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 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 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!

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.
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:

Print
The BEST Fried Rice Recipe from Gimme Some Oven
4.9 from 253 reviews

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 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.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

The BEST Easy Fried Rice Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

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1,159 comments on “Fried Rice”

  1. Sounds great. If made a day ahead what you be the best way to reheat? Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    Our daughter makes fried rice but this is the first time that I have. I didn’t expect my husband to like it but he took two helpings. I’ll definitely make this recipe again. I put in pieces of baked chicken. Our daughter puts ground pork in theirs.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi is it salted or unsalted butter

  4. 5 stars
    This is my favorite fried rice recipe! This recipe gave me a base idea and I enhanced to our liking – i used a bag of peas and carrots frozen – not enough time to chop individually and just as good , and only added fresh ginger 1 tblesp – store bought in tube – we love that flavor and fried pork – what an excellent meal . The butter is a must.
    I browned a 1 lb pork tenderloin – salt and pepper – that’s it – then put in crock pot on slow for 3 hours – and then pulled apart – added hoisin sauce about a tblsp- to get authentic bbq pork flavor do whatever works with your taste – I would never order from fast food Chinese again – why would you???? This is fresh and delicious!

  5. Wow! Over 14 pages of comments, so I’m sure this question has been asked: Can I use brown rice and which brown rice would work the best? Brown long grain, brown basmati , etc.?

  6. Hahahaha…just reread the recipe and got my answer…short grain white rice.

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  8. Hi! This helped me with set up but I’ve learned an easier way to deal with the rice. You can actually fry it BEFORE letting it soak in water for the same result in the end. It’s easier and there’s no waiting.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious ! Thank you so much. It took longer at the step to fry the rice for me and much flipping over and over to get it all nice and toasty but worth it. I used frozen cooked shrimp and a leftover pork chop cut up in little pieces. Pork thrown in before rice but after veggies were nearly soft. Shrimp added as I fried shrimp.
    Really good. I’m saving this one.

  10. Wondering if this can be frozen? Would add frozen peas after heating.

  11. 5 stars
    Been on this Earth 50 some years and this is the first time I have made fried rice. The flavor was spot on! Thank you so much!

  12. 5 stars
    Just made it…so delicious! Sautéed some jumbo shrimp to add to it.. will definitely make again…

  13. 5 stars
    It brings back the time my mother made this. I add 4 slices of bacon
    Thank you for this.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this and it was perfect and then I ruined it by adding a few drops of chili oil! I like it, but I don’t know if my husband will be able to eat it. LOL

  15. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Fantastic flavor, colorful and healthy. I’ll never need to order take out fried rice again!

  16. 5 stars
    Very good. I added broccoli. Next time i would add water chestnuts too. I would double the oyster sauce. And double the sesame oil. I cooked up some chicken breast in butter and oyster sauce. Overall very very good.

  17. 1 star
    Best fried rice? In Asian culture…my Chinese culture. We don’t use butter. We barley use that much oil or soy sauce. The rice is cooked with everything else in a wok all together and not cold rice either.

  18. 5 stars
    Made this recipe last week. So many possible protein and vegetable combinations. I’m making it again this week. Simple, easy, great way to use leftover proteins and rice. Needless to say, family loved it.

  19. 5 stars
    Easy to make and really delicious. I left out the egg (I know, sacrilege but we just don’t do eggs) but I took your advice and used butter. You were right, the butter added a yummy flavor that made it perfect. I had asparagus on hand so I threw that in. Delicious!

  20. 5 stars
    Made it! Was easy peasy. I added venison and used coconut oil instead of butter. Super yummy! Kids ate every bite. Great dinner when I’m short on ingredients.

  21. 5 stars
    My family devoured this rice! It was easy and delicious. I only had a bag of frozen mixed veggies so I used that and added canned bean sprouts. Awesome and will be my go to fried rice recipe!

  22. 5 stars
    Wow , I’ve tried making fried rice in the past, never good enough to make again or save leftovers. I decided to give it another shot since I had leftover white rice .
    This is amazing . !!!!! Highly recommend !!! I think it’s the butter !!!!!

