Fried Rice

Learn how to make fried rice with this fabulous classic fried rice recipe. Feel free to add in chicken, pork, shrimp, veggies, or any other proteins you like as well.

How To Make Fried Rice |

You guys.

Pretty sure I had a jump-up-and-down, shout-for-joy, high-five-my-dog, ballet-leap-across-the-floor, I-am-Fried-Rice-Maker-hear-me-ROAR moment in my kitchen yesterday when I tasted this recipe.  After about 15 years of trying, I finally found a fried rice recipe that met my standards.  And I am positively giddy.

Ok, but let me back up.

You all have heard me wax poetic about my obsession love of egg drop soup, and how I ordered it every single Saturday of my childhood at our family’s favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant.  Well, what does a picky eater order to go with her egg drop soup for said Saturdays upon Saturdays of childhood?  Fried rice, of course.  In later years, I became obsessed specifically with pork fried rice.  But for those first 12 years of life, it was “a side of plain fried rice, please” for me.

So much fried rice!

I feel like it’s critical to note, though, that the fried rice of my childhood was not that lame, bland, so-not-worth-the-carbs, lame excuse for fried rice that seems to be all too prevalent in take out joints around the world.  Quite the contrary.  This was flavorful, fresh, chewy, perfectly-fried, not-too-greasy, enjoy-it-to-the-last-bite spectacular fried rice.  And it set the bar for fried rice for the rest of my life.

Sadly, this sweet little family-owned restaurant was pushed out of business by a terrible mega-buffet that opened across the street.  (A total tragedy.)  So for the past decade or so, I have been working to try and recreate the delicious fried rice of my childhood.  I started experimenting in college, and have come close enough a handful of times for the fried rice to be passable, but it was never quite “there”.

Until yesterday.

I have to admit.  I was craving fried rice so badly that I finally sat down and did some old fashioned research on the new fashioned Internets.  And many articles and three test batches later, I finally nailed it.  And then jumped for joy and promptly ate way too much fried rice with serious joy.

In my world, this is a Big Deal.  In yours?  Eh, maybe?  Either way, it’s a fabulous 15-minute meal and can be a base for any other kind of fried rice you might enjoy.  So let me tell you what I learned…

How To Make Fried Rice |

Ok, let’s cut right to it.  Here are the important things I have learned over the years (and yesterday!) about making excellent fried rice.

1) Use cold rice: The key to great fried rice is using cold (or even leftover) cooked rice.  There’s something about the cold rice hitting a hot pan that makes all the difference.  So even if you make a batch of rice just for this recipe, spread it out on a baking sheet or some large surface and pop it in the fridge (or freezer) for about 10-15 minutes beforehand so that it is not warm.  You don’t want it to be frozen, you want chilled.  (I also prefer short-grain rice, but that’s a preference — I like mine a little chewy!)

2) Use butter: Yes, butter.  I have made many a batch of fried rice using various oils, and I’m now convinced there’s a reason why Japanese steak houses use that big ol’ slab of butter when they’re making fried rice.  It just tastes better, and makes everything brown up perfectly.  (Although don’t be scared — we only use 3 tablespoons for a very large batch of rice!)

3) Use veggies: This is one of my big pet peeves with lame take-out fried rice — not enough veggies!  In addition to adding some nice spots of color, veggies go a long way in adding some flavor and freshness to fried rice.  Our local chinese restaurant always added both white and green onions, too, which I included in this recipe.

4)  Use sesame oil and oyster sauce: Ok, if you’re really squeamish about seafood, you can leave out the oyster sauce and your fried rice will still be great.  But this ingredient makes such a difference in good fried rice, and a little goes a long way.  Sesame oil, on the other hand, is 100% non-negotiable.  It is my favorite smelling ingredient in my kitchen, and tastes even better.  There as well, a little goes a long way.  (And it is meant as a finishing oil, not a cooking oil, so remove the pan from the heat once you’ve added it.)

5) Take time to actually FRY the rice: A.k.a. — take time to let it actually cook for awhile and brown a bit in the pan.  So many fried rice recipes have you just stir in the rice and (voila!) you’re done.  But I’ve found that actually sauteing the rice for a little while with the veggies helps to get that classic “fried” flavor and pulls all of the ingredients together.

