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.
Will definitely be using this as y go to base for fried rice!!!
Best basic fried rice recipe. Easy to customize to your preference. I added mushrooms and bell pepper. Use whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. Topped it with some extra soy sauce and Sriracha. This is a great base recipe that you can start with and add whatever you want. It’s also super quick, mine was done in less than 20 minutes.
Ordered fried rice from a 5 star rated restaurant last night and was super annoyed to discover that it was literally just steamed rice with veg mixed through.
Left it in the fridge and used this recipe to turn that mess into *actual* fried rice and it was delicious!
Will be keeping this recipe in frequent rotation and never order out again!
Try coconut secret soy substitute made from organic coconut tree sap . Sea salt ( 79% less salt). The taste is remarkably better than traditional soy and contains essential amino acids. I order 5 bottles at a time online. Gluten free as well. The rest I do is similar but using olive oil. I will try a mix of the two fats I think. Omit eggs…all about heart health. Still wonderful. We eat many times a week.
Every time we make this recipe exactly as written it is always excellent. Thanks again for sharing!!
My kids loved it. It’s a great basic quick dinner.
Best I have ever made .. just added some ginger and white pepper.. so good !
I’ve always been terrible at making fried rice, but this came together really well and tastes great. Definitely saving this for future use!
Made this as written. It was very good indeed. Maybe a little more of the sauces or a little less of the rice would be slightly better as I thought it was just a tad “dry”, but still super delicious. I had marinated chicken breast in a Korean chili style marinade all day (chili paste, soy, veg oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and dash of honey) and baked it in the oven as I was making the rice. The two loved each other and the dish was gobbled up by hubby and son. Not a bite left so apparently it was a complete success. Thanks for the recipe :)
can you give measurements for the marinade you used? sounds fantastic
Made this tonight for tea added bacon and thinly sliced schnitzel (leftovers) everything else the same except green onion. Will definitely be making again, so good. I’ll be eating it for the next few days I made too much lol
Thank you so much!! I’ve always wanted to make fried rice and your recipe was awesome!! So good!! I even toasted my own sesame oil since I couldn’t find toasted oil where I live. Delicious paired with your egg drop soup recipe! I’m a cooking sensation tonight! Thank you!
Yummy I add chicken, pork, and shrimp sometimes beef.!
I made this yesterday and I have to say it’s the best recipe for fried rice, I’ve come across 😁 I’m not a measurement sort of cook, just a bit of this and that to taste. I added shrimp/baby prawns here in Australia to my batch and it was amazing!! Very impressed! Thankyou.
Absolutely delicious. Best i’ve made at home. As they say in Montreal ; Le beurre fait la différence !
First time making fried rice and it was absolutely delicious! Wish I could share a picture!
Excellent and easy!
Made this for dinner tonight. My children loved it!
This turned out really great!! It was slightly just a little sweet maybe from the oyster sauce so next time I might just do half but we all really enjoyed it. Even my 7 and 5 year olds liked it!
Easy and flavorful! Thank you!
I used my wok. I didn’t have any oyster sauce or green onions, but it came it pretty good in my humble opinion lol
Never thought of using butter!! This recipe has definitely helped me improve my fried rice game. Although the butter is very decadent, it’s absolutely delicious. I guess it’s not that different from ghee in a biryani. Anyway thank you. I added a little curry powder too.
We loved this! I used a package of frozen mixed vegetables along with the onions, instead of the carrots. It was really good and made the recipe even quicker because there was less chopping.
I’ve tried making fried rice before, but it just never hot the spot. This was DELICIOUS and so easy to make. I’ll definitely add it to my meal rotation. Yummy!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Tasted like fried rice from a restaurant! Yep! It was that good!😋 Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe!😃
This is so quick, so easy, and SO delicious! I had left over roasted broccoli and garlic so I diced that up super fine along with carrots and some thin chicken cutlets that I sautéed first in the same pan I made the rice in. I also added a dash of sweet chili sauce at the end. My family was shoveling it into their mouths! Thank you for such a great recipe!
You are correct…butter made all the difference. The diced white onion added a nice crunch and although I left out the oyster sauce (didn’t have any) this still came together quick and 10X better than my local restaurant. This would also be a great way to clean out your fridge, using whatever veggies you have to use up. Next time I’ll add diced red bell pepper and finely diced celery as I like the crunch they impart. I may even try adding diced water chestnuts!
I like this recipe and make it often. I’ve added pork, prawns, beef and even summer sausage just depends on what’s in my fridge 😂. Sometimes I’ll add ginger as well. Just an easy recipe to make, easily customized to taste and always yummy. Our local restaurant is charging $9 an order and it has no flavor very sad!!
This was awesome! Great sauce recommendations too. Thanks for de-mystifying restaurant quality fried rice!
