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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1,409 comments on “Fried Rice”

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious fried rice. The butter adds so much. I left out the garlic and the oyster sauce, added diced cooked chicken. My picky husband liked it too. I will definitely make this again. Great for leftover rice.

  2. Very helpful thanks for sharing

  3. This has become one of our favourite recipes at home. I had a bag of brown basmati rice that I wasn’t using because it didn’t taste good. Now I have used almost the entire bag with this receipt. Delicious

  4. I’ve been making fried rice for years but have never really settled on one recipe as a keeper. Now I have! The whole family was raving about this one. One tip I’d like to add that I learned (while actually living in Asia) is to separate the grains of the cold rice. You do this by getting your hands wet and grabbing a handful of the rice and roll it around in your fingers over a bowl and the rice will separate very easily. I usually do this near the sink with the water trickling so I can easily keep my hands wet. This will prevent any chunks in your rice.

  5. ooooooooooh yea. frozen peas and carrots and cooked salad shrimp made this quick and delish. added purple cabbage and dash o fish sauce and of course, sriracha. i bring home leftover rice from work often so this will be a regular go-to. yum!

  6. You’re right. The secret to good fried rice is butter! And lots of it. Delicious!

  7. This is delicious and I will definitely be making it my go to recipe for Fried Rice. 5+ stars.

  8. This recipe was BOMB! My husband and I LOVE it! Who knew butter was so necessary in fried rice. I add some chicken to mine and change up the veggies. It’s lit every time. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Recipe turned out very nice. I used fish sauce in lieu of oyster sauce and added more veggies and low-sodium soy sauce. The cold rice is the golden ticket!

  10. Phenomenal Recipe! I like house style fried rice so I add shrimp, roast beef, steak, and ham leftovers. My rice always comes out too sticky though. Any recommendations?

    • Some tips:
      Use day old cold rice
      Wash your rice before cooking it
      Use less water, for the Jasmine rice that I used I went 1:1
      Don’t over cook it

    • Use this method to cook the rice:
      1 C brown rice
      12 C water

      Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add rice and cook for 30 minutes. Then drain for 30 seconds, return to pot off of heat, and cover for 10 minutes.

  11. By far the best fried rice I’ve ever made! I liked it so much that I’m making it for the second time in three days :)

  12. Would frozen cauliflower rice work for this?

    • Hello,
      Yes, I use frozen cauliflower rice a lot. Being diabetic ìts lots less carbs. DELICIOUS !! I make it pretty much the same, just have my (rice ) thawed and a bit dry and use lots of veggies. Love it with shrimp too but not a favorite with the rest. Lol so chicken or just veggies is great. Enjoy !!

    • Has anyone tried this recipe with cauliflower rice and if so what alterations did you adjust for?

  13. Seriously the best fried rice ever!!! Made as written but added some ground chicken. Perfect combination of everything. Have never made with butter and that is the secret to perfect fried rice

  14. I made this last night and was shocked at how good it was. The best plain vegetable fried rice I ever had. I love Ali’s recipes and have tried and enjoyed several. You never let me down girl. Keep cooking!

  15. First, great thanks to the person who suggested making a ‘bowl in the middle of the finished cooked rice and scrambling the eggs there. It worked like a charm! We added left over tuna from the sous vide. don’t flake it too small like I did but will definitely be making this a seafood dish heavy on the vegetables for many nights to come! Enjoy!

  16. Love this recipe. I’ve made it several times. Passed it on to a friend and she’s made it several times as well.

  17. Our Christmas dinner! Your tips are fabulous.

  18. I decided to give this a try when I realized I already had all the ingredients. Thanks for this recipe. This was my first time making fried rice and it was very good.

  19. Amazing recipe. Thanks for sharing. Instead of oyster sauce, I used equal mix of hoison sauce and rice vinegar. It turned out great.

  20. This was delicious! Just the way I like it. I added chopped cooked pork loin.

  21. Tried and true. My favorite stir fry rice recipe and my family loves it. Have made it several times!!! Thank you! 😊👍

  22. My MIL has adamantly refused to eat fried rice for 60 years. I made this dish for my husband and me, and the usual dish of white rice for her. She asked to try the fried rice and, much to our supreme shock, she loved it and said I should make it again! I cannot overstate how unbelievable this is, that’s how good this recipe is. I feel like the country’s best cook!

  23. Very good recipe. Thanks for sharing 😍

  24. Excellent!! Really fantastic and super easy. Did the trick for cooking the rice and it worked perfectly. Subbed broccoli for the carrots and was great.

  25. Just as a note, with kimchi fried rice, never use fresh kimchi. Fresh kimchi is only used as a side/condiment. It’s only when it “sours” is it good for other things. That’s when you can use it in pancakes, soups, and fried rice. Always use old rice. My Mom calls this Fool’s/idiot’s fried rice vs. normal fried rice because like a fool, you can’t stop eating. And I’m not making that up, it’s actually called that in Korea.

  26. I LOVE this rice !!! I’ve shared this recipe so many times I almost know it by heart. Thank you so much.

  27. This really is the BEST fried rice!!! No Lie! I now make it in a non-stick pan (takes less butter), and I cook the egg in a different pan (saves a little time). I use lots of peas and carrots (frozen work great), and less rice. I used coconut amino sauce instead of soy sauce for my soy-intolerant friend. I like the slight added sweetness. I add ham, chicken or barbecued pork if I have it. I made this recipe for my Vegan family members with mixed vegetables and hoisin sauce instead of the oyster sauce. They loved it, and make it all the time now, too! I always take home the left-over white rice from Asian meals out, now, and make a whole new meal from it with this great recipe. LOVE IT!!!

