Fried Rice

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This Chinese-inspired fried rice recipe is my absolute fave. It’s quick and easy to make, customizable with any of your favorite mix-ins, and so irresistibly delicious.

The BEST Fried Rice Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Hey friends! I’m digging back into the blog archives today to share one of my all-time favorite recipes.

My favorite homemade fried rice. ♡

Growing up, our family had a tradition of eating lunch every Saturday at our neighborhood’s favorite local Chinese restaurant. And every single Saturday for lunch, I ordered the same thing — egg drop soup and fried rice, my absolute favorites. This restaurant set the bar high for me early when it comes to how amazing fried rice could be. Theirs was always perfectly al dente with slightly crispy edges, full of rich savory flavors, and loaded up with plenty of extra veggies, eggs, and whatever protein sounded good.

After our favorite restaurant sadly closed over a decade ago, I spent years tinkering around with dozens and dozens of batches of fried rice, attempting to recreate a fried recipe that tasted as good as theirs. And while nothing will ever match the original in my book, this fried rice recipe that I’ve landed on is as close as I’ve come and has been my favorite go-to ever since. It’s surprisingly speedy to make, easy to customize with your favorite add-ins, and SO flavorful and comforting. Thousands of our readers have also made and enjoyed it over the years since. So if you’re looking for a good recipe to try, I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Let’s make some homemade fried rice!

Fried Rice Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Tips For Making The Best Fried Rice:

Ok, let’s get right to it. Here are the important things I have learned over the years about how to make the best fried rice.

1) Use cold rice: You’ve gotta plan ahead and use thoroughly-chilled cooked rice. A fresh batch of warm (or even lukewarm) rice will not fry well when it hits the hot pan, and will result in soggy and sticky clumps — no good. So leftover refrigerated rice is ideal! Or, if you are in a hurry (or have an impulse craving for fried rice, which I completely understand 😉), just cook up a fresh batch of rice. Then spread it out on a baking sheet or another large flat pan, drape the rice with a layer of plastic wrap, then pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes (or in the freezer for 10-15 minutes) until it is thoroughly chilled (not frozen).

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 slab of butter when they’re making fried rice. It just tastes so much better, and also makes everything brown up perfectly. (Although by contrast to Japanese steak houses, we only use 3 tablespoons for a large batch of rice in this recipe.)

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. But feel free to modernize this recipe with some other delicious stir-fried veggies as well!

4)  Use toasted sesame oil and oyster sauce: If you do not eat 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. So even if you’re not into oysters, don’t be scared of oyster sauce! Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, is 100% non-negotiable. It is my favorite smelling ingredient in my kitchen, and tastes wonderful in fried rice. (Also note that sesame oil is meant as a finishing oil, not a cooking oil, so remove the pan from the heat and then stir it in.)

5) Use high heat: This will help fry and brown the rice and veggies well, and will also help prevent the rice from steaming in the pan instead of frying.

6) Let the rice brown a bit on the bottom: If you’re like me and love your rice to be a bit crispy, let it rest for a bit in between stirs so that it can brown a bit on the bottom. It also helps greatly to use a non-stick skillet so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

7) Don’t be afraid to add in some extra soy sauce at the end: I know that everyone has different sensitivities to salt, and different brands of soy sauce also contain pretty dramatically different levels of sodium. So I went a little light on soy sauce in the recipe below. But please add more at the end if this tastes good to you. I almost always stir an extra drizzle into my portion and love it.

Homemade Fried Rice Recipe

Homemade Fried Rice Ingredients:

Alright, so let’s talk ingredients. To make this fried rice recipe, you will need (affiliate links included):

  • Cooked, chilled rice: Any kind of white or brown rice will do. Just be sure that it is cooked (I always cook mine in this rice cooker, which works like a charm) and thoroughly chilled (in a sealed container in the refrigerator) before adding it to your hot skillet. Again, freshly-cooked rice will not work well in this recipe.
  • Eggs: Which add great flavor, texture and protein.
  • Carrots, onions, green onions and peas: This is the base mix of veggies that I always use for fried rice, but feel free to add in other stir-fry veggies you love (see ideas below).
  • Garlic: Freshly-minced.
  • Soy sauce: I created this recipe using low-sodium soy sauce. So add less if you’re using traditional soy sauce.
  • Oyster sauce: This is a major flavor booster in fried rice and (don’t worry) doesn’t taste like oysters. You can find it in the Asian section of grocery stores, or order it on Amazon. 
  • Toasted sesame oil: The finishing touch in this recipe, which is a must. You can also find it in the Asian section of grocery stores, or order it on Amazon.
  • Butter: My favorite way to stir fry rice.

