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. Hey there! I notice the recipe calls for fresh carrots to be diced. Is it possible to sub for frozen carrots along with the frozen peas? I can’t wait to try this! 

  2. Great recipe!!! My hubby loves this! 

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  4. I just made this and it is AMAZING! :D

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  6. This is the best recipe for fried rice that I’ve found! It is my go to! My children & husband love it so much! I love that it’s so easy too. It’s the only recipe I’ll use now. Thanks so much! 

    • Wow, thank you April! We’re so happy you and your family love it! :)

  7. I made this and my sister wouldn’t stop asking me to make her a little bit more. It was perfect. Thank you for this recipe. Hope to see some more delicious recipes on here. God bless 

  8. Very good recipe. Added also 2 sweet peppers and about 250g mushrooms to the veggies. When adding the green onions I also chopped some mild chorizo. Turned out great. Thank you for a great recipe.

    • We’re glad you enjoyed it Chris, and your additions sound yummy — especially the chorizo! :)

  9. Thank you for sharing your “mastered” recipe with us. I really love to cook something that works, that is bring to the”perfection” and that I can use over and over again. So simple and so beautiful thanks to your additional steps.

  10. My mom used to make this for us and the key ingredient for us was bacon. She would fry up bacon, then crumble it in the pan with the rice and mixed veggies and then after the sauce was added, pull apart all the ingredients in the wok and crack two eggs in the center thus coating everything. Always came out delicious! I’ve never seen anyone other than her use bacon but man, does it make it good!

    • You can never go wrong with bacon — we think that sounds fantastic! :)

  11. Omg! Thank you for this recipe. I tried it our last night, and it was a huge success :) 

  12. This was wonderful! My husband, who orders fried rice as his main dish when we get Chinese food, told me this was a “9” compared to takeout. That’s high praise. 😀 (I added shrimp and thinly sliced beef.)

    • Thanks Kelly — we’re so happy you and your husband loved this! :D

  13. All 5 adults in my house Loved it! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Made this tonight for the second time and my family and I love it. Better than what you get at the restaurants. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Followed the recipe exactly. Very good. I have young picky teenager’s daughters. It is so cool to hear, oh my gosh this is so good. With sesame chicken. Flawless sesame chicken on

  16. I have made this several times and even doubled it. This is, hands down, the most delicious fried rice anywhere. Only down side is that there’s hardly ever any left over. Great job!

  17. Easy to make and rivals any fried rice I’ve ever had in a restaurant! Made this for girls night, and everyone raved – thanks!

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  19. This is a great recipe. Thanks for sharing! In fact, it’s like my own fried rice recipe I’ve been making for years.
    The oyster sauce and sesame oil is the secret, I believe. We add bacon too…:)
    I whip this up on the Playa at Burning Man every year too…perfectly easy, light but satisfying.
    I am curious if you’ve ever tried 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil and the butter.

    I find the coconut oil really deepens the fry taste.
    Thanks again! Cheers.

    • Thank you Michele! And wow, we bet that bacon you add is amazing! We haven’t tried coconut oil and butter in this, but we love coconut oil, so we’ll definitely give that a try sometime! :)

  20. I cook my rice in homemade chicken broth and use frozen mixed veggies! Super easy and super fast!!!

  21. Made this rice for the first time today and OMG, this is seriously better than any takeout I have ever had! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  22. I’ve tried many fried rice recipes over the years and this was The. best! I think the difference for me was allowing the rice to fry…it made a huge difference.  I know you are supposed to use cooked and cooled rice, although I rarely do.  Tonight I had leftover rice from our local Chinese restaurant. Following your five points of advice plus using short grain rice will make a fabulous batch of fried rice.  There wasn’t a grain left tonight. This is a keeper.

  23. I just want to say ….. THANK YOU!!! I have a daycare with several picky eaters. All but 1 child ate their Pork Fried Rice lunch today.

    • Awww, that is so sweet Angie! And you’re so very welcome — we’re happy to know this was a hit with the picky littles! :)

  24. Like you, I have attempted fried rice several times and it has never turned out the way I would like it to (as in restaurant style)…but I made your recipe last night and it is THE ONE! I think the butter makes all the difference. Thank you!

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  26. Can you use minute rice or the regular rice  ?

