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 and sticking together too much.

6) 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 stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. 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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1,316 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. Really yummy, simple recipe, thank you! I added mushrooms, sliced almonds & sunflower micro greens – so good!! :)

  2. This is now my go-to recipe for fried rice. Made this for group of 10 young Chinese ladies last summer. Between the rice and the chopsticks I delivered with dish, they were in Asian heaven. I found short rice grown in U.S. and it works perfectly. For the Chinese gals (ages 10-16), I added chopped up pork tenderloin and then served slices of pork tenderloin along side for extra protein. Their hosts announced that the girls had not eaten this much since their arrival. Tonight I’m serving sautéed jumbo shrimp along side pork fried rice. Can’t go wrong here…

  3. This was so tasty! Followed the recipe guidelines. Used what I had on hand which was brown rice. Added red and yellow baby peppers to the peas, carrots m, onion and garlic. Didn’t have any oyster sauce, so I just omitted. Added cayenne pepper and Texas Pete hot sauce to my bowl for spice. Sprinkled sesame seeds at the end. By far the best fried rice recipe I’ve ever had. The butter really us a game changer! Will try with oyster sauce next time I get some at the store.

  4. I made this last night I added smoked ham and shrimp. it was absolutely delicious!!!! Will make it again!
    Thank you!!!

  5. I made this yesterday and it was divine, even though I didn’t have sesame oil or oyster sauce.

  6. Really enjoyed this recipe! I think my rice was still too hot, so it didn’t fry totally. I think the sauce needs some extra taste, so I’ll kick it up next time. Really easy way to start making fried rice though — and my husband can’t be happier about that!

  7. Love this recipe, thank you.

  8. Made it tonight. It was wonderful! This will be my go-to fried rice recipe. Thank you!
    I recommend a little shake of Badia Original Seasoning at the table for added flavor. (We picked it up while traveling in Puerto Rico, but I imagine it is available here in the states.)

  9. Thank you for this recipe! This has become a regular in our dinner lineup. My favorite is with shrimp, but I’ve also made it with chicken and pork, as well as meatless to use as a side dish for another asian inspired meat main dish. My husband and son love it. My son will not eat take out fried rice. He says it isn’t as good!

  10. Just made this and added diced chicken breast leftover from a previous meal. So yummy. Everyone — even my super picky eater — was happy!

  11. Loved loved loved this recipe. It was easy and taste delicious. My entire family enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!😍

  12. OMG This is the best fried rice recipe ever! Plus it is quick & easy to make.
    Looking forward to trying your other recipes.

    • So Good!!! We have been eating the frozen bags of Chicken Fried Rice…. however it has changed and we no longer care for it. I made this for dinner last night to go with some Sweet and Sour Chicken that I had canned. We both LOVED the rice!!! I went easy on the oyster sauce since I wasn’t sure if we would like it…. next time will add more. Not fishy or salty!!!! Love, love, love!!!!!!!!

  13. I love this recipe! I am the kind of cook that does a little of this and a little of that so I don’t think I cook this with the same proportions, and on a week day with both my husband and I working full time, I like to use a bag of frozen mixed veggies. Turns out great! The one thing I do that I feel is significantly different from this recipe is the use of fresh minced ginger with the minced garlic. Ginger is a key ingredient…and the sesame oil at the end! We don’t use the oyster sauce either…. Thanks for sharing your fried rice recipe!!

    • I also like ginger I add the garlic ginger paste you get from Indian stores also used ghee for frying so good!

  14. FINALLY! A restaurant quality fried rice that you can make at home! So easy but absolutely delicious! My husband loves it, my daughter loves it and I love using left overs to create such a fantastic dish! Try it! You’ll love it too 💛

  15. SOOO good! And easy! Im not the best cook, but my family loved this recipe. It made a ton. I dont know if I prepped too many veggies but weve got delicious rice for days! Highly recommend! The cooling of the rice was KEY! Thank you so much for an easy and awesome recipe!

  16. I just made this recipe..Wow! Best fried rice I’ve ever cooked and the kids and hubby all loved it! I chopped up bacon and fried that and added to it aswell as adding chopped celery and zuchini aswell.. Thanks again :)

  17. This is a family favorite now. The oyster sauce is a plus. We’ve made it with different proteins – good deep-sea canned crab, cooked shrimp, or choices of leftovers, Sometimes green beans, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli, or whatever is in the fridge. When I remember, I put leftover rice in the freezer to save for this fried rice.

  18. I used this recipe and my family it this rice right up. Thank you for the recipe! It’s a definite that I will be making it again.

  19. Terrific and the use of butter skipped the oily taste you can get from some other oils and everyone went for seconds. We added baby bok choy and mushrooms and we’re out of almost everything else but look forward to making it again!

    One thing ..four cups of rice filled two huge skillets like the ones in your photo. Any idea why we ended up with so much? Is it using basmati?

