with soy sauce and pepper and butter, which isn’t a traditional ingredient, but one my mom always adds. It gives the fried rice a nice flavor and aroma that you don’t get from oil.

Chinese Fried Rice

Best Rice for Chinese Fried Rice

It’s very important to use day-old rice for fried rice. In order to fry properly, the rice must be previously cooked and dry. Of course, you keep leftover rice in the refrigerator and while it sits in there it dries out so that the next day it’s ready to be fried.

Any medium-grain or long-grain rice will work for Chinese fried rice. It’s more important that it’s day-old rice.

Fried Rice Ingredients

  • Day-old cooked rice
  • Eggs
  • Frozen peas
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cooked protein like chicken, ham, pork, beef or shrimp
  • Chopped garlic
  • Green onions
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

close-up photo of Chinese Fried Rice

How to Make Fried Rice

  • Heat the wok over medium-high heat. Once it’s heated add some oil.
  • Cook the garlic in the oil just until it’s fragrant. Add the frozen vegetables and cook them until they are thawed and warmed through. Add the rice and the rest of the oil. Increase the heat to high and toss the rice with the oil. Add the protein and butter and cook them together. Add the soy sauce and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Scramble the eggs by first creating a space to crack the eggs into the pan. Swirl the eggs to break them up as they cook. Just before they are cooked through, mix them into the rice. Add the green onions and stir.
  • Serve the fried rice in bowls and enjoy.

Dishes to Serve with Fried Rice

I can eat fried rice all on its own, but it’s great as a side dish. Here are some of my other favorite Chinese dishes you can serve with fried rice.

photo of a bowl of Chinese Fried Rice with another one in the background

Chinese Fried Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 2
Fried rice is my favorite way to use up leftover rice. It's so easy to make at home and a tasty way to use up leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cold day-old rice
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 cup frozen peas corn, carrots medley
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked protein ham, chicken, beef, etc
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tbsp chopped green onions
  • about 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat wok to medium high heat and add in chopped garlic and a little of the oil. Once the aroma of the garlic comes out, add in frozen vegetables and cook until they are heated through. 
  2. Add in the rice and the rest of the oil. Toss rice in oil at high heat. Add in chopped cooked protein and butter and continue to cook. Add in soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. When rice is almost ready, shift it to the side and then add beaten egg to the empty side of the wok. Swirl the eggs to break them up and scramble them. When they are close to being cooked, add them back with the rice. Add scallions and stir. Serve warm.
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

8 comments on “Chinese Fried Rice”

  1. You might want to try to microwave the left over rice first(so they aren’t stuck together) before you stir fry them.You’ll find it is easier to work with

  2. Ooh I’ll have to add garlic to fried rice next time – I bet it would add a nice aroma. I also like to add a small pat of butter to my fried rice. For the protein, I’ve found that one of my favorites is actually spam 😛 Convenient since I almost always have a can on hand…

    • My mom is a big believer in adding garlic before almost any stir fry. It does really make a difference. Hehe, spam is something Mr. K likes but I can’t stand.

  3. I usually put char siu and Chinese sausage in my fried rice instead of leftover protein. I will try your method for the eggs (I make an omelette first, then add it at the end while breaking it up). I also like the idea of adding butter (Benihana puts in garlic butter!), and agree with Ruby on microwaving the rice.

  4. Butter?? I would have never thought of adding that. My “no-so secret” ingredient is fish sauce. Vietnamese fish sauce is good but even better with Korean fish sauce. Just a dash or two. I keep a package of Chinese sausage in the freezer just for friend rice. Okay, now I have fried rice on the brain. I think I’ll add some butter to the next batch I make (heehee).

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