This Chinese-inspired fried rice recipe is my absolute fave. It’s quick and easy to make, customizable with any of your favorite mix-ins, and so irresistibly delicious.
Hey friends! I’m digging back into the blog archives today to share one of my all-time favorite recipes.
My favorite homemade fried rice. ♡
Growing up, our family had a tradition of eating lunch every Saturday at our neighborhood’s favorite local Chinese restaurant. And every single Saturday for lunch, I ordered the same thing — egg drop soup and fried rice, my absolute favorites. This restaurant set the bar high for me early when it comes to how amazing fried rice could be. Theirs was always perfectly al dente with slightly crispy edges, full of rich savory flavors, and loaded up with plenty of extra veggies, eggs, and whatever protein sounded good.
After our favorite restaurant sadly closed over a decade ago, I spent years tinkering around with dozens and dozens of batches of fried rice, attempting to recreate a fried recipe that tasted as good as theirs. And while nothing will ever match the original in my book, this fried rice recipe that I’ve landed on is as close as I’ve come and has been my favorite go-to ever since. It’s surprisingly speedy to make, easy to customize with your favorite add-ins, and SO flavorful and comforting. Thousands of our readers have also made and enjoyed it over the years since. So if you’re looking for a good recipe to try, I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
Let’s make some homemade fried rice!
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 slab of butter when they’re making fried rice. It just tastes so much better, and also makes everything brown up perfectly. (Although by contrast to Japanese steak houses, we only use 3 tablespoons for a large batch of rice in this recipe.)
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 instead of frying.
6) Let the rice brown a bit on the bottom: If you’re like me and love your rice to be a bit crispy, let it rest for a bit in between stirs so that it can brown a bit on the bottom. It also helps greatly to use a non-stick skillet so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
7) 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 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).
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:
To make this homemade fried rice recipe, simply:
Scramble 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.
Sauté veggies and garlic: Return your sauté pan to the heat, and sauté the onions, carrots, peas and garlic until soft and cooked through.
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.
Remove pan from heat. And stir in your green onions, sesame oil, and scrambled eggs.
Taste and season. Give the rice a taste, and season with salt and pepper, plus any extra soy sauce or sesame oil if needed.
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 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.
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.
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 sautéing for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice, stirring occasionally. (I like to let the rice rest for a bit between stirs so that it can crisp up on the bottom.) 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.
*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.
This is such a good recipe. I will be using this recipe as a base for future variations. I love it!
Thank you, great recipe! Just made it for supper and it was delicious. I think the butter and the oyster sauce made all the difference cause it was much nicer than my previous efforts.
Such good tips! Finally I can make fried rice at home an not spend $13 per meal on it!
Really good! Thank you!
Very good recipe. I’ve tried many. This is the best one.
Should you add the butter to the boiling water before cooking the rice?
Recipe calls for cooked rice so you’d cook the rice normally then chill before adding to the frying pan. You usually don’t add butter when boiling the rice. Once your rice is cooked and chilled, you’d put the butter in the pan with the other ingredients. Saute those for a bit then add more butter then the cooked rice.
Nooooo! Don’t ever do it! I will cry if you do it 😂.
Also, don’t ever use butter to make fried rice. Just simply use vegetable oil and don’t forget to season your wok before you use it! As an Asian who was born in Asia and spent all my life in Asia before moving to America 3 years ago, I don’t approve this recipe. I don’t know why people in the comment sections said this recipe is great. Maybe because they’ve never made a trip to Asia and never eaten street food fried rice in Asia. I guess they don’t know what a good fried rice is.
@Lulu Have you tried this recipe? It’s really good! Perhaps it’s not up to Singapore stall food quality, but it’s yummy! Lived in Asia 10+ years.
My husband complains in every restaurant that the fried rice isn’t good. While he was in the Navy he bought some from a street vendor, and has been searching for that same flavor. Eureka! He found it in this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it.
So easy and delish-thanks for sharing!!!!
Made this with quinoa to make it keto and diabetic friendly and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much for this recipe. It has so much more flavor than other recipes (or even restaurant fried rice) that I’ve tried.
A+ recipe! I mixed up the veggies a little bit but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Would be great too with a protein added like pan-fried tofu or cooked chicken for a complete dish. This is now my friend rice go-to. Thanks!
I’ve made this twice and love it! The only change I make is less soy and more oyster sauce, which I discovered I like with this recipe, LOL. Very versatile, my daughter adds honey garlic shrimp to hers. Thank you!
Amazing—have been cooking fried rice for many years, but never used butter–it was fantastic—added lots of veggies (white onion, red pepper, mushrooms, carrots, green onions) as recommended, including shelled frozen edamame beans—absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much for your recipe, I’ve made this so many times now. We absolutely love this rice dish. I have added chicken, and we tried it with shrimp. My fave is to make orange chicken to serve with the rice. But also love to use a rotisserie chicken, so easy and so delish. So happy to have found your recipe.
BUTTER! Of course… made this a great recipe I will use from now on! Thanks for your hard efforts in figuring out the perfect recipe.
I make our fried rice very similar to this. But instead of peas, I use broccoli, cut into small pieces. They are lower carb than peas and we love getting that good veggie in. I never thought about green onions, but I’ll be adding that next time!
By just reading the ingredients and utensil you use, I can tell this fried rice is definitely Americanized. I can assure this is 100% “Not Uncle Roger Approved” lol. But at least you mentioned that this fried rice is Chinese inspired, not authentic. Nice try!