How To Make Fried Rice |

None of these points are rocket science.  But man, do they make a difference when it comes to restaurant-style (or better than restaurant-style!) fried rice.

Alright, here’s the official how-to:

How To Make Fried Rice |

Ok, I forgot to take a photo of the first step: the eggs.  Scramble/fry the eggs in a bit of butter.

Then saute some onions, carrots, peas and garlic in a little more butter.  (Don’t freak out, we’re only up to 1.5 tablespoons at this point.)

How To Make Fried Rice |

Once your veggies are nice and cooked, add the rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce (if using).  Again, chilled rice is key here.  Stir it in with the veggies until it is combined.  Then continue to saute it over high heat for an additional 3 minutes or so until you notice the rice starting to brown just a tiny bit.

How To Make Fried Rice |

Once the rice has been fried, stir in your green onions and sesame oil, along with the scrambled eggs.  And then give it a taste, and add any additional pepper or soy sauce if needed.

How To Make Fried Rice |

Again, if you are a chicken fried rice fan…or pork fried rice…or shrimp fried rice…feel totally free to saute up your protein in advance and add it back in at this point.  But I will tell you that — hi-ho-the-dairy-o — this plain rice can definitely stand alone too.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it only takes 15 minutes to make?  Take out, shmake out.  This recipe will be ready to go in no time.  Enjoy!!!

How To Make Fried Rice |

Fried Rice

Learn how to make fried rice with this classic fried rice recipe. It tastes even better than the restaurant version!


  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil


Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Serve warm.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

*If you have shellfish allergies, you need to avoid using the oyster sauce.

How To Make Fried Rice |

These recipes would also go great with fried rice!

Skinny Orange Chicken |

Skinny Orange Chicken

Pepper Steak Recipe |

Easy Pepper Steak

Healthier Sesame Chicken Recipe |

Healthier Sesame Chicken

Leave a Comment:


  1. Kristin white — August 7, 2014 @ 6:43 pm (#)

    This is seriously so good. Finally picked up the oyster sauce at the store last week, woah!!! We make this about every other week, so good and the kids eat the veggies!!!

  2. rachel — August 14, 2014 @ 9:24 am (#)

    Going to try this recipe tonight . . . one question/issue with your site: when I print the recipe, I get your ad right in the middle of the Method section (“Hey, I’m Ali . . . etc” Pinterest ad). Ugh!

    • Ali — August 27, 2014 @ 10:30 pm (#)

      Oh no! Sorry about that. We’re working on redesigning the site so hopefully that will be fixed asap. Thanks for your patience!

  3. Marti S. — August 21, 2014 @ 7:42 pm (#)

    Just made this tonight and my family LOVED it! It was so easy, I added chicken to mine and everyone came back for seconds. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Alicia — August 22, 2014 @ 6:08 pm (#)

    Oh. My. Gosh. That was perfection. My husband and I moved across the country 6 weeks ago, and part of my vow for starting fresh in a new kitchen was “no buying ingredients I’ll only use once.” I decided in an attempt to not waste food (and to save precious cabinet space), I would no longer be attempting any asian-inspired recipes. I had made too many stir-fry’s, noodle dishes, and fried rices that just didn’t turn out right. And I didn’t want bottles of sauces sitting in a cabinet for years. But then, in a search for dinner ideas, I found your recipe. Your description and experience was convincing. I went to bed thinking about fried rice. I woke up thinking about fried rice. By 10:30am I knew that my previously planned dinner was not going to happen, because I had to try making your fried rice (the pregnancy hormones weren’t helping). I found myself at the store buying soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil- three things I had vowed I wouldn’t buy this time around. This fried rice was everything I hope to have in fried rice. Delicious, not mushy, not watery, flavorful, satisfying, Mmmmm. I threw in a handful of cashews towards the end to add some extra flair. This rice is going to be a go-to from now on! And I don’t even feel bad about buying all those sauces because now I know they WILL get used. Thank you for you doing your rice research, and sharing this perfect recipe!

  5. Aileen — September 14, 2014 @ 6:17 pm (#)

    I am allergic to shellfish, so I am assuming that I can’t use the oyster sauce?? Does it taste as good without it?

    • Ali — October 10, 2014 @ 5:38 pm (#)

      Yep, it is slightly different, but it will still taste great!