How To Make Fried Rice | Sauté onions, carrots and peas

How To Make Fried Rice | Be sure to start with cold rice

How To Make Stir Fried Rice

How To Make Fried Rice:

To make this homemade fried rice recipe, simply:

  1. Scramble your eggs: Using a small pat of butter, scramble some eggs in a large sauté pan, breaking them into small pieces as you go. Then transfer the eggs to a separate plate, and set aside.
  2. Sauté your veggies and garlic: Return your sauté pan to the heat, and sauté the onions, carrots, peas and garlic until soft and cooked through.
  3. Stir fry rice: Then turn the burner to high heat. Scooch the veggies over to one side of the pan, melt the remaining butter in the other half, and add the chilled rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce (if using). Then stir to combine with the veggies and continue sautéing the rice, stirring every 15-20 seconds or so for 3 minutes, or until you notice the rice and veggies starting to brown slightly.
  4. Remove pan from heat. And stir in your green onions, sesame oil, and scrambled eggs.
  5. Taste and season. Give the rice a taste, and season with salt and pepper, plus any extra soy sauce or sesame oil if needed.
  6. Serve! Then dish it up and serve nice and warm!

The BEST Fried Rice Recipe | Feel free to add chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or extra vegetables

Easy Fried Rice Variations:

The sky’s the limit when it comes to homemade fried rice variations, so feel free to get creative and use up other leftover ingredients you may happen to have on hand. That said, here are some classic add-ins:

  • Chicken Fried Rice: You can either sauté some chicken in a separate sauté pan while making your fried rice. Then shred or dice and add to your fried rice. Or for a shortcut, I like to shred a rotisserie chicken. Or even better, shred leftovers from my favorite baked chicken breasts recipe.
  • Pork Fried Rice: Sauté a boneless pork chop in a separate sauté pan while making your fried rice. Then dice and add to your rice.
  • Beef Fried Rice: Sauté steak or brown ground beef in a separate sauté pan while making your fried rice. Then crumble or dice and add to your rice.
  • Shrimp Fried Rice: Sauté half a pound of peeled, raw shrimp in separate sauté pan while making your fried rice. Then add the shrimp to your rice.
  • Vegetable Fried Rice: Any stir-fry friendly veggies would be great in fried rice! Just sauté at the same time that you cook the onions, carrots, peas and garlic. Then stir to combine with the fried rice.
  • Kimchi Fried Rice: Fresh kimchi adds a major flavor boost to fried rice. Just chop and stir it in to make kimchi fried rice.
  • Pineapple Fried Rice: Fresh pineapple can be traditional in Chinese or Thai fried rice. Just chop and stir it in to combine.

Also, in lieu of using traditional white rice in this recipe, feel free to make:

  • Fried Brown Rice: For a healthier twist, feel free to use cooked brown rice in this recipe instead of white rice.
  • Quinoa Fried Rice: Here is my favorite recipe.

What To Serve With Fried Rice:

Looking for inspiration? Some of my favorite recipes to serve with fried rice include:

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The BEST Fried Rice Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Fried Rice

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x

Description

Learn how to make fried rice with this classic recipe. It only takes 15 minutes to make, it’s easy to customize with your favorite add-ins, and it’s SO flavorful and delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons 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 black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 34 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan* over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
  2. 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. Sauté 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 sautéing for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice, stirring occasionally.  (I like to let the rice rest for a bit between stirs so that it can crisp up on the bottom.)  Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and stir in the sesame oil until combined.  Taste and season with extra soy sauce, if needed.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Notes

*Sauté pan: If you happen to own a nonstick or cast-iron pan, I would recommend it for this recipe.  But that said, any pan that you have can work — you may just have to be a bit more vigilant with stirring so that the rice and eggs don’t stick.

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Recipe rating

1,984 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. I just made this recipe, and it was very good! I would definitely repeat! I’ve failed miserably in the past and ended up with mushy rice or overly salty rice. I followed the recipe as best I could with the ingredients I had. I used a wok, and made it feel a lot more authentic and easier to sauté everything. The difference were 1. I used brown rice, then put in refrigerator for 3 hours to become cold. 2. I used 1lb bag of frozen peas & carrots, instead of fresh ingredients. 3. I used low sodium store brand soy sauce. 4. I didn’t use any oyster sauce. 5. I used only 2 cups cooked brown rice. So I cut the ratio of all the other listed ingredients in 1/2. 6. I love shrimp in my rice, but most of my kids hate it! So I sautéed shrimp seperately with a little salt and soy sauce in the same wok. I put the shrimp on the side, for anyone who wanted it. Following the recipe, especially about cooling the rice or using day old rice, probably made it work out better than my other previous attempts. But this was honestly perfect. And I would make it again exactly the same way I made it today.