Anyway, you did great job in telling some important things. I agree with most part of it. Only few things that I find it untrue. The choice of oil for fried rice plays an important part to create the authentic Asian flavor. Do not ever use butter and sesame oil to make fried rice! It will affect the flavor and texture. You don’t want your fried rice has strong sesame flavor. It’s not gonna taste good.
Also, Asian people in Asia never use butter. Just simply use vegetable oil! It has a high smoking point which is suitable for stir-frying and a neutral taste that will not affect the flavor of the fried rice. Only Western and maybe Asian people who live in Western country use butter.
However, I like the fact that you mentioned oyster sauce. It’s important to give umami taste in fried rice. It’s not fried rice without umami. Fried rice doesn’t taste good without umami. In Asia, people usually use MSG, chicken powder, beef powder, or mushroom powder. But if you don’t want to use MSG, oyster sauce is a great choice to give umami flavor to fried rice.
Do you have a recipe page? You seem to know so much that maybe you should start your own for Asian people as you mentioned numerous times in your “review”.
I am an American, lived in Europe, Islands, 26 states. Why you are so obsessed about changing a good recipe. At the ripe age of 70 I assure you this recipe, albeit “americanized”is fabulous. Many recipes have multiple versions, like spicey for adults, plain for kids. Searching for a familiar taste (oyster sauce was the missing ingredient. Loosen up, stop the rant, try something different…it’s great.
So delicious and easy to whip up. I added a bit of frozen chopped kale from the freezer and instead of dicing the carrot I shredded it. Fabulous and will definitely make again!
Best fried I have ever cooked . Even the aroma said delish !!! Spot on 😊
Such a tasty recipe. We all enjoyed it. Very versatile. Thanks.
Yummy , I made it with shrimp.
We loved this recipe !! It was so fresh tasting and will be my go to recipe whenever we want fried rice. Excellent tips were very much appreciated. Even bought oyster sauce for the first time ever, just for this recipe. Thank you for teaching this old Nana how to make great fried rice.
This was an incredible recipe. The oyster sauce is a must for me. I threw in some diced pork and that took it to another level. Im thinking of adding some shrimp next time. Definitely a keeper.
Calories per serving?
This is lovely! I made it for my daughter initially who has been hit by the teen years and thorough doubted my abilities to make something as good as her favorite sushi restaurant. This recipe not only proved her wrong but has the whole family requesting it. Husband says it’s the best fried rice he’s ever had! Thank you tons for this!!
This is my 3rd time making this recipe and I love it so much and glad I found it! Great with shrimp.
Delicious! I love ordering fried rice in restaurants and had never tried making it myself. It was surprisingly simple. The flavor was amazing. Definitely making it again. I trust this recipe for company. Loved it!
Absolutely the best fried rice Recipe I have ever tried. Lots of great flavor
This was so good !! but I think 4 cups of rice was a little too much for me hahaha
Made this for dinner tonight. Everyone loved it. Didn’t use the oyster sauce or peas(my familydoesn’tlike peas). Used finely diced celery instead.
Easy and quick to make.
This is definitely a keeper.
I used a tablespoon of olive oil and sauteed chopped chicken breast with the minced garlic cloves. I followed the recipe, except I put the chicken aside and made room for the eggs in the same pan. My boyfriend said the rice was much better than at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I will try adding a bit more of the Oyster sauce next time.
I moved from Montreal to Hong Kong. I keep following your recipes and still enjoy them.
Love this recipe so much!!!
Great recipe. I add leftover fish instead of eggs because of allergies and it tastes so good.
5 out of 5
I am allergic to sesame oil. Also vegetable oil. Could you suggest another.? Would olive oil work?
Awesome and versatile.
Is there anyway yo get nutrition information on this recepie?
Absolutely THE BEST fried rice recipe EVER!!! Quick, easy, and delicious! Serve exactly like this , or change up the veggies. Add meat, shrimp, or chicken. It’s a great “go to” recipe on busy days.!!! WE LOVE IT!!!!
What can i use instead of sesame oil if i dont have it?
Thank you for this recipe! I’ll be keeping this one handy.
I made breaded baked chicken bites with sweet Thai chili sauce and this was amazing with it.
So delicious even better than takeaway Chinese!
So good! Omitted the oyster sauce. My family of four devoured the whole batch.
Came out really well. One of the best I have done.
Oh yummy was my daughter’s reaction when she tasted the fried rice. She even took leftovers for her lunch. Definitely going to make this again. It’s Easy and I have all the I Ingredients at hand.
Absolutely loved this recipe! Super easy and versatile. I added bacon to mine for a bit of extra flavour 😋
I have read your article where you have explained the various processes of cooking with Rice Cookers beautifully. After reading https://tachgadgets.com/ I think it has something new that no one else has.
Great recipe! Thanks for sharing
Please can you tell me the best way to reheat after being in the fridge a day or so ?
Trying this tonight. Wish me luck
I have been wanting to try making fried rice myself forever. Being from St Louis, but living in TX, I can’t get the fried rice I’m used too. We don’t add peas and carrots. Instead we add onion, bell peppers and bean sprouts. I tried your recipe and I’d say I HAVE A HIT!!! This was my 1st time and it’s yummy. I can twait to make it again, since I know how it turns out. Thank you
Oh my! This is so delicious!!! I used string beans in place of the peas, and I used Lundgrens short grain brown rice which I made a day ahead of time. This was served to a very picky eater. He liked it so much that he washed the dishes!
Now, that’s a compliment!!!