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  24. 5 stars
    Delicious. Had left over rice and all the vegetables in the refrigerator and even the oyster sauce. It was easy and with a lot of flavor. Loved it.

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  26. HELP! Does anyone know of a substitution for soy sauce (other than coconut aminos)? I can’t eat soy or coconut due to food allergies…but this recipe looks delicious!

    • Fish sauce. I use soy sauce as a substitute for fish sauce so I’m sure it would work both ways. I’ve also heard tamari sauce would work if you can find it.

    • I am a chef, try Bragg Liquid Aminos.. made from non-GMO soybeans and purified water

    • Try a blend on vinegar, sesame oil, molasses, and seasoning salt if you can’t have soy

  27. 5 stars
    Do you have the nutritional information for this?

  28. 5 stars
    I was in the same situation having moved away from a place that had excellent fried rice. Well, I have tried every place and every recipe since with no Avail. NOT AMY MORE! OMG this rice is BETTER than any I have ever had. I followed the recipe exactally, well, I did put chicken bullion in the rice water when I cooked it. Use the oyster sauce, you will never regret it and do as you were told to make sure the rice is cold, a mistake I have always made and couldn’t figure out why it turned out all clumpy and mushy. Don’t even think about making it without the sesame oil! I was fortunate, I had just visited an olive oil and vinegar store and purchased a beautiful bottle of fantastic sesame oil. Thank you for sharing an incredibly simple and delicious recipe.

  29. 5 stars
    Really wonderful recipe!! I added quite a bit of salt and pepper to finish it off, and it needs to cool a bit for the flavor to come out. Really good! Thank you!

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  31. 5 stars
    Very good recipe! I used Jasmine rice because that’s what I had on hand and added shrimp. Tastes just as good as takeout and then some. I definitely will be making this again.

  32. 5 stars
    What can I say? It tasted amazing. So glad we have leftovers! Thank you for the recipe. I made it without the oyster sauce.

  33. 5 stars
    Hands down the best fried rice recipe ever. I have added chicken, shrimp, and now pork. Just as good the 2nd and 3rd time as the 1st!

  34. 5 stars
    LOVED this (made it with shrimp), and husband couldn’t stop eating it! I made sure to get both the oyster and the toasted sesame oil. I used canned peas/carrots and knowing it might start to get mushy I tried to see it if would slide since we already had a can sitting around. Don’t. You need to stick with frozen.

  35. No good, no aromatics, this is not real fried rice

  36. 5 stars
    Delicious

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  39. 5 stars
    Used this recipe to make fried rice for the first time. I wanted to finish all the fried rice in one sitting, but i got too full. I have been thinking about eating the leftovers, literally, ALL DAY. This will be a go to recipe from now on. Thank you!

  40. 5 stars
    Delish! I added in some celery as I was out of onion and chopped up some pineapple as well. Will for sure make again.

  41. 5 stars
    Great fried rice. Thanks for posting. Fresh squeezed lemon juice and sliced cucumber go with this dish very well.

  42. 5 stars
    I used Mixed greens with broccoli and it turned out phenomenal

  43. 5 stars
    We LOVED it! It was quick and easy to make and I really appreciate the explanation of the process.

  44. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe loosely because I already make fried rice but have not used oyster sauce, but instead ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I liked it with the oyster sauce! I stir fry with the sesame oil. This is a great recipe!!!

  45. 5 stars
    This is the best fried rice recipe I have tried to date! Everyone commented that it was just like in the restaurant.

  46. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Everyone loved it. I didn’t have sesame oil, but it was still wonderful. Tip: do not use minute or instant rice. Use real rice. You can make the rice ahead of time in the instant pot in 10 minutes. Worth it!

  47. That fried rice looks so yum. Never knew the secrete butter part. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Very easy to make
    And its really good,
    wish i wuould had more pork to put in it
    Later
    Paul

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  50. 5 stars
    Wow made this today. It is fabulous!!!!!