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”

  1. I made this recipe EXACTLY as they said, but it was very dry. I had to keep on adding my own ingredients to the pot. I was very disappointed because I’m always looking for a good fried rice recipe. THIS WAS NOT IT!!

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  3. Yummy!!
    Made it, family fave!#

  4. Its so nice i tried it ,i was looking for it for a very long time

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  6. This recipe is GREAT. Very easy. Last time I made it, I doubled the recipe and we still ran out, so no left overs to look forward to. Using cold cooked rice is the secret to this wonderful recipe.

    Rating: 5
  7. Just made this tonight. I am blown away! Thanks for posting this recipe it was amazing. You rock!

    Rating: 5
  8. I made this fried rice tonight. It was DELICIOUS!!! I added pork to make it a main dish. Holy moly, you should have seen the disappointed faces when there were no leftovers. Next time I will certainly double the recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Rating: 5
  9. I just made up this recipe adding pork and bacon…taaastyyy!!!!! I would have never guessed the oyster sauce makes a difference. I followed your directions below -vs- the photo comments and ended up with some of the rice sticking/burning to the pan. I think I turned up the heat too soon but all in all what a terrific fried rice recipe!!!!

    Rating: 5
    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jo, thanks for your comment and nice review! :D

  10. Hello GSO :),
    This was amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  11. Thank you, Ali, this recipe is awesome! I didn’t change it other than using brown rice, and leaving out the oyster sauce. I found that no added salt was needed, and the 3 tbsps. of butter was enough. Oh, and I added half of a leftover pork tenderloin at the end. My husband and I scarfed down almost all of it, it was so good!

    • We’re so glad you and your husband enjoy it, Jeanne, thanks for sharing with us! :)

  12. Hands down the best fried rice I’ve ever had! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  14. Making this for the umpteenth time tonight. It is hands down, my favorite!

    Rating: 5
  15. Thank you for this recipe!!! It is so delicious (esp with the oyster sauce). Now whenever I make rice I make extra just so I can make this the next day! It’s really easy because I always shred a bunch of carrots each week to use in cooking and salads, and I always have peeled frozen raw shrimp in the freezer. It’s really yummy with brown rice too.

    Rating: 5
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  17. Ali –
    I’m speculating/fantasizing that your “amazing little neighborhood Chinese restaurant” was Albert’s in Wichita. My mouth waters just remembering that wonderful restaurant.
    Clearly I need to make this fried rice for dinner tonight!!

  18. Ali I just love ALL your recipes. Everyone that I’ve tried has been so good and I love that they are all really easy. I am on WW and try to count points. I may be missing this but do you list the calories and nutritional values on your recipes? It would really help me to be able to calculate points for your recipes. Thanks

    • We appreciate your sweet words, Terri! Unfortunately though we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  19. Love this recipe!! So good to make on a Monday so I can use up all my weekend grilled veggies :)) Gives it some extra flavor.

    Rating: 5
  20. Yum! Worked out great! And speaking of yum…how about a good “yum yum sauce” recipe? :)

    Rating: 5
  21. Yum! This looks so good. Fried rice is my fav!
    Kari

  22. I’m really glad you revisited this recipe. Good bloggers do revisit old posts sometimes, whether it’s food or birds, because those of us who haven’t been around long enough to have seen them can be pleasantly surprised by the reprise. I just found out that my husband likes fried rice, so I’ll look forward to making this at some point.

  23. This is one of the first recipes I ever made from your blog – I am a fried rice nut. I’d been using cold rice for years, but your tip to use butter made everything 100% better! YUM!

    Rating: 5
  24. I was excited to see your recipe as we are fried rice lovers too. However I like frying the rice longer so it is more browned. I am excited to start with the butter and end with sesame seed oil and see how that turns out. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • We hope you enjoy this, Christi, definitely let us know what you think! :)

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  29. in my country, this one is called nasi goreng lol
    it delicious thou

    Rating: 3
  30. This is a favorite of our family – we make it all the time. I usually add some type of meat – chicken, pork, or steak – in order to make it a complete dinner. It is also likely that I end up adding extra butter. This is a recipe that I use as a starting point and then just add butter, veggies, soy sauce, etc. until it all tastes good! I have never used the oyster sauce, because I just don’t usually have that in my kitchen. It seems to taste great anyways!

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you for sharing, Kim, we’re so glad to hear you and your family love this! :)

  31. I’ve been making this recipe for about a year now, and I’m glad you’re rolling it out again so more people can enjoy it. We only recently started adding the oyster sauce since we never had it on hand before. What a difference it makes! This is good without, but even better with it. Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you for your sweet words, Brenda, we’re so happy you enjoy this!

  32. awesome menu.hope my daughter and son will like to this. Definitly try this for our dinner on today.

    Rating: 5
  33. Looks so delicious I want to eat it right away..

  34. Just made this tonight and it was delicious. All of my kids loved it and finding recipes that 5 kids can all agree on is not always easy. I added ham to it and can’t wait to try it with chicken, pork, and sausage.

    • Thanks, Ashley — we’re so happy you and your kids enjoyed it, and we bet it was yummy with ham! :)

  35. You were right the fried rice was delicious!!!

    Rating: 5
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  42. WONDERFUL!!! The recipe is the perfect balance of flavor, texture and colo! It was a snap to prepare and the sesame oil is essential to getting the correct flavor! I don’t think I will ever do takeout fried rice again!!

    Rating: 5
  43. This was absolutely delicious! I made it with a butter substitute, as my son is lactose intolerant, and put the egg on the side, as my daughter doesn’t like eggs. It was simple, pretty to look at, and will make great leftovers, I’m sure. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  44. SO GOOD. Thank you for a great recipe! I never know what to do with cold, hard leftover rice and this was perfect. I didn’t have oyster sauce, so I subbed fish sauce and it was great. My leftover rice was a brown basmati-quinoa blend and the whole thing was delicious.

    Rating: 5
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  46. Thank you. Trying this tonite. Looks so delicious.

  47. This was good. My family really liked it! Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  48. I use left over pulled pork (no bbq sauce) this is a winner evrytime

    Rating: 5
  49. I just made this right now, wow! All i added is shrimp, bacon and fish sauce. Thanks for the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  50. This was very good, I make a similar one for leftover pork! I used hot basmati rice, it didn’t clump, also, I didn’t use the oyster sauce, but I suspect that it would have made it even better, thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 4