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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1,460 comments on “Fried Rice”

  1. I made this recipe, had to “freeze” my rice to be cold enough to fry in time. (YES IT MATTERS! USE COLD RICE!) Instead of oyster sauce I used hoison SAUCE. I also added a few drops of sirracha because we like a little spice I’m our lives. Came out great without me over saucing the rice like I normally do. For some reason I think saucing more makes it better when less is more and this recipe made me control myself. I love it!

    • For almost 50 years I’ve made clumped fried rice, even after I learned that the rice needs to be cold.
      This time, I cooked Jasmine rice in organic chicken broth two days ago. I made a small batch tonight, BEAUTIFUL and delicious. Thank you!

  2. I made fried rice today using this recipe and I LOVE IT OML. The only fried rice I’ve cooked that tasted good😭🙌. Since my family and I love to eat spicy, so I added chili and tossed in some black pepper to add some heat and some little twist. Overall, yummy!

  3. I made it with Spam. A true store cupboard meal with veg from the freezer. Great when you cant get to the shops.

  4. Hi Ali!
    I love your site.

    Please tell me the approximate size of a “serving” for this recipe.

    I am trying to calculate ingredient amounts needed to prepare 36 cups of the fried rice.

    Thank you!!

  5. Very easy and modifiable. Second time I made it. Used Trader Joe’s frozen precooked brown rice right out of the freezer. Also added diced ginger root and cut up snow peas. Easy, tasty, and filling. Thanks.

  6. We had a go-to fried rice recipe that we used for years and now we have a new one. The rice was delicious, with the exsct right amount of butteriness without being too oily. I used the oyster sauce and will keep on using it because it adds another layer of flavour.

  7. Vegetarians don’t need to miss out on oyster sauce! There’s a very good vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce made by Ayam.

  8. Followed directions…Impressed myself ! Did NOT share…ate it all myself…omg…thank you. P.S. Chilling the rice…who knew!!!Best tip EVER…

  9. O.M.G!! This is exactly the taste I get from my local Chinese restaurant and I now know that the flavor comes from the otster sauce:) My husband devoured it in about 5 mins and that was a BIG bowl. Some changes I made only because I wanted to “healthify” it a bit.
    1. I doubled this recipe to feed 8
    -used (12)eggs
    -I used (2) frozen bags of peas/carrots mix
    -I had no onions(covid impact) so I used onion powder
    -I had no green onions so i left that out
    -used (1) bottle of oyster sauce on the stir fry and meat mixture
    -meat mixture I used ground chicken (2) pounds. Only seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and poured the half bottle of oyster sauce over it once cooked.
    -used SimpleTruth brown rice (2) bags—heats up in 90seconds
    -combined the entire mixture and it was 😋 YUM!
    My secret***I used avocado oil for frying because it has high heating point without overcooking or frying your food too fast and unevenly. The dish came out so soft just a little texture like it is at the Asian restaurants.

    • Did you defrost the frozen carrots & peas, or just put them straight into the pan frozen? Thanks

  10. This recipe is very adaptable! We only had carrots for veggies in our house and it still tasted amazing. Only thing I would say is it felt like it was missing a spice or sauce…just something else to add to the flavour. Still a good recipe!

    • Minced ginger! Add it with the garlic. I used a little more than a teaspoon – use more or less according to your taste

    • Yumm-O! Great just as it is but of course I have to mess with every recipe. Ha ha hah. I added in a bag of frozen riced cauliflower (plain, with carrots and peas) and stir fried it into the veggies after the onion And carrot was soft and beginning to carmelize. Doubled the carrot and added an extra egg. I’m ornery, lol. The original recipe would be delightful with no changes. I used brown rice as I’m a fiber hound and made sure it was completely COLD before adding in. I tend to use recipes as a template. This is a GREAT template, and this recipe is a keeper!!

  11. Amazing. Make sure to steam the carrots

    • Absolutely. That is a great tip.. and that goes for any of the vegetables. Water is the enemy of any good fried rice or stir fried dish and you also don’t want to have to worry about cooking the carrots to keep pace with the rest.

  12. This is the best fried rice I’ve ever tasted! I followed the recipe exactly.

  13. Delicious!! I have never made fried rice. I would definitely make it again.

  14. Wow! Best fried rice recipe I’ve ever used. The whole family loved it! I omitted the oyster sauce in order to make the dish vegetarian, but it was awesome nonetheless!

  15. Excellent recipe, I made it for breakfast it was Delicious
    ,so I will add this to my recipe collection

  16. Amazing!

  17. So good. Added pretty much whatever vegetables I had in the fridge, including tofu, ginger, red pepper, zucchini, water chestnuts. So delicious. Skipped the eggs as wanted to make it vegan. This did not disappoint. Will be making again. Thank you

  18. This is my go-to fried rice recipe. I like to vary the veggies and throw in whatever I have on-hand. I’ve begun cooking more rice than necessary and freezing the extra portion so I can put this together in a pinch when I don’t have a lot of time.

    • I made this recipe last night & added cabbage & shrimp. It’s the best recipe!!! My boyfriend just kept raving about it! I only added cabbage because I love it. I’m going to make this again & each time that I do I’m going to use a different type of meat. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will be looking at more of yours!

  19. Very good and tasty

  20. is the rice ever fried without the liquid sauces so that it can crisp up?

