Fried Rice

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This Chinese restaurant-style fried rice recipe is the absolute BEST.  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 guys!  I’m digging back into the blog archives today to share one of my all-time favorite recipes with you again.  And I really do mean all-time.  

Because fried rice and I go wayyyy back. ♡

Like specifically, back to my picky-eating days that lasted — oh — until college, when I was totally “that girl” who refused to even look at anything else on the menu at a Chinese restaurant besides fried rice and my trusty egg drop soup.  Guys, I was crazy about my fried rice.  And this was thanks in large part to our amazing little neighborhood Chinese restaurant that knew how to fry up a mean batch of rice, and set the bar high for what I expected fried rice to be.  I mean, back then, I just assumed that all fried rice was perfectly stir-fried and full of big flavors and irresistibly delicious!  Little did I know about the painfully bland, boring, and tasteless stuff that I would encounter at too many other Chinese restaurants once I ventured out of the nest.  Even today, I still can’t believe it when I stumble across a bad batch.  Such a missed opportunity!

Anyway, I figured out pretty quickly once I left for college (in a small town with zero good fried rice) that this was a problem I was going to have to remedy in my own kitchen.  So over many years and literally dozens of test batches, I finally landed on my favorite recipe back in 2014 that has been my go-to ever since.  It’s surprisingly speedy to make, easy to customize with your favorite add-ins, and more flavorful and amazing than any take-out I’ve ever ordered.  And it’s all thanks to a few simple tips that hundreds of readers have agreed totally work.

Let’s make some homemade fried rice!

The BEST 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 ol’ slab of butter when they’re making fried rice.  It just tastes so much better, and also 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.  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

The BEST 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!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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 teaspoonoyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoontoasted 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.

The BEST Easy Fried Rice Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

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1,585 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. made this but had to add 1 teason more of sesame oil oyster sauce and soy sauce but turned out and tasted awsome great recipe although i think next time im a chop up the very tops of broccoli into it but will make this again

  2. Hello. Turned out fine. Taking into account I found nowhere the sesame oil… I used extra sticky rice. Turned out like grandma’s pilaf (eastern European dish). Like a Chinese pilaf. Great recipe, I will do a print to put it on the fridge.

  3. I loved the fried rice.

    • Not too bad. I’m starting out with fried rice and clearing to make it and stick with one I like. The only thing I’d change for this recipe, I’d leave out the sesame oil. Not sure if the one I used was bad, but it offset the flavor of fried rice. I added more oyster sauce to cancel it out so it wants too bad overall

  4. Very tasty. 4 stars
    Absurd time of 15 min. More like 51 min. 2 stars
    Average: 3 stars

    • Made this for dinner this evening and holy moly this was excellent and a huge hit with the fam. We are vegan so I crisped up some marinaded tofu in the air fryer and added it towards the end. Had to add some ingredients to preferred taste but great recipe to follow! The key here is to let your rice cool!!!! I cooked my rice the day before so by dinner the next day it was ready to make this delicious dish! Thank you for the tips!

    • This is insanely delicious! Better the next day (if you even have any leftover!). We made ours without the oyster sauce but will definitely be trying that next time. And there’s no way this will take only 15 minutes….unless you have everything precooked, diced etc. Plan for one hour.

  5. Just finished rice with shrimp….delicious. Haven,t cooked in years….will do it again!

  6. Best fried rice I’ve ever made.
    Two substitutions. Forgot to mince fresh garlic so threw in powdered. The sesame oil I have isn’t toasted so I used about 3/4of a teaspoon.
    Added about a cup of pork country style ribs.
    The rice is excellent, better than restaurant.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I would recommend that you start with only 1/2 the amount of soy sauce and oyster sauce in the recipe. After everything is incorporated, then decide if you want to add more soy sauce. As they say … you can always add more, but you can’t take any out.

  8. Very good instructions, but dish came out bland, not really Asian. More soy sauce? More sesame? More oyster sauce? I don’t know. Anyway it sure looked right. Also, maybe I used too much butter…

  9. Absolutely the best fried rice I ever had! I used frozen mixed vegetables and leftover brown rice – delicious 😋 I added imitation crabmeat for added protein and it was so food. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Keep them coming!

  10. If i could leave 10 stars I would!! Very delicious!! A must keep recipe. Thank you for sharing🙂

  11. Loved this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have made this 5 times now each time has turned out fabulously. Love it

  13. This was excellent. To be honest with you I’ve never had actual take out fried rice because the quality of ingredients seemed iffy to me. But my husband loves it..I had left over rice and decided to try it. SO delish. I added some shredded chicken. I will be making this much more often.

