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.

All images and text ©

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. Why is people still afraid of Butter!? Saturated Fat, unlike common believe, is NOT bad for you! Look at other Wildlife, right outside your window… If people should worry about Bad Fat, Vegetable Oil’s is there to kill you!!!

    Oh and don’t ever put hot Food inside a Fridge or Freezer, unless it is the only thing IN the Frige or Freezer…

  2. So yummy!!! 
    Thanks for the recipe!!

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  6. Love this recipe! It’s become a staple at our house.
    I attend a ladies Bible study group of senior citizens. We have monthly brunches to celebrate birthdays, this is my go-to contribution. I add chicken to give it some added protein that they may be missing in their diet. It’s always a favorite. I make lots so they can take some home as well.
    This month I’m printing the recipe for them to make at home.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    And my ladies thank you too!

  7. Thanks for the recipe. Trying it this weekend and can’t wait to see how it tastes. :)

    I do have one request, however. Please remove the video from the “Print” feature. It forces the recipe to bleed over onto the second page and splits it up awkwardly, which is quite annoying. And the video doesn’t help at all on the printout, so doesn’t have any use there.

    • We hope you enjoy it, Bryant! I will email Ali about the printer issues — thanks for the heads up!

  8. Hello GSO!
    First of all, I made your recipe and loved it! Thank you!! Second, I wanted to point your attention to something I’m sure was unintentional but something I thought you might like to know for future posts. In Japanese (and I assume in Chinese as well) culture, sticking chopsticks in a bowl of rice straight up or to the side like you have pictured here and in a few other photos/recipes I noticed, is considered extremely rude and cringe-worthy, as rice is a sacred food in Asian countries and the chopsticks represent incense, which symbolize death and mourning. Incense are used to honor the dead and are used on a near-daily basis. I am 100% sure you were trying to simply compose a beautiful photo, but I wanted you to be aware that it could potentially come off as culturally insensitive, which I’m sure is not your intent. I hope this didn’t come off as condescending Or angry, since it is truly coming from a place of awareness and understanding :) I love your posts and follow you here and on Instagram. Thanks so much for all you do! – Lisa 

    • Thank you for letting me know, Lisa! I will try to re-shoot that recipe soon — definitely did not mean to offend anyone. I really appreciate you letting me know. :)

  9. This rice was fabulous!!

  10. This was great….the butter was unique twist and made it toasty delish……

  11. Pretty yummy! We felt the rice need an extra egg and a bit more flavour. 

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe. This was my first attempt at fried rice. I love your humor filled comments and suggestions which were very helpful and it turned out awesome!!! I doubled the eggs as I love eggs in my fried rice. I wish I had made a “double batch”…I was forced to share with my daughter so next time I will make more for sure!! Again thank you sooo much!!! Absolutely the best!! Sandie

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  14. Hi!
    I’m from Germany, but I love trying “american” recipes. This is the first new recipe my boyfriend had aboluteley nothing to gripe about! So it was a huge success!!! Thank you!

    • Hi Julia! We’re so happy you both enjoyed this — thank you for giving it a try, and for your sweet comment! :)

  15. This turned out incredibly delicious!! Thank you, for this KEEPER recipe!!

  16. I just made this meal for dinner and only a few bites in, I’m regretting that I didn’t make more! It has a wonderful creamy texture and no one flavor overwhelms any other. …My husband just came in the room to tell me dinner was delicious! Every time I’ve made fried rice in the past, it’s ended up dry and bland. I’m so glad I found this recipe!

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  18. I LOVE this dish! It totally scratches my Chinese-takeout itch! One question: have ou ever tried to make it with cauliflower rice? Trying to cut the carbs… Just curious! Thanks for all yhe delicious recipe! You have never steered me wrong!

    • Thank you, Chrissy, we’re so glad you enjoy it! We haven’t tried this with cauliflower rice, but we think that sounds yummy and that it’s definitely worth trying — if you give it a go, let us know how it turns out! :)

  19. Hi, Thanks for the recipe, it worked much better than my last attempt. My rice sort of clumped together though, any idea what I did wrong?

    • Hi Molly! It sounds like the rice might have overcooked a bit? Did you try fluffing it with a fork after it finished cooking? Doing that and letting it cool some if you can should help prevent it from clumping up like that. We hope this helps!

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  21. Loved this recipe! I left out the oyster sauce and added an extra clove of garlic. My family and I are taking on a new adventure called the Real Food Adventure. In short, we’re trying to eat real food! Your recipe fit the bill and went great with my chicken chips. I blogged about it and added your link to my post.

    Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe!

    • We’re so glad you enjoy it, Sarah! And you are so sweet to mention GSO on your lovely blog — we appreciate you sharing with us!

  22. Hello I love this and will be making it for sure. Looks delish! I  too prefer short grain rice but have not had good results with it :( hope you can offer some tips.  I bought short grain sushi rice rinsed it till barely cloudy then soaked it for 30 minutes. In fridge overnight horrible gloppy. What can I do? What brand do you use and how do you prepare it? Any tips greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

    • Hi Sarah! It sounds like sushi rice isn’t the best kind of rice to use for this (it’s soooo sticky and has a ton of starch). We like Bob’s Red Mill, and we just prepare it according to the package instructions. We hope this helps!