  28. This was just ok. Needed more sauce and more flavor. I used everything in the recipe. Looking for another recipe….

  29. Loved the recipe but didn’t have the veggies so used frozen peas and carrots instead……still turned out awesome. Thanks the the tip using cold rice. Last time I tried making fried rice using a different recipe, I used fresh cooked rice and wondered why it was all gummy!

  30. This was AWESOME!!! I can’t believe the oyster sauce and sesame how it just exploded with flavor!! Thank you so much!!!

  31. The recipe and picture looked really good but i found it oily and ‘off’ somehow. I did not replicate what i am used to getting at the restaurant.

  32. Chop chop chop it was time consuming but worth every minute of the efforts! Since I was making another time consuming recipe (Korean beef strips) that requires mixing a marinade, etc. so I was in the kitchen most of the day.
    In one word: fabulous fried rice recipe. You gave me so many good tips. The downside was I took the rest over to my neighbors and the two of them devoured it so I had no leftovers. Awesome recipe thank you!

  33. it looks delicious wow,,I really like it and I would like to prepare mine using this recipe.

  34. Planning to make this recipe tomorrow night for dinner. I just happen to have cold rice already in my fridge! I plan on creating the chicken version of this….. I will take 1 large skinless boneless breast, using my large blade chopper, I will chop up the uncooked breast to get a medium/fine ground/shredded chicken, saves tons of time and energy doing it this way for me, plus the texture is much easier to control, rather than buying ground chicken in store. Cook the chicken separately and add it in after the rice mixture is all combined and it should be goodddddd.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing. I cook very little and came a cross this recipe as I was trying to add to my regular dishes. I got all the suggested sauces, except for using sesame chili oil, instead of the toasted sesame oil at the end. Family loves it!

  36. I was looking for some dinner ideas and I came across this, I don’t know why I clicked on this recipe since I made fried rice before but let me tell you I was so glad I did. I don’t know if its the butter or the oyster sauce but this recipe just hits different. It is AMAZING and it changed my life. I have a purpose to live now and I don’t hate my life, that’s how good it is.

  37. My mom learned to make fried rice in Taiwan and I have made it since I took it to home ec. in high school. It is one of our staple meals putting leftovers to use. Thank you for your insight. Once I used olive oil, not good. I will definitely use butter, what a great idea! I totally agree with using sesame oil, it really makes a difference. My core veggies are cabbage, ginger, garlic, then anything I have in the fridge: mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, onion, celery, etc. I use leftover meat too, anything works. I have noticed the difference between cold and warm rice, good to read your advice! My husband like a to add cheese, to me tho.

  38. Still the best fried rice recipe out there! Made it again today with leftover chilled jasmine rice.

  39. I have made this three times now. Quick, easy, and a family favorite. My 20 year old has asked for the recipe because this is all she orders out! Thank you!

  40. Yummy, love this recipe. I used brown rice, and chicken thighs.

  41. Simple yet tempting. I’m cooking this tonight.

  42. Delicious. Everyone in my family loved it!

  43. I’ve made a lot of fried rice and this one truly is the best! I don’t love peas, so we use edamame and instead of butter (we can’t tolerate dairy) we use unrefined coconut oil. The light coconut-y flavor it as just brings this dish up a notch. Our favorite way to serve it is with tofu! Thanks so much for an awesome recipe!

  44. Can you use cauliflower rice?

  45. I have made many online recipes but never left a review because, I guess I’m lazy about writing reviews. But after making this recipe I couldn’t wait to write a review….
    SUPER DELICIOUS!
    I used spiralized carrots to speed up their cooking and I used 2 boneless pork chops which I pre-sliced and fried after making the eggs which made it cook up very quickly. I just put it to the side with the scrambled eggs. I even used the Oyster Sauce which repulsed me when I saw it in the recipe. But I went out and bought it anyway. You truly don’t taste it – you just get this really good depth of flavor from it. I am stuffed but I want another serving – it is that GOOD!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!!

  46. great!

  47. Thank you!! Made delicious pineapple fried rice last night and used all of your hints (except no oyster sauce because local store didn’t have it). This dish turned out better than what any of our restaurants can make and we live in Phoenix.
    Looking forward to trying out some of your other recipes

  48. Made this last night with shrimp, wonderful flavor except a little too salty for me even though I’m a salt lover. Actually just warmed up a bowlful for breakfast which got cold while I was typing this–Wow, never thought cold fried rice would be so good! Will definitely make this again, but leaving out the salt–the Oyster Sauce & Soy Sauce have plenty. The butter made it 6 stars!

  49. I’ve made this many, many, many times, but never with butter because we have been avoiding dairy over the years. Coconut oil was my go-to. Pretty good. But has anyone used ghee?

  50. I’m sure this could be a great rice. BUT….. I screwed up by following the advise from a reviewer here that said to rinse the day old rice in cold water to remove the clumping. WRONG!!!! Do NOT do this. I couldn’t drain the rice enough. And all that water turned my rice into a gummy mess. Sad to cuz the flavor was great. Just felt like we were eating baby gummy food. Can’t believe I was that dumb. Common sense should have told me this was a very BAD IDEA.