Fried Rice

How To Make Fried Rice |

You guys.

Pretty sure I had a jump-up-and-down, shout-for-joy, high-five-my-dog, ballet-leap-across-the-floor, I-am-Fried-Rice-Maker-hear-me-ROAR moment in my kitchen yesterday when I tasted this recipe.  After about 15 years of trying, I finally found a fried rice recipe that met my standards.  And I am positively giddy.

Ok, but let me back up.

You all have heard me wax poetic about my obsession love of egg drop soup, and how I ordered it every single Saturday of my childhood at our family’s favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant.  Well, what does a picky eater order to go with her egg drop soup for said Saturdays upon Saturdays of childhood?  Fried rice, of course.  In later years, I became obsessed specifically with pork fried rice.  But for those first 12 years of life, it was “a side of plain fried rice, please” for me.

So much fried rice!

I feel like it’s critical to note, though, that the fried rice of my childhood was not that lame, bland, so-not-worth-the-carbs, lame excuse for fried rice that seems to be all too prevalent in take out joints around the world.  Quite the contrary.  This was flavorful, fresh, chewy, perfectly-fried, not-too-greasy, enjoy-it-to-the-last-bite spectacular fried rice.  And it set the bar for fried rice for the rest of my life.

Sadly, this sweet little family-owned restaurant was pushed out of business by a terrible mega-buffet that opened across the street.  (A total tragedy.)  So for the past decade or so, I have been working to try and recreate the delicious fried rice of my childhood.  I started experimenting in college, and have come close enough a handful of times for the fried rice to be passable, but it was never quite “there”.

Until yesterday.

I have to admit.  I was craving fried rice so badly that I finally sat down and did some old fashioned research on the new fashioned Internets.  And many articles and three test batches later, I finally nailed it.  And then jumped for joy and promptly ate way too much fried rice with serious joy.

In my world, this is a Big Deal.  In yours?  Eh, maybe?  Either way, it’s a fabulous 15-minute meal and can be a base for any other kind of fried rice you might enjoy.  So let me tell you what I learned…

How To Make Fried Rice |

Ok, let’s cut right to it.  Here are the important things I have learned over the years (and yesterday!) about making excellent fried rice.

1) Use cold rice: The key to great fried rice is using cold (or even leftover) cooked rice.  There’s something about the cold rice hitting a hot pan that makes all the difference.  So even if you make a batch of rice just for this recipe, spread it out on a baking sheet or some large surface and pop it in the fridge (or freezer) for about 10-15 minutes beforehand so that it is not warm.  You don’t want it to be frozen, you want chilled.  (I also prefer short-grain rice, but that’s a preference — I like mine a little chewy!)

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 better, and 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.

4)  Use toasted sesame oil and oyster sauce: Ok, if you’re really squeamish about 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.  Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, is 100% non-negotiable.  It is my favorite smelling ingredient in my kitchen, and tastes even better.  There as well, a little goes a long way.  (And it is meant as a finishing oil, not a cooking oil, so remove the pan from the heat once you’ve added it.)

5) Take time to actually FRY the rice: A.k.a. — take time to let it actually cook for awhile and brown a bit in the pan.  So many fried rice recipes have you just stir in the rice and (voila!) you’re done.  But I’ve found that actually sautéing the rice for a little while with the veggies helps to get that classic “fried” flavor and pulls all of the ingredients together.

How To Make Fried Rice |

None of these points are rocket science.  But man, do they make a difference when it comes to restaurant-style (or better than restaurant-style!) fried rice.

Alright, here’s the official how-to:

How To Make Fried Rice |

Ok, I forgot to take a photo of the first step: the eggs.  Scramble/fry the eggs in a bit of butter.

Then saute some onions, carrots, peas and garlic in a little more butter.  (Don’t freak out, we’re only up to 1.5 tablespoons at this point.)

How To Make Fried Rice |

Once your veggies are nice and cooked, add the rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce (if using).  Again, chilled rice is key here.  Stir it in with the veggies until it is combined.  Then continue to saute it over high heat for an additional 3 minutes or so until you notice the rice starting to brown just a tiny bit.

How To Make Fried Rice |

Once the rice has been fried, stir in your green onions and sesame oil, along with the scrambled eggs.  And then give it a taste, and add any additional pepper or soy sauce if needed.

How To Make Fried Rice |

Again, if you are a chicken fried rice fan…or pork fried rice…or shrimp fried rice…feel totally free to saute up your protein in advance and add it back in at this point.  But I will tell you that — hi-ho-the-dairy-o — this plain rice can definitely stand alone too.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it only takes 15 minutes to make?  Take out, shmake out.  This recipe will be ready to go in no time.  Enjoy!!!

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Fried Rice

Learn how to make fried rice with this classic fried rice recipe. It tastes even better than the restaurant version!


