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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1,641 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. Thank you for this recipe! You’re so right about the toasted sesame oil. I had never used it before and it’s now at the top of my list for seasonings. This rice is the best I’ve ever had. Addictive!

  2. Excellent! Best I have ever made – Thanks for sharing!

  3. This turned out delicious! I HIGHLY recommend adding grated ginger if you have any—it really popped some zing into the rice. Also, if you and/or those eating this are fans of spicy food, throw a diced/minced Thai chili or jalapeño pepper (or two if you’re a true firemouth) in with the veggies. (Don’t forget to scrape up the crunchy bits that stick to the bottom of the pan—that’s the best part of this whole recipe!)

  4. Just made this. I used a bit of Adobe and less Soy Sauce. Delicious. Will make again for sure.

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

  6. Easy, great and delicious recipe! I didn’t have the toasted sesame (oops), but we will definitely be adding that in next time. Thank you!

  7. This is soooo delicious. Will definitely be making this again.

  8. We made this tonight and it was a hit. We didn’t have cold rice so settled for freshly cooked brown rice and it turned out great. We added seared tofu and cauliflower. Didn’t have oyster sauce but did add fish sauce. I would never have considered using butter – great suggestion. Solid recipe to start and add to with what’s on-hand. We will add this to our rotation of go-tos. Thanks for posting.

  9. Really really delicious, both me and my partner loved it! I added peas, Sweetcorn, carrots and tiny cauliflower florets (just happened to be some in the fridge that needed using up), I must be honest, I was surprised at how yummy it was.
    It is so easy to make as well.

  10. Made it taste authenic! Easy to make

  11. Easy and great tasting!

  12. This is BY FAR the best fried rice recipe I have ever had, outside of when I lived in China. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe :)

  13. This recipe is fantastic, it’s now on our regular meal rotation! I do omit the sesame oil, and add Sriracha and more soy sauce. We enjoy adding diced broccoli florets and asparagus tips.

  14. This was a great recipe!! I added some ginger and some fiery toasted sesame oil instead of the regular one to give a little kick and I added some shrimp to make it a whole meal instead of a side dish! Great base recipe!

  15. Really really good! This is the 2nd time I’ve made it and the more you play with it the better it is. Much better than takeout!

  16. I wanted something quick and delicious, and I was not disappointed. Thanks for the video and recipe.

  17. Made it tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I didn’t have carrots or peas so I made it without and it was ridiculous how EXACTLY it tasted like Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse here in Staten Island, NY. The only thing extra I did was add a bit more sesame oil to taste. And I let that baby fry, fry, fry. My son is already asking for me to make it again tomorrow :D Thank u!!!

  18. I made shrimp fried rice, best fried rice ever! Wow, this recipe turned out great! I’ve already printed this recipe and I will definitely make it again.

  19. Excellent flavor! Definitely liked the advice of letting the rice sit and get a bit browned without constantly stirring- We used some broccoli, too. We used diced leftover pork tenderloin!

  20. This was delicious. My grandkids love it. Had to add a little more oyster sauce.

  21. I made this recipe tonite with my 9 year old daughter and we LOVED it. The recipe was easy to follow and delicious. I also made your gumbo and it was amazing. This is one of my favorite site for recipes.

  22. Made it today but used olive oil instead of sesame oil and no oyster sauce. It was delicious.. 🤤
    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Great Recipe!
      Hard to stop eating it!
      I added snow peas nice crunch and colour,
      frozen peas and corn, pineapple and red cabbage.
      Lots of colour and the more veggies the better.

  23. I’ve tried so many different fried rice recipes but they never really tasted right. This tastes just like the fried rice I’d have while I was eating at a restaurant! Amazing recipe!

  24. SOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!! Thank you. I have never liked an online recipe as much as I did this one. You broke me out of my bad luck rut with online recipes!

  25. I have always loved Chinese fried rice but never seem to get much anymore. I get some in the local Safeway store deli now & then, but that stuff I don’t even consider to be fried rice. It’s an entity of it’s own. I came across your recipe tonight, and it sounds great. I’m a guy who barely knows how to boil water but it sounds easy enough. I’m going to give it a try.

  26. I’ve made this many times and always love the flavors! I really like this with bean sprouts so I always add a bag of them towards the end of the cooking time. Great recipe as most are just excessive soy sauce and not much flavor. Definitely have to use sesame oil and I also like some minced ginger mixed in.

  27. I used sliced cabbage, yellow squash, green pepper, leftover pork loin, and some brats we needed to finish up. Actually a few little leftover Baby new potatoes as well…not sure you could go wrong with the base recipe. Great! And thanks.

  28. This is a great chicken fried rice recipe! Simple and yet very flavorful. It’s not like a Chinese restaurant, which isn’t a slight against the recipe at all. It can be challenging when you don’t have a decade-old wok you’re cooking in. I cooked this in a cast iron skillet and it came out great. While it may not taste like a Chinese restaurant fried rice, it’s not a bad thing. It was still still flavorful and tasted fresher than a lot of Chinese restaurant fried rice dishes I’ve had. I think the oyster sauce really sells it. It adds just enough salt without being overpowering. I didn’t even have onion on hand it still came out great. Very, very good simple fried rice recipe that’s a winner.

  29. I’ve made this recipe 4 or 5 times in the past few months. We make a double batch for our teenagers to eat all week. This is a fantastic recipe and the suggestions like using butter and oyster sauce make all the difference. Thanks for sharing!!!

  30. I have made this Recipe for Fried Rice several times and I love it! I have tried it with Chicken but prefer it without! I recommend this Recipe for anyone who loves Fried Rice!

  31. Thanks! Used the recipe tonight!!!!

  32. Thank you!
    My husband loves it 💞

  33. I made this for dinner last night (with some added kimchi for spice/complexity). My husband actually bought me flowers today to say thank you! The recipe was easy and utterly delicious. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to make it again.

  34. Make this dish and skip the ordering. Easy and tasty. Don’t forget the sesame oil it’s a must.

  35. Hi Ali
    I’ve cooked your recipe many times and always a first class dish.
    I’d like to offer you some advise…:)
    Dont scramble the eggs first. Make the entire fried rice recipes as above. Then near to the end make a well in the SFR and add butter. Drop in the eggs and stir with a chopstick. Then work the scrambled eggs into the SFR. This keeps the eggs hot and saves on yet another dish to wash.
    Hope that helps.
    Andrew
    Singapore