It was great! I used a package of pre-cooked rice, which I chilled in the fridge. I added white onions, green pepper, carrots, peas, and brocolli to the mixture, with 2 scrambled eggs. To serve I added sliced green onions. Only had soy sauce, but now have the toasted sesame oil on my grocery list. I’ll check out oyster sauce – might need to go to the Asian super market for that.
I used up left-overs, and using the packaged rice is perfect for the two of us. Thank you!
Made tonight!! Huge hit!! Everyone loved it!! Ty
This is my “go to” recipe for fried rice. I usually add shrimp just because that what we prefer. My daughter-in-law is Vietnamese and she even thinks this is a great way to cook and serve fried rice.
So yummy made it for me and my sister for diinner
A revelation for me, a mom to a newborn and 2 year old! I love Trader Joe’s chicken fried rice and this tastes a lot like it! I’m glad the sauce is so easy: soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame oil at the end.
I was able to use so many leftovers to make this: leftover rice, green onion and red onion, some old frozen mixed veggies (with carrots and peas), some old baby carrots, diced, and a half bag of coleslaw mix. Highly recommend using shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix if you have it in your fridge, or even if you’re shopping for this recipe.
I think the scrambled eggs, green onion and oyster sauce are the key ingredients to make it taste just the way I like it.
I don’t normally leave reviews but I’m wowed with how good this is! My picky 10 year old had 3 bowls, veggies and all!!! I made exactly as is but added corn for some sweetness. Thank you for sharing!!!
My go-to dinner on fridge clean-out day!
Quick, easy, changeable, and always guaranteed to be super delicious. The pickiest of eaters will love this as will gourmet eaters.
Delicious fried rice. Oyster sauce and Soy sauce were a nice combo.
Hi! Can you use fish sauce instead of oyster sauce?
Awesome never would have though of using butter so amazing thanks
No need to try another fried rice recipe. This is it for me! It was delicious!! I added leftover rotisserie chicken and some shrimp that I marinated a little bit in soy sauce. I may add some oyster sauce to that next time. There will be many next times 😁
This was great but ALOT of rice so to get it crispy I recooked portions of it in my non stick pan and it crisped up nice. Served it with Soy marinated salmon and stir fried broccoli with ginger and garlic. Lots leftover to enjoy again another night! Thank you 😊
Idk what happened to my cooking. When I was done I was contaplating whether the recipe was right or not because it was absolutely delicious .
Delicious recipe. I made it with brown rice. I added snow pea pods and ginger.Will be making this again.
This is the fried rice I make every time! A family fav! Awesome!! Thank you once again for a great recipe!
This was my first try at fried rice. Easy instructions and the finished result was great!! My family loved it. Next time I may get a little jazzy and add extra veggies 😊. Thank you for this recipe, the rice was perfect and no clumps!!
Amazingly good! Thx for sharing.
This was amazing and will go into my meal rotation. I doubled the sauce, used 4 eggs, and about 6 ounces of chopped chicken breast. Backed off the garlic to one Dorot cube and added an entire bag of frozen peas and carrots. Omitted the Oyster Sauce and green onions as we don’t care for them. I have a big nonstick wok which worked really well as I added so much extra. This is a great way to use up leftovers. Next time I make it I am going to reduce the amount of butter. There’s a little bit left–it was so good we ate too much!
Last night my mom, who is a hospice patient, asked for some shrimp fried rice….so, I drove a mile down the road to the restaurant and bought a small order. It was so disappointing to both of us. So today I searched and found this recipe. Took a bag of Gulf shrimp from the freezer, and diced up some thick sliced ham and cooked us some fried rice. It was DELICIOUS, and as I sit here typing this, I’m about to bust from eating too much. :) I opted to skip the egg, carrots, and peas. Used onion, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and of course, butter. I’ll be holding onto this recipe, and I join the long list of those home cooks that appreciate you sharing it! Thanks
Second time making this and used a nonstick. Worked great. The first time I tried using an enameled pan and it went perfectly – if by perfectly I mean we ordered pizza instead.
Best fried rice recipe I’ve had. My husband polished it off and asked if we could have it again tomorrow.
So easy and quick to make.
Thank you so much! My fiancé usually makes the fried rice but he’s doing a long shift at work and I wanted to surprise him! This recipe was easy to follow and all the steps were in perfect order so that I didn’t get confused or have to back track. Thanks for this recipe! It was delicious even with no oyster sauce, regular sesame oil, and plenty of veggies. I used squash as a meat substitute and used Enoki mushrooms , and baby Bella mushrooms finally chopped. I already know my fiancé will love it, we have extremely similar taste in food. Thanks again!
Hi try first frying the garlic, onion and then add the rice and last the carrot and peas
Great recipe! Did not use oyster sauce, but included the rest in the recipe. Wonderful taste, and the egg did not get soggy, as happened in other procedures! Will definetly repeat it many times! Thanks!
Very good and easy too. I added bacon. Should’ve made more YUM 😋