  • 3 Tbsp. 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 pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large saute 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. Saute 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. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Serve warm.  Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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How To Make Fried Rice |

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675 comments on “Fried Rice”

  1. Pingback: Fried Rice - Recipes | Women's Day

  2. Okay, you’ve convinced me to try.  My middle son has been asking for take out for a WEEK but I just can’t stomach the $10 per person price tag too often that goes with the local eateries.  We have a family of 5.  So I’m going for it.  However, I prefer chicken, he wants shrimp, hubs will eat whatever.  At what point would you add the protein of choice?  Do you know if you season the seafood/chicken with anything as well to incorporate with this so that it’s just not a cooked cube of meat?  

    • Awesome April, we hope you and your family love it! For chicken, we would recommend following this recipe (if you have the time)! For the shrimp, we would just season with salt and pepper, and you could sauté it in sesame oil for extra flavor. After your rice has been fried, add your cooked protein when you add the green onions, sesame oil and scrambled eggs. We hope this helps!

  3. It sure looks fantastic,Im definately going to make it friday nd saturday special 

  4. I’d really like to make this tonight and I have all the ingredients but the frozen peas. Would canned peas work? If so, how? Thanks!

    • Hi Brandi! We think you could use canned peas, we just wouldn’t add them until the last 5 min or so of the recipe (they won’t need quite as long to cook), and you don’t want them to get mushy. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  5. Thanks for all the general tips at the beginning. This is delicioso!!1

  6. I am making this for the second time this month. This is a superhit at our home. Thanks a lot. Take care.

  7. Could you use Saffron rice instead? I can eat that easier than other rice for some reason.

    Thanks, looks delish!!

    • Hi Lisa! We haven’t tried this with saffron rice, so we can’t say for sure. However, we think it would work, and that it’s definitely worth a try! :)

  8. Pingback: Recipe Results: Kare-Kare and Fried Rice – Donn Durante

  9. Yay! Fried rice is one of my very favorite foods!  And just like you,  I fell in love with it at a neighborhood restaurant when I was a kid.  It’s hard to find good fried rice like that anymore.  Your recipe looks perfect!  I’ll definitely be making this!

  10. eu ja estava procurando esta receita a muito tempo não vou perde tempo . vou fazerkkkkk

  11. I made this last night and it was fantastic! With the (chinese) stewed pork mixed in and a bit of chicken broth with the soy  sauce. Now there is absolutely no going back to the mass produced, coin flip of edibility that is take-out. 

  12. I love this recipe! I have made it three time so far, and it was a success every time. Even my sons who don’t like eggs eat this, because it would not be fried rice without the scrambled eggs! Thank you very much for sharing!

  13. That is a nice recipe, but I have to take issue with it on one count, your choice of veggies. I know that you have recreated the American Style fried rice of Chinese restaurants. My issue is that you have created a bowl of carbohydrates. You obviously can’t do anything about the rice except that keeping it in the fridge overnight probably improves the result. Carrots and peas both contain  carbohydrates. Substituting Bok Choy, shredded Napa cabbage, white cabbage or red cabbage for the carrots and peas would increase the nutritional value of the result although not the party color that carrots and peas add. Water chestnuts or celery thinly sliced can be added for crunch. Without the sweetness of the carrots and peas, the use of the oyster sauce to flavor the result becomes more important. Just my two cents in an effort to bring down the carbohydrate content of the recipe. Can you tell that I just came from a nutrition lecture where they demonstrated the link between obesity and carbohydrates? By the way in the same lecture they said it is okay to use butter. No link between fats and heart disease or obesity.

    • Thanks for your feedback Stephen — we will definitely give this a try with some shredded cabbage or bok choy next time!

  14. Excelente receta el dia de hoy la prepare para mi familia y quedamos encantados!! 

  15. I just cooked this with some orange chicken and it was AMAZING! Thank you for sharing the recipe! :) 

  16. I made your delicious fried rice for my husband and 2 college aged sons. They absolutely loved it and every bit of it was eaten(in one setting)!It was served with Hunan Chicken and they all agreed that the rice was the best tasting of the two dishes. It was also way better tasting than our local Chinese restaurant and much healthier!! Thank you for writing an inspiring recipe that was easy to follow and meets the needs of my family. I will continue to include this dish every time my family has cravings for Chinese. Thanks again😻

    • Thank you for sharing Debra! We’re happy to hear this was a hit with you and your family! :D

  17. Pingback: Going Vegetarian – EMMA UNDECIDED

  18. We had a foreign exchange student that made fried rice this way with two exceptions. One, she added garlic when cooking the onions and veggies and two she mixed some of the egg whites in with the rice before she put the rice in the skillet. I’m not sure, but I think that might be what makes it brown and crunchy on the outside (along with the butter)

  19. About to try this recipe. Looks amazing, so good in fact that I sold a video game to buy the sesame oil. Will post as soon as I’m done eating to give my review!!

  20. Will absolutely not be ordering fried rice from restaurants again. Two words. So. Good. I love it my wife loves it and my dog wants to love it, but I’m using the onion as an excuse not to share!!

