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 3 4 5
  1. Sherry Marshall — May 9, 2015 @ 6:23 pm (#)

    Oyster sauce
    Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract. Wikipedia

  2. Chris — May 17, 2015 @ 7:25 pm (#)

    I had a troop of Girl Scouts over Friday night and we made this rice.  It was a huge hit.  I liked it so much I am making it again tonight.

    • Ali — May 18, 2015 @ 7:18 am (#)

      That’s awesome, Chris! Glad it was a hit!

  3. shannon — May 23, 2015 @ 7:44 pm (#)

    Do you have nutritional info on this. I am on weight watchers and would love to be able to figure out the points plus for it. Looks great. Thanks.

    • Ali — May 25, 2015 @ 8:20 am (#)

      Hi Shannon! Unfortunately I don’t — we currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. I hope that helps!

  4. Tricia Walker — May 28, 2015 @ 5:46 pm (#)

    Bravo! This dish is terrific and much better than the local Chinese grease joint. I made it exactly as written, including the oyster sauce and thoroughly enjoyed the dish. Looks just like the picture, too. Well done, Gimme Some Oven!!!

    • Ali — May 28, 2015 @ 10:52 pm (#)

      Thank you, Tricia! I’m so glad you like it! : )

  5. Faith — May 28, 2015 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    I love this fried rice recipe! I want to share it with everyone! It’s just as good as the Chinese restaurant fried rice! Will never use another fried rice recipe :)

    • Ali — May 28, 2015 @ 10:46 pm (#)

      Thank you, Faith! I’m so happy you love it! : )

  6. Terrie Zuleger — May 31, 2015 @ 8:39 am (#)

    THANK YOU!!!! My family is s fanatic about fried rice too! One if our treats is the “local” restaurant just to get fried rice!  This will save me some money!!!

    • Ali — June 1, 2015 @ 9:45 am (#)

      You’re so welcome, Terrie! I hope you and your family enjoy! : )

  7. Amanda Douglas — June 9, 2015 @ 6:36 pm (#)

    I can’t wait to try this!! Would it work well with brown rice as well?? 

    • Hayley — June 9, 2015 @ 8:10 pm (#)

      Hey, Amanda, it sure would!

  8. Leelee — June 10, 2015 @ 3:00 pm (#)

    I just made this tonight for my dinner and GOOD LORD IT WAS INCREDIBLE!

    So easy!

    Ok I had some rice disasters (I cooked it and it smelled eggy so had to send my father out for store bought cooked rice) but it was so worth it! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 12, 2015 @ 10:48 pm (#)

      That’s great, Lee! We’re happy you enjoyed it! And we’ve totally and our fair share of rice disasters in the past (usually it’s because our impatience gets the best of us.) ; )

  9. Silvia — June 20, 2015 @ 1:04 pm (#)

    Great recipe, just finished eating! I did add my own touch: I put red pepper instead of carrots and I made lemon honey marinated salmons. I will try the carrots next time :-). 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 25, 2015 @ 10:02 pm (#)

      Thank you, we’re so glad you liked it, and we like your take on it!

  10. Delaney — June 22, 2015 @ 10:41 pm (#)

    Yum! So easy. This will be added to the regulars. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend when back for fourths. Left the white onion out and think I’ll add some shiitake mushrooms next time. Thanks for sharing! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 25, 2015 @ 9:32 pm (#)

      We’re so glad you liked it, and we think shiitake mushrooms would be an awesome addition! : )

  11. Sivan Padnos Caspi — June 26, 2015 @ 7:18 am (#)

    Made it with brown rice
    Thank you from Israel :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28, 2015 @ 7:46 pm (#)

      Thank you, Sivan! We’re so glad you liked it! : D

  12. Lorra — June 26, 2015 @ 8:32 pm (#)

    This is basically the recipe I used for years.  I cooked the eggs at the last by moving the rice to the sides and breaking the eggs directly into the skillet.  
    If it was the main dish and I had no meat at the beginning I would add tofu and “rice” it with a fork and let it brown.  My family never knew they were eating tofu, ;)  
    Whenever we had baked ham (old-fashioned, smoked, bone-in) I saved the juice and fat, and picked off all the little pieces of meat left, froze them marked for beans or rice. The fat was used for sautéing and the juice as the flavoring sauce along with the small pieces of ham.  It was one of our favorite dishes.
    In the Philippines, they have a special name for the sweet, crusty part that can form on the bottom of the skillet.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28, 2015 @ 7:38 pm (#)

      Thank you for sharing, Lorra, that baked ham trick has us drooling! : )

  13. MSH — July 1, 2015 @ 12:25 pm (#)

    OK, if you really want to push it up a notch, use shredded cabbage as well. I had a friend in college who was from China, and she always used some shredded cabbage–doesn’t matter what kind. It adds amazing flavor and texture. Just shred it thin, and not too long pieces, and cook with the other veggies. Yum.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 2, 2015 @ 8:36 am (#)

      Ooooh thank you for sharing, we think that’s a great idea! : )

  14. Tammy — July 6, 2015 @ 8:08 pm (#)

    My rice just refused to fry. It ended up turning to mush. Any ideas/tips to help me for next time?

    • Ali — July 6, 2015 @ 10:34 pm (#)

      Oh no! I’m sorry that happened. Hmmm, a few ideas:

      1) Be sure that your pan is large enough that the rice isn’t super deep/thick while cooking. The bigger the pan, the better.
      2) Be sure that your rice is thoroughly chilled, and the oil is plenty hot for frying.
      3) Double check that your rice isn’t overcooked and mushy before frying it.