  6. Tracie — October 12, 2014 @ 1:13 pm (#)

    OMG!  I made the fried rice today & added tofu & it’s the best I have ever tried!  This will be my go recipe from now on.  Thanks so much! The butter made it!!!

  7. Daphne — October 23, 2014 @ 7:47 pm (#)

    Just made this for my mom and myself and we are scarfed it down. I used shredded cabbage and mushrooms instead of peas and omitted the oyster sauce(mainly because I didn’t have any). I’m going to try this with the sauce next time and am looking forward to seeing how the flavor changes.

  8. Diana — October 24, 2014 @ 1:24 pm (#)

    Ali, much thanks for sharing your recipe. I LOVE fried rice, my favorite is roast pork. will definitely be trying your version.

  9. Annie — October 26, 2014 @ 5:59 pm (#)

    Hi.  This is the best fried rice my husband and I have ever had in our lives.  That’s it!

  10. Stephanie — October 29, 2014 @ 12:48 pm (#)

    This recipe is awesome!  I’ve tried making fried rice a few times using a few different recipes and it’s always very blah and disappointing.  But yours is so good and definitely a great take-out-fake-out!  I’ll definitely be making this again.  Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Cindy Leow — December 2, 2014 @ 4:22 am (#)

    I’ve loved fried rice ever since my Mom packed it for my school lunches. The classics are the best!

  12. Barbie A.. — December 10, 2014 @ 11:22 pm (#)

    Made this tonite…IT WAS DELICIOUS..Will definitely make this again !)

  13. Jena — December 31, 2014 @ 8:39 pm (#)

    My family loved your recipe! I think the cold rice does make a difference, as you said. Our two daughters asked for thirds! That never happens. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  14. Caroline — January 19, 2015 @ 6:39 am (#)

    OMG! This is so damn good! Thank you so much for sharing! Fried rice never tasted so good! :)

  15. Aleena Razzaq — January 22, 2015 @ 12:47 pm (#)

    Just made the egg fried rice! I used peppers, peas, onions and cucumber ( I felt like I should be enthusiastic ) , and so far it’s had great reviews, thank goodness. Excellent recipie and a really inventive and invitive page! Thanks a lot for all the help ;) #gimmesomeoven 

  16. Tamar Knochel — February 1, 2015 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    Oh my goodness that was GOOD fried rice! :-D thank you SO MUCH for sharing! I have made a lot of fried rice but this is by FAR my favorite! I’m actually going to SAVE this recipe to my meal planning app! 

  17. Kimm Corser — February 4, 2015 @ 10:23 pm (#)

    I can’t  believe I didn’t write the Fried rice recipe, it sounds just like me when it come to fried rice and egg drop soup, my favorites, And now General Tso’s too. Thank you, for a great looking recipe, I’m so picky, I’ll go without before eating crap vegetable fried rice. Can’t wait to make this as soon as I get back from store to buy ingredients.  Hugs & Kisses for making me happy.

  18. Dee Jimenez — February 6, 2015 @ 2:09 pm (#)

    OMG you’re right!!! This is better than take-out fried rice, yummy!!!

  19. Gaby Fischer — February 8, 2015 @ 8:30 am (#)

    I just made this recipe for the second time and I love it! Greetings all the way from Germany.

  20. Alli — February 17, 2015 @ 3:24 pm (#)

    This looks amazing and I can’t WAIT to make it for dinner tonight.   When I read your post about fried rice, the first place I thought of was BoLings before I even realized you were in Kansas City (I grew up looooooving their fried rice, too!)

  21. Meme — February 18, 2015 @ 7:13 pm (#)

    Saw this on pinterest (and of course I was already having a craving for rice).  Immediately I opened up cans of corn, peas, and chopped some carrots, drained and mixed them together and froze.  Next I made the rice and realized they were no eggs.  Flash forward to the next day (we now have eggs, yay!), I begin to cook! I don’t normally cook for anyone other than myself but this turned out great! As I’m typing, I have just finished the rice, now I’m waiting for the rest of dinner to finish.  I didn’t have the oils you mentioned and I bet that they would’ve tasted really good, but I’ll definitely have them next time! Thanks for the recipe.   I’ll be following this blog for the posts to come.

  22. SallyJoJo — February 21, 2015 @ 6:43 am (#)

    Thanks for posting this, it was GREAT!!  Served it with a simple Orange Chicken :)

  23. Dana — February 22, 2015 @ 5:17 pm (#)

    this was the most amazing rice I’ve ever had! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!!