    • Thanks Chris — that’s such a nice compliment! We’re so glad you and your wife enjoyed the recipe! :)

  21. Have been wanting to try out this recipe for a long time now having bookmarked it a while ago. Tried it out today & O Boy, it was EXCELLENT.. Yummy & delicious.. Followed d recipie to the dot. The flavours are awesome & the aroma authentic Chinese . Hubby was super impressed.. Thanks a ton 😊

  22. My first try at fried rice and this is yummy!

  23. The first time I made this I omitted the oyster sauce because I didn’t have it on hand but the second time I had went to the store and decided to pick some up, it did make it even better! I can’t believe how amazingly delicious your recipe is! I had attempted to make fried rice before and never had any luck! Your recipe has turned out perfect each time!  Thank you so much for sharing! God Bless!

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  25. I made this fried rice with some leftover pork tenderloin. It was delicious ! Good recipe. I plan to add the oyster sauce next time. I cannot wait to try this again and again.This recipe has many possibilities. Thanks for posting :)

  26. Hi Ali, I just made the fried rice and this is the best recipe I’ve ever tried. It’s easy and flavorful. In my opinion it is restaurant quality. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Hi, do I use light or dark soy sauce ?

    • Hi there! Hmmmm, the kind we use doesn’t specify light or dark. We think either would be fine. We hope you enjoy!

  28. Pingback: Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice | Above all Rubies

  29. Wow! Blast from the past! My mom made her Fried Rice this very recipe, using a drained can of tuna for the protein.  It was always one of my favorite low cost and quick meals in my own home.  Take out is no competition!  Thanks for the reminder.

  30. Too easy to be so good. Didn’t have green onions, so those were omitted. The whole family enjoyed and I even had it for breakfast a couple of times. I just reheated it in a pan. I will definitely be checking out more of your recipes and I am pinning this as soon as I finish this comment! Don’t want to lose it!

  31. Pingback: 3/11/16 – 3/18/16 Meal Plan – A redhead married a geek…

  32. Hi…loved this….do you have nutritional info?  thanks.

    • Hi Angela! Unfortunately we aren’t sure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  33. Hayley @ gimme some oven:  yes, this helps! Thanks so much. I am eating this (leftovers from last night) as I type. Love it so much.  Next time I will reduce the butter amount — I know it will affect flavor, but I also know it will still be great.  I often have boatloads of cooked brown rice on hand, so this is perfect for my husband and me. He loved it, too.

  34. I tried this recipe tonight and my husband and I really enjoyed it!! I also added shrimp and broccoli. I will definately make this again. Thanks for the recipe!

  35. The recipe is missing chopped GARLIC. A must in an Asian kitchen.

    I’d drop the overused oyster sauce and replace with salts with stock granules/powder (vegetarian, fish, ikan bilis or chicken) even beef. This way, you’d need not evaporate (via frying) the liquid in the oyster sauce, thus, possibly overcooking the veggies. Finally, if cooking with pork, I’d use lard instead of butter.

  36. Hi! Would clam juice make a decent substitute?
    Thank you!

  37. Pingback: 17 Easy Dinners Everyone Should Have In Their Arsenal – OMG It Went Viral

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  40. Made this tonight. …. great recipe and it was a hit! 
    Thanks for sharing

  41. Hi Ali,

    I tried making this with the moo shu pork and the butter pretty much clashed with the peanut oil Duh, what was I thinking. I think I’ll try it again with peanut oil next time and I’m sure it will be more what I was expecting.

    • Aww, we’re sorry about that. :( We hope you have better results next time!

  42. #gimmesomeoven Easy  and Yummy

  43. Yum! This virtually looks like the fried rice I’ve also attempted to perfect over 25+ years! Love your usage of butter & sesame oil – gonna try those next time. My recipe has red & green capsicum (bell peppers), fresh garlic, ketcap manis (sweet soy sauce, instead of oyster sauce) and I grate the carrots. Definitely cold rice is the secret and it tastes better the next day … yeah that’s IF there’s leftovers! :P

    • Thanks Carlee — we hope you enjoy this recipe! Those bell peppers sound yummy too, we’ll have to add some in next time! :)

  44. Pingback: 4/10/2016 | stephaniecameron

  45. Made this tonight-everyone had second helpings! I didn’t have oyster sauce, so I substituted fish sauce. And I threw in some bean sprouts and  leftover honey-soy pork. I think you’re right that the butter makes the difference!

  46. Hi! This recipe looks amazing! Could you use brown rice for a healthier option? Or will it alter the taste too much? 

  47. Great Recipe! No leftovers at my house when this is on the table. Thank you!

    • Thanks Michelle — we’re glad to hear you and your family enjoyed it! :D

  48. Pingback: Carrot Cake Smoothie – Best Recipes For All

  49. Yeah,  so I don’t know if I ever came back to review this after I made it,  but I have to say it is AMAZING and truly the best fried rice EVER!  I’ve always loved fried rice.  My husband is just so so,  but he thinks this is delicious! I’ve made it about 4 times now!  It’s great now having to pay for take out,  and this is even better!!!  And it’s so nice knowing exactly what’s in your food and having no bad ingredients like MSG.  You are my hero!!! 

    • Thank you so much Tricia! We’re thrilled to hear that you and your husband love this so much — and what an amazing compliment! :D

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