  2. What’s the best way to reheat? I love this recipe so much. I wanted to give to my SIL (gluten free) who is moving to a new place.

    • I would fry it back up again in a non-stick skillet, so no additional oil needs to be added. A quick warm up this way makes it stay crisp and yum!

  3. Hands down! The best homemade fried rice I’ve ever done.

  4. If I could give this recipe a hundred stars, I would. By far, this is the best fried rice I’ve ever eaten, no less made! I feel like I’ve spent half my life trying to make even passable fried rice, failing miserably all the time. This recipe and the simple instructions made this a huge huger and hugest hit in my house. Double-edged sword! We may never eat restaurant fried rice again. I’ve made it vegetarian, I’ve made chicken, pork and combo variations. I will never tire of it. Thanks so much.

  5. I mostly followed this recipe and got great results. Using butter is brilliant! Using cold rice is agreeably essential. At the end I added pork loin I had cut into small pieces, seasoned with adobo, then skewered and roasted on the out door grill on very high heat until crunchy on the outside. I let the pork cool, and then cut it into tiny pieces, adding it to the fried rice at the very end. I was thinking of twice cooked fried rice from one of my fave Chinese restaurants. Try it!

  6. Followed recipe, added grilled pork chops, and mushrooms. DELICIOUS

  7. I am so making this tomorrow for mothers day on my outdoor griddle grill, so I can pretend to be a professional Hibachi Chef!! Thank you for reminding me about the butter, as I agree, everything is better with butter! I am serving teriyaki chicken and shrimp on the side, but just doing veggies and egg in the rice, with zucchini, mushroom and napa cabbage, as well as some frozen mixed veg (without lima beans, ack!)

  8. FYI, Oyster Sauce is from Oyster Mushrooms, not sea oysters

    • Hopefully anyone with fish or shellfish allergies does their own due diligence, but oyster sauce is most definitely made from oysters. https://www.hungryhuy.com/what-is-oyster-sauce/

    • Nope. It is made from sea oysters. Although if you find vegetarian oyster sauce it might be mushrooms.

    • This actually isn’t true! Oyster sauce is totally from sea oysters and has a bit of a fishy taste when eaten on its own, but adds incredible deep umami flavors when added to dishes such as this rice, which is delish btw!

  9. Easy to make, and very tasty. I used diagonal cut chinese peapods and would probably not saute them prior to putting them in the rice but would add them at the end with the eggs and scallions to keep a little crispness.

  10. Very good recipe. Easy to make and very adaptable. I just made mine with cabbage, corn, onions and chicken and it was delicious.

    Definitely a great way to use leftover rice as well. Would recommend!

  11. This recipe was fab! I used fresh rice which I had refrigerated for half an hour so it was still warm but just fried it for less time. I added some smoked tofu which I thought would be a bit weird but it added a fantastic dimension to the dish that really surprised me. You’re so right about the butter!! I will be making this again!

  12. Easy and awesome flavor. I will be making this again and again. The only change I made was to use frozen peas and carrots – no need to thaw – just throw in a hot pan to sauté and they are great. Use the sauces called for in this recipe the first time – you won’t need changes I promise! Thank you!

  13. My husband loves this (and, so do I)! For some reason, no Chinese restaurant in our region makes good fried rice – NONE. Each of the dozen semi-local restaurants make a dry, pallid version with almost no vegetables and, if a protein is requested, tiny shards of meat. Your recipe has restored my love of fried rice. My only changes were to use leftover yellow rice and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I had made fried rice before but had never used butter. What a huge difference! Thanks, again!

  14. I had some left over rice and told my family that I should try to make fried rice. I followed your recipe exactly except for adding some bacon as suggested by some of the reviews. This was excellent and my husband and son agreed that it was a keeper. In fact, my pasta loving son who rarely wants rice stated, “This rice is the bomb”. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  15. Soooo good! I followed the recipe exactly, but added some more soy sauce at the end and it was amazing!

  16. This was amazing! I added some cooked bacon since I didn’t have any other protein to add to it. My picky 11 year old loved it! I will definitely be making this again!

