Fried Rice

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

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.

Saute onions, carrots and peas for fried rice

How to make fried rice

How To Stir Fry Rice

How To Make Fried Rice:

To make fried rice, 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!

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 a boneless pork chop in a separate sauté pan while making your fried rice.  Then 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.
Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry to go with the BEST Fried Rice

This 12-Minute Chicken and Broccoli recipe pairs perfectly with fried rice.

What To Serve With Fried Rice:

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

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Fried Rice

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:

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

Directions:

  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.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

The BEST Easy Fried Rice Recipe

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926 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. Love this post! Fried rice is one of my favorite comfort foods. This looks so good!!

  2. That looks amazing. I have created my own fried rice recipe, but it’s nothing like they serve in a restaurant. I am definitely going to have to give yours a try!

  3. I was just searching you website yesterday for a fried rice recipe and lo and behold here it is this morning. I can’t wait to try this out.

  4. You are taking me back to my childhood: the BEST shrimp fried rice at a local Chinese joint. I too have been struggling to recreate it. Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to put ’em in action.

  5. I’ve made fried rice a few times from recipes claiming to be great, but I’m always disappointed. It always turns out blah and not at all tasting like the fried rice you get from Asian restaurants. Your recipe is definitely a little different though and you sound like you know what you’re talking about! I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I, too, still get cravings for Lotus Gardens fried rice. Anxious to try this to see if it measures up!

  7. Oh how we love fried rice!! Fun to have a recipe to make it at home!!

  8. I love fried rice, but haven’t had it in ages! Definitely time to make this asap!

  9. I am crazy about fried rice! I love all the veggies in this rice–so pretty! pinned.

  10. When do we add in the egg that was removed on a separate plate?

  11. Vegetable fried rice is a most when ordering Chinese. Your version does look better than take-out! Yum!

  12. Now this is the perfect fried rice! Looks delicious!

  13. This post just made my day… guess what’s up in my kitchen after work today?? Thanks for sharing!

  14. This looks really good Ali, I have the same complaint about take-out not enough veggies. Will be making this soon. Pinned.

  15. This looks AMAZING. I just ate lunch and I’m already hungry for this.

  16. Fried rice is a regular in my household! I agree that a lot of restaurants don’t put enough veggies and most of the time the rice is greasy. I also “fry” the rice, I don’t just throw all the ingredients together. I use less ingredients than this recipe, because of budget reasons, but it still is preferred over restaurant fried rice and it’s a favorite dinner in my house! http://misssammisunshine.blogspot.com/2014/02/easy-fried-rice.html

    Peace & Sunshine,
    Sammi

  17. There is nothing like really, really good fried rice. I am seriously excited to try this. We were just at a Japanese steakhouse this weekend and for the first time I noticed the butter on the fried rice! I’ve always used toasted sesame oil (which I love!), but I imagine the butter helps it get extra brown and toasty. LOVE!

  18. Oh this looks SO GOOD! I used to have a Chinese roommate that made such delicious Fried Rice…I need to find a Soy sauce Substitute…Off to Whole foods I go!! Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to make it!!

  19. This looks delicious! We love fried rice around here. Can’t wait to make this.

  20. This sounds great! In the Chinese restaurants of my youth they always beat the eggs lightly in a little bowl and added it to the wok at the end of cooking. It doesn’t actually coat the other ingredients, instead, cooking throughout the dish and becomes an integral part of the dish. I still make it that way instead of cooking the eggs separately. Try it and see if it doesn’t taste more like you remember the restaurant fried rice tasting. Just more authentic somehow.

  21. Yum. I just made this a few nights ago! It is the bomb and SO easy. As usual I made a gigantic panful and as usual there was not a drop left. We just keep eating it and can’t stop till it’s gone. My recipe is very similar to yours except I use canola oil instead of butter and wasn’t using oyster sauce. Gonna try your ideas now! Oh — another delicious protein option is BBQ pork from the grocery store.