  24. Kelli — February 24, 2015 @ 7:43 pm (#)

    We LOVE this recipe! It’s so simple and delicious. It’s been added in our weekly rotation, thank you!! 

  25. MalloryMarsh — February 26, 2015 @ 5:22 pm (#)

    Making this tonight for my family…very excited!
    Wish/suggestion: when you list grocery items at the bottom of your post…it’d be super helpful if it was in grocery categories (produce, meat, dairy, etc.) just a thought! Looking forward to trying more recipes!

  26. Shannon R. — March 4, 2015 @ 8:56 am (#)

    I made this last night (minus the oyster sauce) and it was delicious. My veggie-fearing son even loved it and ate several helpings. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Romey Aksland — March 6, 2015 @ 3:10 pm (#)

    Delicious!!!! Thank you! I added some shredded purple cabbage and celery to your recipe! It turned out great!

  28. Grace — March 6, 2015 @ 5:18 pm (#)

    i have made this twice so far. The first time I followed the recipe to a T. It was fantastic! Second time I added chicken and used jasmine rice. It would have been great but the rice was too sticky so it didn’t want to fry like the first time. I agree with the short grain rice and will use that from now on. Thanks for the recipe :)

  29. Rebekah — March 7, 2015 @ 3:48 pm (#)

    My family has tried several different recipes and haven’t found any that really struck our fancy. However, this one was fantastic! Not too oily and plenty of flavor! Definitely using this recipe again.

  30. Anne — March 8, 2015 @ 9:43 pm (#)

    This was delicious! It took a lot longer than 15 min. tho!

  31. Valerie — March 9, 2015 @ 5:27 pm (#)

    Made this tonight and all my kids said, “This is better than Kobe’s!”  Thank you!

    • Ali — March 19, 2015 @ 1:11 pm (#)

      Haha thanks Valerie, glad it’s kid-approved! ; )

  32. wendy meisel — March 14, 2015 @ 5:16 pm (#)

    This was very good had some boneless pork added to it.  My husband does not usually eat things like this and he had seconds!!! A hit thanks

    • Ali — March 18, 2015 @ 1:16 pm (#)

      Thanks Wendy, I’m glad your husband enjoyed it so much!

  33. Essie — March 15, 2015 @ 6:58 pm (#)

    I think you need to put a disclaimer about the Oysters. For some of us who have shellfish allergies the need for caution is paramount. It is the same reason  I ask every restaurant I go to if they fry the fish in the same oil as the fries….

    • Ali — March 21, 2015 @ 12:30 pm (#)

      Will do. Thanks, Essie!

  34. Ara — March 23, 2015 @ 9:35 am (#)

    Hi Ali – You nailed it with the Fried Rice recipe!  I made it for my hubby a week ago and we liked it so much that I made it again for our dear friends last Friday.  It was easy to prepare and delicious!  I will make it again and post some photos.

    Next on my list is your Minestrone recipe:)

    Thanks very much for sharing your wonderful recipes!!


    • Ali — March 23, 2015 @ 10:05 pm (#)

      Ara, thank you for giving it a try — I’m glad it was a hit with your husband! : ) And thanks for checking out my blog! Cheers : )

  35. Lucy — March 25, 2015 @ 5:13 pm (#)

    looks good but how much does it make? 

    • Ali — March 25, 2015 @ 10:00 pm (#)

      Thanks! About 4 servings. :)

  36. Josette — March 26, 2015 @ 12:41 pm (#)

    This dish was amazing!!  My whole family declared it “best fried rice ever”.  I think you are absolutely correct in using butter instead of oil because it gave the rice a nice flavour but was not greasy.  There wasn’t that feeling left at the top of your mouth.  I did use the oyster sauce because I do think it adds a nice depth of flavour to dishes.  I also added some leftover roasted chicken for a “one wok meal”.  Thanks!!

    • Ali — March 26, 2015 @ 9:57 pm (#)

      Thanks Josette! And I like that you added some oyster sauce and roasted chicken, yum!