  17. Absolutely the BEST fried rice recipe i have ever used!

  18. Followed the recipe most of the part.Good homemade fried rice.

  19. Excellent! The use of butter, chilling the rice – great reviews from all who enjoyed it.

  20. I just made your fried rice recipe for my boyfriend and his dad. It was a hit! Thank you. I added a bit of rice wine vinegar and ginger. The flavors were amazing! I will definitely make this again :)

  21. Yes! I finally made some decent Fried Rice thanks to this recipe. Thank you!

  22. Great fried rice recipe. I didn’t use peas but put some mushrooms in and some left over corn and pork tenderloin. Best I’ve eaten and my husband said same.

  23. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, My dad worked in San Francisco and near by was a Chinese restaurant, who’s owners he became well acquainted with as he was a regular customer and brought home many dishes of amazing authentic Chinese food. I lived in Marin for a number of years in the late 60’s to mid 70’s. There were many many choices of Chinese restaurants to choose from and no matter where you chose, you really couldn’t go far wrong. Now fast forward to this recipe, it simply misses any authenticity at all. If you are not from that time frame you unfortunately can’t experience the quality that was back then. I don’t live in the city now but people who do have told me it just isn’t the same. As to particulars, first of all a 4 cup batch of rice will in no way fit in most peoples fry pans which usually are about 10″. I only attempted to stir fry about 2 1/2 cups and with the veggies added in it was tedious. Anyway, I even tried adding a bit more toasted sesame oil. It did little to enhance the the flavor. I suspect that in restaurants they used a different brand, or something. I don’t know. I just know this is in no way the flavor of proper Chinese fried rice.

  24. The BEST fried rice recipe… easily! I add a bit of frozen corn as well, besides that follow the recipe as written.

  25. This is by far one of my best dishes I have made. Followed the recipe sans egg and it came out perfect! Definitely going in the recipe book and will be a regular dish in our home. Thank you!!

  26. Best recipe ever. I make it frequently. Easy and delicious.

  27. This is the best fried rice recipe that I’ve come across in sometime. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. And the rice was amazing. I randomly decided to make fried rice when I looked in the refrigerator and didn’t have much LOL. I only had onions, bell peppers and corn on hand so I just threw everything in there. After frying the eggs and vegetables I added the rice and BAM! The heat is the trick! Great recipe all around! Definitely added to my favorites tab.

  28. I make this regularly with a frozen peas/carrot mix and ground chicken instead of egg. Don’t skip the oyster sauce (or use fish sauce!)! It really makes the rice delicious.

  29. My family loves this fried rice recipe. My son prefers it over any Chinese takeout. I’ve made the veggie version as a side dish and main course versions with shrimp, chicken and beef. My favorite is shrimp, but it is a great way to use leftover chicken or steak. Once all the chopping is done (I am not a fast chopper), it comes together fast. This is a regular in our house, and my boys never get tired of it.

  30. Thank you for the recipe. I have never made a good fried rice before I made this recipe with pork and used the oyster sauce. Fried it all on my Blue Rhino outdoor griddle
    The only variation I made was I also added crushed red peppers to spice it up a tad.

  31. I’ve made this recipe at least a dozen times and also have shared it with multiple friends. I’ve made several variations as far as the meat and veggies go but have always followed the base recipe exactly. It’s perfect.

  32. This is a great recipe and now a family favorite at my house…. The only thing I changed was I substituted frozen riced cauliflower for the rice and let it cook a little longer to evaporate the extra moisture… Healthy and delicious!!

  33. Great recipe. My favourite version is with slivered ham and fresh pineapple chunks.

  34. The cooked and chilled rice is it going to be cooked with seasoning or cooked white

  35. Yummmmy!!’ Love it!! I added fishballs and some green and yellow capsicum 🫑 colour all looks the same as yours… just discovered I left out pepper and salt. Anyway, it’s still very tasty 😋 😋😋. Thank you for sharing your recipe 😊

  36. Use a spoon to eat rice, not chopsticks.

  37. The best! I make all the time. It’s always a party favorite. Can’t make Thai or Chinese dinner without it.

  38. Best I ever made!! I cooked chicken on the side and added at the end but otherwise followed directions exactly!! I will definitely be making again m

  39. Made this for the first time and it was delicious. I made 2 cups of brown rice instead and used a bag of frozen vegetables. I didn’t use the oyster sauce and it tasted great. My kid even enjoyed and he is not a fan of eggs or soy sauce but asked for seconds!!

  40. This recipe is the best and easy. Have you ever made it using frozen cauliflower? How much cauliflower would you recommend. Thanks.

  41. Made verbatim and absolutely delicious – thanks for a great recipe Ali :-)