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  28. OMG!!! When I read your prelude, I thought to myself, when did I write this. When I was a child my family also had a favorite Chinese restaurant and of course my go to was shrimp fried rice. Current restaurants can not compare. The fried rice is so bad, I will not let it touch my plate. Over the years I have tried to recreate that fabulous fried rice. I can’t tell you how much shrimp I have wasted. Finally, I gave up. I stumbled on this recipe today and looking at the picture, I know this is the real deal. I can’t wait to try it. Although, to recreate my childhood image, I must add bean sprouts. MMMMmmmm lip smacking good! Thanks for sharing.

  29. I do not have sesame oil, can I substitute another type of oil?

    • Hi Nicole! You can use canola/vegetable oil if you like, but we’d strongly recommend getting some sesame oil if you can (it really makes the dish).

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  32. The best fried rice we have ever made at home. We used gee instead of butter which gave the dish a very rich flavour.
    We have two very very fussy kids – both ate a couple of platefuls and asked for more – sure I had to remove all the veges out of one of the kids fried rice, but she still ate the rice which was good for her.
    Definately will be keeping this as a go to dish.
    Many thanks, amazingly good =)

    • Wow, thanks for your sweet words, Lani — we’re thrilled that you and your family loved it! :)

  33. you gotta try some cabbage chopped up fine, in this…

  34. Love the fried rice recipe but I have a problem making rice. It always seems to stick together and then when I tried to make fried rice it was one hot mess. All clumpy and stuck together like glue. What is the secret to nice fluffy rice like the restaurants make and then the fried rice that is all loose. Thanks

    • Thanks, Kathy! Oh no, that’s frustrating! Are you salting the water for your rice? It sounds like you could possibly be using a bit too much water to cook it in. If this happens in the future, you can try adding a bit more water to the cooked rice and stir it gently to break up clumps of sticky rice. Then heat the rice to a low simmer and cook it with the lid off for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the rice and allow it to sit on the stovetop for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. We hope this helps!

  35. Diced Spam is the perfect salty chewy protein

  36. This fried rice recipe is the bomb.  Made it today and I keep going back for more.  I added some fresh ginger only because I happened to have some on hand.  This is as good or better than takeout.  Thanks so much for sharing😊

  37. MY wife wanted me to make this fried rice recipe.  My god 34 pages of printed material for a recipe.  Bouchon by Thomas Keller two recipe on one page.  James Beard books do not have recipes this long.  Love Shizuo Tsuji Japanese Cooking A simple art. page 80 please look at the OILS (abura: )  For sauteing, deep-frying, and other cooking uses, pure vegetable oils are basic to Japan cooking.  Animal fats are not used.  …  It the internet anyone can say anything.  Oh sorry, I made a living as a cook eleven years.   Thanks for your time .  Doug Faust

    • Hi Doug, we’re puzzled as to how it would have been that many pages, but in the future, we really recommend using the print button (located at the top right hand corner of the recipe box, just below the recipe photo).

  38. Just made this via Pinterest. I couldn’t find green onions but still turned out delicious!! Thank you for sharing.

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  40. the first time I saw this recipe it had rice wine vinegar in it. This recipe does not. I like it better with the vinegar. Did you just forget it. The fried rice is awesome.

    • Hi Joyce! It doesn’t have rice wine vinegar, but you can definitely add some! :) And we’re so glad you enjoy it!

  41. I’ve made this probably 10 times and it’s a huge hit every time!!!! It’s a keeper for sure! Thank you for this!

  42. OMG, I made this recipe and not only was it delicious, it was very easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing. Adding this dish to my weekly meal at work 

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  44. I’ve been making this recipe for at least a year now. My husband won’t eat any other fried rice. ThNk you, this recipe is the absolute best.

  45. This is super yummy fried rice that I’ve ever made… you are absolutely right.. Butter and Oyster sauce is the key for best fried rice.. Thanks ! :)

  46. do you think this would work if made ahead, frozen then reheated? have to make a lot for my crowd. if not how long will it last in fridge if I do ahead of time? no meat added.

    • Hi Kathy! Yes you can freeze this and then reheat it. We’d say it should be good in the fridge (before freezing) for a few days. We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  47. Some people take perfectly good food and make garbage out of it.  This recipe will never make it to the trash bin.  Thank you so much for such a delicious and easy recipe.  

  48. Delicious!!!! Family loved it!! Will definitely be my go to recipe

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  50. I cooked this recipe at least once a week while I was abroad. Super easy and super cheap to make! Thank you so so much for sharing!