  23. I’ve made a bunch of fried rice recipes looking for something even close to my favorite takeout. This is it!

  24. I have to make this for about 50 people, how many batches do you think that I need to make?

    • Hi Ann! To have enough to serve 50, we would make 10 batches. We hope this helps!

  25. HI after incorrectly posting comment  on   the  French onion soup recipe I am now posting on the right recipe ;) . I  want to make this recipe with short grain rice. No luck with it. I wash  till almost clear and soak 30 minutes and into fridge overnight. The rice I use is Sushi short grain organic.   When out of fridge it is very gloppy and cannot be used for fried rice.  I’ve tried a few times but no luck. I hope you can give tips and maybe a specific brand. Any help would be great. I  so want to make this recipe. It looks delish! Thank you.

  26. Hi Hayley is Bob’s red mill rice short grain? 

  27. Thank you so much for all your help!

  28. This recipe makes the best fried rice I’ve ever made at home! Thank you. I made a few little changes – my partner is deathly allergic to shellfish, so, being cautious, I used Hoisin sauce instead of the Oyster sauce, even though I’ve read that most Oyster sauce doesn’t contain shellfish. I also used frozen, shelled edamame instead of peas, and threw in a few pieces of broccoli and a splash of Sriracha. Yum!

    • Thank you, Bonnie — we’re so happy you enjoy it, and we love that you used edamame in this!

  29. I tried it but ommited the onions this is gonna be my choice for fried rice now.
    My family enjoys it especially the kids who are very picky eatters so this is a +.Thanks for the recipe gimme some oven its greatly appreciated.

  30. I just made this today.  Fabulous!  I added char sui today but can’t wait to experiment with shrimp and tofu.  

    • Thanks for sharing, Stephanie — we’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  31. Have you ever made chicken lomein that taste like takeout. If so can I get the recipe. I hsve been trying for years to replicate it and I get close but no cigar. The chinesse sherry and vinegar but maybe the measurements are off. Not

  32. How small should one cut up the carrots to cook in 5-10 min, I make this (I think it is your recipe) with quinoa instead of rice, and the carrots take forever. I do “dice” them up about the size of your fingernail…I usually end up covering it for a few min at the end of the cook time to help “steam” the carrots before adding quinoa/rice etc.

  33. This recipe looks so appetizing and easy to make ! I will definitely try it. But where can i find TOASTED sesame oil ? I live in Bangkok, Thailand and I only have plain sesame oil. Will it be as good or not with plain sesame oil ?

    • Thanks, Madeleine, we hope you enjoy it! Toasted sesame oil just has more flavor (like how when you toast nuts, they have more flavor than un-toasted nuts). Regular sesame oil will be fine though. :)

  34. Ali, I have been living in South East Asia (China, Japan and now Thailand) and Lisa is absolutely right about the position of the chopsticks; they should be placed on top of the bowl, closely together.

  35. OMG!!!!  This recipe is spot-on!!!  I did add some chicken chunks that we had sautéed and added back in when we added the eggs and sesame oil.
    We’ve tried and failed with a lot of fried rice recipes but this was awesome!!!!!  Thanks for sharing!!!!!!❤️❤️❤️

  36. Thank you so much. I too am a fried rice junkie. I have search high and low for a good recipe. Search is over. This it it!  Although I didn’t have oyster sauce the sesame oil made it perfection. Thanks again!

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  38. This recipe is divine!!!  My whole family loves it. I didn’t add the oyster sauce, but may still try it. 

  39. Best fried rice recipe. Omitted egg, can’t eat them. The sesame oil and oyster sauce was the needed ingredient. Ty so much!

  40. Thanks so much for all the tips, my daughter and i read through all of them and it made such a difference! finally can make amazing fried rice at home and not worry about what is put in it! thanks for the great recipe, everyone loved it! i’m a decent cook, but never been able to replicate chinese take away. yay!!!

  41. I made this, changed some thing to suit what I had on hand. I used sesame oil instead of butter. I did not add peas, or white onion. I added chopped green onions with the carrots, also chopped ham. I had no oyster sauce. I halved the recipe because I was using last nights pint of take out white rice.. I love it!

    • Thanks for sharing, Pat, we’re glad you were able to make this with some adaptations and that you loved it! :)

  42. This was a great recipe for it’s information and the end product was loved by my family. The one problem I had was the lack of flavor since my family isn’t crazy for soy sauce I had to add about a tsp of salt. I also added some orange juice (going for an oriental flavor) while cooking the veggies when they started sticking to my pan.

    But like I said the family loved it! Thank you :)

    • Thanks for sharing, Kirra, we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it!

  43. So easy and delicious!!

    Rating: 5
  44. Made this recipe very good, except for the fact that I can never get my rice to be fried, without being
    slightly sticky. Followed receipt to a tee. Am I doing something wrong,should I do something different.
    Any suggestions???

    • Hi Nicole! Fried rice tends to work best (and not be as sticky) if you use day-old cooked rice (or older). Freshly cooked rice has a lot of moisture in it. We hope this helps, and here are some other tips we found:

  45. It’s so flavorful and so fresh! I’ve made it a few times! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  46. Great recipe. You are so right. The secret to the recipe is the cooked rice that has been cooled.

    Rating: 5
  47. I made this recipe EXACTLY as they said, but it was very dry. I had to keep on adding my own ingredients to the pot. I was very disappointed because I’m always looking for a good fried rice recipe. THIS WAS NOT IT!!

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