  37. Karla — March 26, 2015 @ 8:38 pm (#)

    I cooked your recipe for dinner tonight along with some chicken. My question is, my rice was too moist is there any tricks to prevent this? Thank you in advance 

  38. Debbie Sharp — March 29, 2015 @ 4:10 pm (#)

    I just made this fried rice for dinner, I followed the recipe to a T. I made the Brown rice a couple days ahead of time and also marinated a couple of chicken breast with soy sauce overnight, that was my only addition (the chicken which I cooked separately and then fried along with the rice and veggies) I do think next time I will add water chestnuts and bean sprouts. Absolutely delishes! My boyfriend said it rivals any Chinese restaurant carry out. Thank You for this recipe.

    • Ali — March 30, 2015 @ 12:05 pm (#)

      Thanks Debbie, I’m happy to hear that! Water chestnuts and bean sprouts would be excellent additions, nice idea!

  39. Terri — March 31, 2015 @ 6:43 pm (#)

    Made this today for dinner…added shrimp and broccoli…and used brown rice ….delicious!  Husband loved it!  Will be making this often!

    • Ali — March 31, 2015 @ 10:06 pm (#)

      Thanks Terri, I’m glad it was a hit! : )

  40. Nele — April 2, 2015 @ 1:49 pm (#)

    This is how we learned it in Thailand. Dried rice, you can put it in your oven to dry it. It doesn’t have to be cold. As long as it doesn’t stick, it’s ok. You can add mushrooms, beans, pineapple, broccoli, …
    Just start with the hard veggies first. We also add some salt and sugar to get a better balance of all flavours.

    Do you have also a nice recipe for yellow currie chicken not to spicy?

  41. hannah — April 2, 2015 @ 3:52 pm (#)

    I’m pretty sure that Oyster Sauce is made from Oyster mushrooms, not actual oysters.. If you are squeamish about seafood, steer clear of fish sauce. 

  42. Ashleigh — April 2, 2015 @ 11:06 pm (#)

    I tried your recipe for lunch today and I feel like there was something missing that I can’t put my finger on…a lack of sweetness, maybe. I’m not sure – I’m no good with flavours. It was nice, but it definitely needed something else.
    Also, I halved the recipe save the soy and oyster sauce. I guess I just like a lot of flavour!

  43. AnneOpinion — April 13, 2015 @ 4:45 pm (#)

    Thanks for the recipe and the great instructions! It’s the best I’ve found. I reviewed it on my site. I’d love for you to check it out. Thanks again! Here’s the link:

    • Ali — April 14, 2015 @ 12:19 pm (#)

      Thanks Anne, so glad you liked the rice, and it looks so delicious with that ham you added — yum!!

  44. Vivienne — April 14, 2015 @ 6:54 pm (#)

    Used this as base for my fried rice. My changes, added broccoli, cabbage and lots of ginger and toasted cashews at the so delicious, almost didn’t use the butter, but was very happy I did. Also used vegetarian oyster sauce, yes there is such a thing.

    • Ali — April 15, 2015 @ 12:56 pm (#)

      Yum, I love your take on it Vivienne!

  45. Deb — April 17, 2015 @ 3:08 pm (#)

    I made this the other day and it was the best fried rice I ever had. The family
    loved it! Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Ali — April 18, 2015 @ 12:07 pm (#)

      Wow, thank you Deb!!

  46. Deb — April 17, 2015 @ 3:57 pm (#)

    This was the best fried rice I ever ate! The whole family loved it!
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Ali — April 18, 2015 @ 12:05 pm (#)

      Thanks Deb, I’m glad it was a hit with your family!

  47. A-kon — April 23, 2015 @ 11:00 am (#)

    I made this last night and it is no joke probably some of the best rice I’ve ever had. What a winner! 

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 12:55 pm (#)

      Thanks so much!

  48. @thecalistus — April 25, 2015 @ 12:08 pm (#)

    This is yummy.  Must try it.

  49. Heather — April 29, 2015 @ 6:33 am (#)

    Soooo.. this post might be over a year old – but someone in my circle posted it on pinterest – and we LOVE fried rice so of course I had to come check it out. You did excellent in describing techniques and why and I can hardly wait to try this recipe out on my family. It is going to take some planning ahead for me since “cold” and “rice” rarely goes hand in hand for me at this time. But I will try! Thank you. I also signed up for your emails. Have a blessed day!

    • Ali — April 29, 2015 @ 9:30 pm (#)

      Thanks Heather, I appreciate that! I hope you enjoy the recipe, and thanks for signing up! : D


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