  14. Amazing!
    Thanks for such precise navigation! :-)
    Best Regards,

  15. This is a great recipe…I used shrimp also added fresh mushrooms,few beans sprouts,and tofu and green onions.
    thanx for the basic recipe I really love the sesame oil,and oyster sauce.My husband was thrilled with his supper.lol💖

  16. Just completed a Bacon Fried Rice … Absolutely Delicious, instead of using shrimp 🍤, I did 🥓 bacon. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Cooking time is also excellent…fast cook and Awesome results.

  17. I’ve made this recipe probably ten times now, and it is soo good! This is my go to fried rice recipe for a side if I make any type of Chinese food. It always comes out great. I’ve tried quite a few fried rice recipes and this one is by far the best!

  18. Great recipe, but missing one major ingredient to make it *really* taste like takeout: MSG.

    Just a little bit. I also add a tiny bit of sugar. Other than that, recipe is great.

  19. Too much rice 4 cups is too much, and doesn’t really taste the best

  20. Mmm…this really nice. Thanks a lot I am truly enjoying this delicacy….

  21. This was appropriately named “the best fried rice” because it really is! Only change I made was to add some chicken pieces in for additional protein. One thing I might do in addition in the future (just a preference) is add more egg. I tend to like the chunks of egg in the rice and mine got kind of lost with rice. Other than that, it is perfect!

  22. Very good! I cooked this with Hawaiian chicken tonight. The chicken was bland but the fried rice was amazing. I will definitely make this again.

  23. Really tasty. I did double the eggs, personal preference, but otherwise made as directed. One son doesn’t care for cooked carrot so, to “hide” it a bit, I grated the carrot and added it a minute later than the onion. Still tasted great and no complaints from the son.

  24. Thank you. It’s my first time and it’s delicious. If I do say so myself

  25. This is delicious! The only change I made was to throw the egg in at the end and let it fry with the rice (Save a step) and I threw the garlic in right before I threw the rice in- once the garlic was fragrant I threw the rice in.

  26. The sesame oil is AMAZING! She is right it makes all the difference. I added bean sprouts instead of peas to keep my fried rice more crunchy and loved it!

  27. I want to learn how to cook fried rice and I want to be the pad of the family think

  28. Excelentes recetas y consejos, soy fanática del arroz en la mayoría de sus formas y la manera de explicarlo lo hace super fácil, felicitaciones.

  29. NO! Do NOT use butter! Butter is not Chinese, or even Asian. Jesus! I was looking for CHINESE recipes, not WESTERN! They use soy oil, which gives an ENTIRELY different flavor to dishes! AUGH! Even Canola oil would not so offend, but BUTTER? Yech!

  30. I loved this recipe! I haven’t made fried rice in years so this was an excellent guideline! I added bean sprouts, mushrooms, chicken, shrimp, red, yellow and orange peppers. The sesame seed oil really enhanced the flavor. However I didn’t use the oyster sauce it was too expensive to purchase for two teaspoons. I’ll try it next time. The rice came out perfect, my husband loved it! Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. Too funny… please note = Oyster Sauce is made with Oyster Mushrooms, NOT oysters.
    May want to update / correct that mention of “seafood” on your Fried Rice recipe.

    • This is right off my bottle of oyster sauce.
      “THIS SAUCE HAS REAL OYSTER EXTRACTS IN IT, WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE AUTHENTIC FLAVOR.”

  32. This is only the second time I’ve ever commented on any recipe, ever, and let me tell you…..my husband shoveled this into his mouth and it lasted only two days!!! It’s been a week already and he’s asking when I will make it again! I totally down played fried rice in my life!

    I had to do some extra research on how to make the perfect, non sticky, non mushy rice after my first failed attempt, I ended up using a method common for Indian cooking! Hint: wash your rice, then wash it again and again and again, then let it soak for 15 minutes then boil it with a little lemon juice (that’s the secret), then drain and rinse again. Spread out on a backing sheet and dry that baby out! After I mastered cooking rice this way, which was a much needed skill for me, this recipe became a staple for my family FORVER. There has only been four recipes that really stopped us in our tracks and this is one of them! I never imaged it would be fried rice!

  33. If you’re vegan like me you can use vegetarian oyster sauce. Here in Australia we can find it in the International section of supermarkets. Great flavour, no animal ingredients. And instead of chocken or meat – try quorn pueces. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  34. I also added ginger, along with the garlic, and it was great.

  35. Made vegetarian fried rice. Delicious. As good as the restaurant. Easy to follow instructions. Definitely recommend.

  36. Mmmmm, butter. Will add to all stir fries from now on.
    Very good.

  37. Easy, simple and delicious. My kinda recipe. Loved it and more importantly my 8 yr old did too 😊

  38. Excellent recipe-family very happy & surprisingly quiet over dinner!