      Hope that helps! :)

  15. Denise Medlock — July 7, 2015 @ 6:36 pm (#)

    I cooked the fried rice tonight.  It was very good !  The whole family liked it.  Very tasty. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 7, 2015 @ 7:31 pm (#)

      That’s awesome Denise, we’re so glad it was a hit with your family!

  16. Kerry — July 19, 2015 @ 7:03 pm (#)

    This has become a family favorite! I added some cut-up pieces of grilled chicken to it tonight. Yum!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19, 2015 @ 8:10 pm (#)

      Thank you Kerry, we’re glad to hear that!

  17. Leecupcake — July 23, 2015 @ 2:05 pm (#)

    I made this fried rice last night and it was fabulous. I made a well in my wok near the end of cooking and cooked the eggs and then I added the shrimp. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 23, 2015 @ 4:26 pm (#)

      That’s awesome Lee, we’re so glad you liked it! :)

  18. Elaine — July 24, 2015 @ 8:16 pm (#)

    I absolutely love this recipe!  I have made this yummy dish for my family, and for pot lucks, everybody raves about it!  I especially love that it is so very easy to make, with simple ingredients.  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29, 2015 @ 10:11 am (#)

      Thanks Elaine, we’re happy to hear that! :)

  19. Cherie — July 26, 2015 @ 6:19 pm (#)

    Using cold rice is so important! This recipe looks great!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 27, 2015 @ 10:18 pm (#)

      Thank you Cherie!

  20. Isobel — July 29, 2015 @ 7:00 am (#)

    This was AMAZING! i dint use oyster sauce or sesame seed oil and i added fresh tomato when i added the rice and it was superb! so quick and easy thank you!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7, 2015 @ 5:40 pm (#)

      Thanks Isobel (beautiful name and spelling by the way)! We’re happy you enjoyed this!

  21. maviss — July 29, 2015 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    hello i am mavis (16)

      i wanted to make fried rice but i knew it was going to be difficult so i started to search online and then i went to pinterest and saw this and clicked on it at first my sisters said that it  wouldn’t be tasty but then when i finally made it it  was amazing it tasted like the ones from the asian restaurants thank you so much 
    my dad was really happy seeing us cook this and i’m sure he will love it thank you so much.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 30, 2015 @ 2:26 pm (#)

      Hi Mavis! Thanks so much for trying the recipe, we’re really happy to hear you and your family enjoyed it! :)

  22. Sarah Chadwell — July 29, 2015 @ 4:17 pm (#)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!  My entire family loves it….everyone from the husband, to the 15yr old, to the 2 yr old. True confession- the dog loves it too. Making it for dinner tonight. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 30, 2015 @ 2:25 pm (#)

      Thanks Sarah, we’re happy to hear that! :D

  23. Annette — July 29, 2015 @ 7:26 pm (#)

    Delicious made this for my family tonight add egg rolls and soup I picked up!  My own semi home made!  Followed directions and used oyster sauce turned out yummy, my son even liked it!! This will be made again and again.   Thanks

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 30, 2015 @ 2:24 pm (#)

      Thanks Annette, we’re happy it was a hit with your family!

  24. Alex — August 2, 2015 @ 1:18 pm (#)

    This might be a little late, but I’d just thought I’d add just in case you see this: there’s vegetarian oyster sauce =D It’s usually a mushroom base, and I use it because I have shellfish allergies =)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7, 2015 @ 11:50 am (#)

      Oooh great to know Alex, thank you for sharing!

  25. keitha Culwell — August 2, 2015 @ 8:48 pm (#)

    Cheaper, better and faster than take out or delivery.   So easy, so good!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 4, 2015 @ 6:31 pm (#)

      Thanks Keitha, we’re so glad you liked it!

  26. Bailey — August 4, 2015 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    I love your suggestion of using oyster sauce! I make mine exactly like this sans the oyster sauce, but it’s been missing something. I’m definitely going to add this in next time. Great post!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7, 2015 @ 10:45 am (#)

      Thanks Bailey, we hope you enjoy! :)

  27. Kristy — August 13, 2015 @ 7:09 pm (#)

    Thank you! 1st time mine turned out yummy. Just cooked it tonight. And yes, cold rice is a major keep! Now I know, and adding eggs separate. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 14, 2015 @ 10:35 am (#)

      Yay, we’re so glad to hear that, thanks Kristy!

  28. Elaine — August 15, 2015 @ 4:21 pm (#)

    Just wanted to say how much I love this recipe!  I use it when I go for potlucks and it is always a hit!  I started following your blog because of it, and have really enjoyed what you do here.  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 16, 2015 @ 6:42 pm (#)

      Thank you Elaine, that makes us so happy! Thank you for being a fan of the blog! :)

  29. CookieLady — August 22, 2015 @ 6:30 am (#)

    Loved this! I did not have carrots so I used water chestnuts and it was delicious! Will absolutely make this again and, next time, with carrots. Thank you for the delicious recipe. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 2:30 pm (#)

      Thanks, we’re so happy you enjoyed it, and we bet it was awesome with the water chestnuts!

  30. Juli — August 23, 2015 @ 3:15 am (#)

    Looks delish! Fried rice also known as a traditional food in Indonesia… Everyone in Indonesia should know how to cook fried rice… Have a try to add 3-4tbs or more to taste of Indonesian sweet soy sauce or Kecap (you can use Bango or ABC or Indofood brand but my favorite is Bango).. It will taste like you are in Bali! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 7:38 pm (#)

      Thanks Juli, we hope you like it! Also, thanks for the tip, we will have to try it with the Indonesian sweet soy sauce or Kecap! :)


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