  20. I wasn’t real hopeful when I made this because I didn’t have the oyster sauce or sesame oil and was out of carrots. BUT, despite all that, this was still DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making this once again and next time I will have all the ingredients. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I’ve been dying for Chinese quisine since the virus shut-down, so this really helped to aliviate some of that craving.

  21. It is “The BEST” simple to make & you can put your own spin on the protein add in’s. It is moist & full of flavor. The oyster sauce is a MUST (& you’ll never believe the richness it adds). Rice MUST be cold.
    I do add some crushed pepper flakes for some heat.
    Repeating myself…this is the BEST fried rice.

  22. We use this recipe as the basis for our weekly veggie fried rice and it is PERFECT. We definitely cook the carrots/onions combo for longer than 5 mins so they get soft, but otherwise we follow it as written and it’s awesome every time. Thank you!

  23. Wonderful Easy and Resteraunt quality and taste. I’m so glad I found your Recipe. Ma’am
    From a Wyoming Kitchen. 💐 🤗

  24. This the first fried rice recipe that wasn’t too salty and it had great flavor. I didn’t have peas but followed the recipe otherwise. DELISH!

  25. Made exactly per your recipe and it was fabulous!!! Just like takeout.

  26. Absolute best !🤤

  27. I’m a horrible cook. Really bad. I burn or overcook everything including this. I just can’t move quick enough to add everything and I have to re read the directions constantly (which is probably why everything gets burned). But everything kind of just caramelized in the skillet and it’s still delicious. I’ll definitely do this again and try to remember when to add what. At least I know it’ll still be awesome. I did have to add a little more butter so the smoke detectors wouldn’t go off like usual so I’m going to keep that in mind for next time. It doesn’t have the oily taste like a different recipe I tried a while back, butter is key. I’m no fan of oysters but there’s no weird fishy taste with the oyster sauce. It’s perfect, even for the horrible cook. A definite wife pleaser on mother’s day for a guy that only knows how to grill burnt steaks and brats….

  28. I admit I was skeptical at first because my previous experiences with do it yourself “Chinese” cooking weren’t good. However four weeks of Covid quarantine without my favorite restaurants led me to this recipe and I’m quite impressed. Not only does it have a good Asian flavor, it tastes every bit as good as it looks in the photo. The only difference in mine is I added shrimp for shrimp fried rice. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

  29. I love fried rice. I include different meats and shrimp. Another 2 veggies I include are shredded cabbage and bean sprouts. Top with sweet n sour sauce and dive in.

  30. awesome recipe I’m in love thanks

  31. I tried it today, vegetables only and it was great. I only used my leftovers so it wouldn’t go to waste and super satisfied.

  32. I tried this fried recipe at my home and it is really amazing. This fried rice recipe is really easy to make and very delicious in taste. Also sharing here another wild fried rice recipe. Check it out here: https://www.foodybud.com/wild-fried-rice/

  33. Been making this recipe for a while now to use up my leftover rice. I figured I owed you this review.

    The basic recipe is fabulous all on its own. Plus it is so versatile. I often put in leftover veg too or whatever needs to be cooked out of the fridge or freezer. Every iteration has been very well received. I happily chanced on using rice I made with chicken stock instead of water. Now, if I make fried rice from scratch, (which I do because I often get requests for it) I’ll cook the rice in low sodium broth then stick it on sheet pan to chill in the freezer. The freezer also seems to dry the surface of the rice a bit and makes it perfect for frying- just don’t forget about it! Broth adds yet another tasty dimension to the final flavor.

    Butter is such a clever substitution for veg oil. I didn’t normally use it in most Asian-inspired cuisine except for ghee with Indian cookery, but you have completely changed my mind on that topic. I now think whole butter is the secret for some of the best tasting fusions of East meets West.

  34. Awesomely delicious

  35. Just made this tonight…was amazing!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  36. Wow! I should really try out your recipe 😍 It looks great! Don’t forget to have a look at my special recipe at http://resepisteamboat.blogspot.com/

  37. Delicious with no changes to the recipe. Everyone loved it. Will definitely be making it again!!!!

  38. Changed peas to asparagus (no frozen peas). I have tried to experiment my way into a good fried rice, but it was never as good as this.

  39. Had no idea I could make fried rice that tastes just like the restaurant. Amazing and so easy to make. It’s a weekly meal. Even the grandchildren whom we coax to eat their veggies will eat this and not pick out the vegetables . I did add chicken and it was delicious. Thank you

  40. I made this recipe tonight but my brown rice came out crunchy. Did I cook it too long? I love the tastes, used corn, carrots, red peppers and onions for veggies. Love it other than rice being crunchy. It was long grain brown rice cooked in rice cooker s as few days ago. Thank you for any suggestions.

  41. Let me just say – OH. MY. GAWD!! This was SO DELICIOUS and will be my new go-to Fried Rice. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to trying many more of your recipes!,,

  42. I’ve tried cooking fried rice multiple times and it’s always disappointing! I thought cooking with butter for rice was a little odd but thought why not- seriously glad I did so! I didn’t follow the recipe properly but more the ‘gist’ of it. You won’t be disappointed, will be using this style from now on!