  21. My 6yo son and I made this together for dinner tonight, and it was perfect and much easier than I anticipated. I’ve had disastrous results with fried rice burning/sticking in the past, but not this one.

  22. Delicious! My family loved this recipe. I followed the recipe as written except I added additional soy sauce and oyster sauce. Looking forward to having it again!

  23. Thank you so much for this simple but amazing recipe. My son and I bought a home together
    and divide the household tasks. Neither of us being cooks, I drew the short straw on cooking.
    Finally I found a recipe where my son asks to make the dish again hahha. Thank you, I now
    know the joy of cooking for the first time in my life ha.

  24. Just made this rice OMG it was delicious

  25. Great recipe- we used fresh veggies: broccoli carrots snow peas,red and green bell peppers celery red and green onions and low sodium soy with half orange juice YUM! I wonder if anyone tried it with frozen cauliflower rice.

  26. Great recipe- wonder if anyone ever tried using frozen cauliflower rice?

  27. Omg!!! I have been looking for a good fried rice recipe for quite some time this is one of my new favorites. The only change I would make would be to use a wok instead of a regular pan for a more even heating

  28. Was good, not great! Disappointed actually, followed recipe. Was no where near take out quality.

  29. Followed the recipe except I did not add any salt or pepper and I still felt like it was too salty and I never think anything is too salty. Otherwise pretty good.

  30. I cook the egg while the rice is frying up, I just crack two eggs into the pan and stir it up. I don’t understand why you would want to pre-cook the eggs when you have a perfectly good frying pan full of ingredients! plus the egg runs all throughout the rice this way, not just clumps.

  31. Delicious!

  32. So good! The only things I added were frozen corn, Siracha, and a squeeze of lime at the end! I used your hack of leftover chicken breast too and added it right before the rice. I definitely agree that day old rice is best – I used some leftover rice from Chinese takeout.

  33. OMG, dinner was almost a total bomb fest! I didn’t realize the rice was supposed to chill overnight. Even worse, I made it in my pressure cooker because of time. Big no, no. It was mush! I stuck it in the freezer to no avail. I then threw it into the air fryer and it tasted like tater tots. Lol, smh 🤦‍♀️I went ahead and threw it on the stove and went from there. By some miraculous grace from God, I somehow managed for it to come out pretty darn good! 😲🤯 I’m serving it with grilled steak, shrimp and vegetables with yum, yum sauce. It’s gonna be killer! Thanks so much!

  34. Made this tonight with some few day old leftover calrose rice and it was great! Made it as written, and I don’t think there is a thing I would change next time. Solid fried rice recipe, thank you!

  35. Huge hit. I used broccoli and cauliflower and carrots and green peppers. Great way to incorporate veggies in the meal.

  36. Wow. I had about 3 cups of leftover brown rice taking up space in my fridge and this hit. the. spot! Took all my willpower to put the leftovers away instead of eating them out of the pan. I did take one shortcut and used a generous cup of frozen peas ‘n’ carrots instead of frozen peas + diced raw carrots. I thawed the veggies in a colander under cool running water, let them drain while I got everything else ready, and then patted them dry as best as I could with a paper towel before tossing them into the hot pan. I’ve tried a few fried rice recipes over the years, but this one is the best by far! A+!

  37. Nailed it. Came out fantastic. My husband was skeptical about the oyster sauce but once he tasted the final product he said it was way better than the fried rice we get around here. Definitely a keeper recipe!

  38. I only have regular sesame oil. Can I use that or is there a substitute I can use?

  39. Easily my favorite fried rice recipe. I’ve made it so many times I have memorized it but I keep coming back to read it. We have had to switch to coconut aminos after finding out that soy was causing my rashes but it still has outstanding flavor!

  40. I grated my carrots. Made them cook quick.

  41. Excellent! I hate cooking. This was easy and turned out great and, it’s something I can make with a different ingredient or two for a different taste. The consistency was spot on and it was moist w/o being greasy.
    I think the butter was the key. Maybe cold rice was as far as consistency/texture but I think the butter and adding sesame oil AFTER cooking made the real difference. 8t was better than some restaurant versions I’ve had…and I never say that about anything I make. Food is just fuel but this tasted good too.

  42. The recipe was pretty good, but honestly I wasn’t a fan of using butter. The buttery taste just felt out of place for a Chinese restaurant-style fried rice. The rest of the recipe and tips were very helpful but I’m gonna stick with cooking oil next time.

  43. I have made this about 5 times now and can’t get enough, better than any fried rice in a restaurant, thanks for the recipe

  44. Super!!!! Many thanks!!!

  45. Unreal! The oyster sauce is an excellent addition. I added mushrooms, celery, shallots, and chicken to this recipe. Everyone enjoyed seconds.

  46. 4 cups of rice just feels like so much to make at once and when I made the recipe it all came out super soggy and pretty tasteless I’m confused on how I messed it up when everyone says theirs came out so good?

  47. Man is this ever good!! Followed the recipe and added cubed chicken thighs which made a complete filling meal. Added to my favorite rotations and can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for sharing!!

  48. Made it for the first time everybody enjoyed it as well as me 💯🥰

  49. So, so good!!!!

  50. I love this recipe and have made it several times both plain and with steak! The first time I made it I didn’t have toasted sesame oil just regular and it was OK but you can really taste a difference with it! I highly recommend this recipe!