  22. I am not a fan of Chinese food, but I do love fried rice and can eat it by the bowl full. Your recipe definitely kicks it up a notch as being heavy fried rice. Love this recipe, and thank you for making it for us all.

  23. We make fried rice around here quite often and now you have me craving it again! Cold rice is KEY but I never thought to use Oyster sauce!!! Mind = Blown. Also, I am very particular with my rice and prefer chewier too although if I’m being honest we do medium grain sushi grade brown rice. Maybe I’ll sneak in some butter next time. ;)

  24. Cold rice is a must, but BUTTER!! Oh I am so excited to try that out!! This looks amazing!

  25. Smart lady! Lose these photos. I’ll have to give this a try! We love fried rice!

  26. I’m so glad you perfected your favorite fried rice recipe. I’m the same way when it comes to enchiladas. Anyway, I can’t wait to try this!

  27. My roommate is deathly allergic to seasame seeds… is there any other substituion I can use when making this?

  28. Such great comfort food!

  29. Hmmm . . . I always used peanut or rice bran oil and love my fried rice but I will definitely try butter next time.

    Also, I think it is important to point out that you really wanted TOASTED Sesame Oil not just plain sesame. It makes a HUGE difference!

  30. Delish! we just made this for dinner tonight! Can’t wait to eat the leftovers! I was a bit scared to use the oyster sauce so I only added a good half tsp! This is so going to be in our list of make it often dinners!

  31. This rice sounds incredible. But is it really 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. I use the chopped garlic in the jar, so it. Sounds like a lot!

    • Oh my goodness gracious — I meant CLOVES! Major typo. Just edited it. That would have been some really garlicky rice. Thank you! :)

      ~Ali

  32. Thanks so much for sharing this! Can’t wait to try this! I LOVE fried rice, but it’s hard to find GOOD fried rice take out! YAY! Printing out recipe!!

  33. so i’ve never posted here before and just have to say how much my family enjoyed this dish. it was so easy and fast. I even forgot to put in the sesame oil and my kids still gobbled it up.

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  35. This is very close to the way I make fried rice, except I never thought of using butter. Definitely better. I think my family is having Chinese tonight ! Thanks for the tips

  36. This was great! I love a good fake-out take-out and this fits the bill! We had this tonight with your Egg Drop Soup and the whole meal was easy and delicious. Plus, we had everything on hand so we didn’t even need to go to the store! Thanks for the great recipe. We will make this and the soup again and again.

  37. Oyster, sesame and hoisin are certainly the big three sauces in many asian dishes. Consider varying the proportions in your fried rice and other dishes, to easily change the flavor. Also consider creating your own personal go to stir fry sauce,by incorporating chiles and chile sauces, if you’re a heat lover, and certain appropriate spices. You can create the sauce to complement the ingredients you’re using, which is especially useful when switching out your proteins. Btw, I think your tip about using cold rice is the most useful for newer fried rice devotees. That’s the biggest mistake I see when people ask for tips. Great column!

  38. I just made this for my husband, who is half Japanese, and he loves it! Thank you for all the great tips on how to make perfect fried rice; you have mastered it!

  39. So good!! I couldn’t add the sesame oil due to allergies, but I did add a handful of the slow-cooker chicken from your site. Wow, it’s yummy!! Nice big batch will be awesome to take for lunches this week. Thank you! Any suggestions for sesame substitute? Maybe peanut oil? Thanks for any tips.

  40. Joyce Stein • just now

    I made this recipe for dinner today and it was scrumptious! I changed (added) only two things: 1) added a packet of Trader Joe’s Savory Broth Chicken Flavor in the water when I boiled the rice and 2) added one cup of diced up spicy chicken breast. Definitely a keeper recipe.

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  42. Hi just wondering if you ever put a calorie count with your recipes…they look so good but maybe not low cal.

  43. Do you ever put a calorie count with your recipes? They look so good but not really low cal.

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  46. Yeah..this recipe looks yummy!..I wanna try it soon

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