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”

  1. We make this recipe at least twice a month at our house. It’s so tasty and such a great way to use up a bunch of veggies. Kids love it, adults love it, it’s a huge hit! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!!

    • Made this recipe yesterday! Absolutely the best fried rice that I’ve ever eaten!! Also very easy to make when you have all ingredients ready to go! Oyster sauce and toasted sesame oil are a must!!

  2. Eating this right now! I didn’t have any garlic so I used garlic powder. And since I’m vegetarian I left out the oyster sauce but added some broccoli and Morningstar Crumbles. It is delicious! I will definitely be making this again:)

  3. I added ginger to the sautéing veggies. And was out of oyster sauce so used hoisin- not quite the same but still delicious! Thanks! And YES to cold rice!

  4. I used your fried rice recipe almost exactly with a tweak here and there to my own taste and I was astounded how delicious it was. You are right the sesame oil made a world of difference and the oyster sauce (which I love anyway) added to the depth of color as well as flavors. This is my new go-to basic recipe that I will use to experiment from. Great recipe, Thank you much!!! I would have loved attaching a picture. It even LOOKS delicious….

  5. Been looking for a go-to recipe for fried rice for years – stumbled across this and have to say it works for me – tweaked for my own taste and am extremely pleased with the outcome – thank you

  6. I’ve tried dozens of fried rice recipes and this is the best and only one I use.I have had more compliments than I can count,and have been ask for this recipe every time.I now have several copies on hand to give out.Thank you so much for this 5 * version of The Best Fried Rice .Every ingredient was used just as you said and was a perfect blend.

  7. SO SO SO yummy! This recipe is def going in my recipe book. I added fresh jalapeño for a kick 😉

  8. OMG!!! I cut the recipe in half… prepared it… and ate the whole thing!! Best fried rice I’ve EVER eaten. The hint about the cold rice was spot on. Thank you so much for posting this.

  9. This is by far the best fried rice recipe I e tried! Tha is for the tips!!

  10. I liked the flavor, I did add a little extra soy sauce. The texture threw me off, I followed the instructions to the letter and my rice came out sticky, versus the well done fried rice, any tips for next time?

  11. Great recipe and easy to veganize. Used earth balance instead of butter and baked tofu (plain firm tofu pressed, sliced and prebaked at 425 for 30 minutes then cubed) instead of egg. Used leftover cold brown rice, bag of frozen carrots and peas, frozen corn I needed to get rod of and an extra tbsp of soy sauce, sesame oil and added mirin rice vinegar instead of oyster sauce. I also through in a little garlic and onion powder for personal preference. We garnished with a drizzle of sriracha. Definitely the best fried recipe I’ve tried, thank you!
    .

  12. It is a great recipe! Very flavorful and a good way to use extra rice.

  13. So delicious! I have made many mediocre fried rice recipes, but this one is so flavorful and authentic tasting. I added chopped water chestnuts as I happened to have a can. This is definitely my go to from now on!

  14. Hey, thanks for this great recipe & tips. My hub said he has never had luck making fried rice and believes that its because of the “use cold rice” rule. Thanks bunches! Easy & delicious!

  15. I love this recipe! Even my boyfriend likes it and he hates vegetables! I did have to add some pork and pineapple…and I substituted the peas for peppers and mushrooms (I’m the only one who likes them 😭). It’s still good, though!

  16. SO delicious! Made this with bits and pieces of leftover frozen vegetables (stir-fry mix, broccoli, green beans, onions and peppers) and added water chestnuts. So good and easy to make. I had oyster sauce and sesame oil which definitely does make the dish. I never go wrong with gimmesomeoven.com recipes. Thanks!

  17. This was my first attempt at fried rice. I used shredder carrots and zucchini instead of peas. Husband love it. I will make using different veggies.
    Thank you.

  18. Darn good. This is the best fried rice I have made after several tries/recipes. Toasted sesame oil is mandatory.

  19. You did a great service to all of us who love fried rice, even though your version is so much better than most of the restaurants. Perfect recipe to tweak to individual tastes. Thank you for the suggestion of chilling the rice. Had never done that before but the outcome was wonderful!

  20. Looks amazing will definitely be making this

  21. I have made this several times and love it. I started cooking my rice in vegetable broth to give it a richer flavor. My husband prefers my fried rice over the restaurant. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!. Made it last night and my oh my so very delicious. Not missing the MSG at all since Chinese food has it most times. 😍😁😋😋😋

  23. ALI, PLEASE READ: like yourself, I was crazy about pork fried rice and pork egg rolls once I discovered it in my teens, NJ had amazing, delicious Chinese restaurants locally. Being out here in LA for the past 30 yrs, it lacks real flavor and bland spring rolls are the norm, so I always have to get my “fix” when back east visiting. I’m so excited and grateful that I just found your recipe and can’t wait to try, heading out to buy oyster sauce and toasted sesame seed oil. It will now become a staple as I recently discovered that brown rice really stabilizes my blood sugar level and cuts out desire for sweet dessert in the evening, so your delicious recipe will actually improve my health and cholesterol levels. Double bonus! Question: I didn’t find a good traditional pork egg roll recipe on your site. Could you please provide us with one? Thanks so much!

  24. This was awesome. Best fried rice I ever made.
    Omitted peas and carrots (hubby doesn’t like) and oyster sauce (allergies) and it still tasted delicious.

  25. This recipe was the best one I’ve tried so far. I used a wok and prepped everything in small bowls before I started. I think that’s key to making this recipe run smoothly. Thank you so much!

  26. The oyster sauce and sesame oil are a big no for us these days since we have a child that is allergic to both. Any alternatives you might suggest with similar flavor?

  27. Really good and easy to make

  28. I did this with what I had in the house. Cooked the rice put in freezer, worked great. I didn’t have oyster sauce or green onions, but it still tastes great! Thanks!

  29. Cant use sesame anything due to allergies any suggestions??

  30. Oh yum! Thank you for this, Ali. I have made several attempts at fried rice before, because it is so perfect for dealing with leftover rice, but it was always lackluster. Using butter instead of oil makes all the difference in the world. I have a mixed diet household (joy!), so I made some thin strips of pork with chinese 5 spice and served it all with some nice, crunchy kimchi. The whole sweet, salty, vinegary dance going on was delicious!
    Muchos gracias.

  31. We’re been coming back to this recipe for years! So grateful to have the ingredients on hand during this quarantine. It’s one of our favorite comfort foods.

  32. I have never made Fried Rice. I recently saw a local meteorologist who is from Hawaii make fried rice with spam and shrimp. I thought I would give it a try. I looked through lots of recipes on Pinterest and this is the one I chose and I am so glad I did. It is delicious. My husband loved it and he loves Fried Rice.
    I didn’t have carrots so I used an orange bell pepper that I diced and cooked for a couple of minutes with the onion before adding the peas. I then created a well in the center and cooked the small pink shrimp from Whole Foods. I also didn’t have any oyster sauce but I did have fish sauce so I used 1 tsp. That is what our local chef used (who was also a finalist on American Idol…he is very talented). It was amazing!
    Thank you for all your help. I had no idea you had to use cold rice.

  33. I really enjoyed the recipe and used long grain rice (Jasmin), however I was hoping the rice would have been less sticky, do other people find the rice sticky? Is there anything I can do?

  34. Loved this. Doubled the recipe thinking we could eat it for a few days… and we almost ate everything on night #1! I only had 2 carrots and 1/4 onion in the fridge , so I added whatever else I found—chopped parsnips, leeks, chard stems, and celery—to the sauté, otherwise followed the recipe very close (- the oyster sauce, since we didn’t have it on hand, and I used Tamari, not soy) and it turned out phenomenal. Best fried rice I’ve ever had. We like spice so added some sambal olek at the end. Oh! And I cooked the rice in 1/2 chicken stock 1/2 water, before refrigerating… so that added some nice flavor too :)

  35. Im excited to try this recipe it look delicious and easy to prepare!! ThankYou!!:)

  36. Great recipe! Thank you for sharing! I cooked my rice in broth that was half chicken half beef stock with just a touch of vegi stock. I also added a touch of the fish sauce, sesame oil, along with a dash of ground ginger and white pepper. This really adds depth to the flavor! Then I added the sauces as suggested above when frying and omg! Amazing! Couple this with some homemade ramen and egg rolls it was the best dinner we had in a long time!!

  37. Best fried rice ever tastes like rice from a hibachi grill….yummy

  38. I cook the rice the day before. I spread the rice out on a sheet pan on parchment paper and put it in the refrigerator. The refrigerator drys the rice so that you can fry it. If you try to fry wet rice it steams it and comes out mushy.

  39. This was my first time making fried rice at home. I added shrimp and hoisin sauce to it. It came out greate :-)

  40. AMAZING!! Home run across the board

  41. Is there any ingredient that could replace the sesame oil and oyster sauce? I don’t have either ):

  42. Thanks,a great and easy way to make a meal.

  43. Gave this a shot and whew am I glad I did! Absolutely delicious!! The flavors are perfect!

  44. Hello!! This looks like an amazing recipe, although I do have a few questions!!
    1.) If I make the rice and let it chill in the fridge for only a couple of hours, will that be fine?
    2.) Is it possible to double, maybe even triple this recipe? Any tips on that?
    3.) Lastly, can I make this using a wok?
    Thank you so much, and I’m sorry if these questions were obvious!! Have a great day :)

    • I refrigerated the rice for just a few hours and used a wok. Came out great. As for doubling the recipe? Not sure, but I don’t see why not.

  45. Just made this tonite as I had a craving for something Chinese. Wow, this was fantastic. Got raves from everybody.

  46. I was wondering how many calories for 1 serving

  47. I add slivered almonds to my fried rice for protein as a main dish. I also tend to use a lot of veggies. (I think I was a rabbit in a previous life – got to have those greens!)

    Love your (veg) recipes – and have shared your site with many folks who are now fans too! <3

  48. Loved it. Had Chinese take out a couple of days ago & restaurant was out of fried rice!! Glad they are doing well in these times. They sent several cartons of white rice, so not wanting to waste any food, Googled fried rice. Your recipe is the best. Put the cold rice in a hot buttered pan & let sit till bottom was crunchy.
    Next time we order Chinese will ask for extra white rice.

  49. Absolutely amazing recipe! I followed the recipe except I swapped out the peas for broccoli because neither my fiance or myself like peas. Everything was amazing and he said he loved it! I will be using this as my go-to fried rice recipe in the future, such great flavor!!

  50. Terrible !!! Tasteless … had to add much extra soy sauce and sesame oil … probably could have used 5 spice powder … may add it before I serve it again … rice never fried up as directed in the steps … do not waste time or ingredients on this recipe!!! Btw, don’t use butter … use stir fry oil instead.