Ginger Kale Fried Rice

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This ginger kale fried rice recipe is quick and easy to make, full of great flavor, and pan-fried until the rice is extra-crispy!

Ginger Kale Fried Rice

So we stocked our pantry with maybe a little too much rice during those early months of staying at home, back when everyone was forecasting shortages on pantry staples here in Barcelona.  And months later, lol, we’re still trying to make our way through it!  So my classic fried rice recipe has been on major repeat in our dinner rotation lately, made with whatever ingredients we happen to have on hand or seasonings that we are craving.  But this particular version ended up being so good that I had to pop in and share it as its own brand new recipe today…

…this ginger kale fried brown rice. ♡

It’s made with a short-grain brown rice, which I love using in fried rice because it’s extra chewy and flavorful, in addition to lending some extra nutrition benefits.  The rice is then fried until it’s extra crispy (see tips below!), and tossed with green onions, garlic, peas, eggs and my favorite fried rice seasonings.  One batch of this recipe also packs in an entire bunch of fresh kale (curly or lacinato, you choose), which softens and mixes just perfectly with the rice.  And best of all, the rice is seasoned with lots and lots of fresh ginger, which I think makes it downright irresistible.

Of course, fried rice is always an incredibly versatile recipe when it comes to ingredient add-ins and swaps.  So if you want to maybe add in some extra protein (chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu would be great), some extra veggies (I was thiiiis close to photographing this with some shiitakes, which I still think would be a delicious idea), or spice it up by mixing in some sriracha (yum)…go for it.  I’ve also included options below for how to make this recipe gluten-free or vegan.  So you do you!

And let’s make some fried rice!

Ginger Kale Fried Rice Ingredients:

Before we get to the recipe below (where the ingredient amounts are listed), here are a few quick notes about the ingredients that you will need to make this ginger kale fried rice recipe…

  • Butter: I know that butter is a bit of a non-traditional ingredient in fried rice, but it adds such great flavor and helps the rice to crisp up even better, so I totally recommend it.  That said, if you are making this recipe vegan, feel free to use oil (I would recommend peanut oil) or vegan butter instead.
  • Green onions: We will sauté the white and light green parts in butter, and then sprinkle on the dark green parts just before serving.
  • Garlic: Lots of minced fresh garlic.
  • Fresh ginger: Either minced (finely chopped) or grated — up to you!  I highly recommend using fresh ginger for this recipe.  But if you’re in a pinch and need to use dry ginger powder instead, you can sub in 2 to 3 teaspoons, to taste.
  • Cooked, chilled rice: It’s really important that the rice be cooked and thoroughly chilled before adding it to this recipe.  (Otherwise, if the rice is warm when it is added, it will get soggy and not crisp up well.)  I used leftover brown rice for this recipe, but just about any kind of rice will do.
  • Frozen peas: I always love adding peas to my rice for a pop of extra color and sweetness, but see notes below for other veggie add-ins that would be great too.
  • Kale: We will wilt an entire small bunch of kale (curly or lacinato) into the fried rice!  Just be sure to remove the tough ribs and stems first.
  • Seasonings: I always like to use a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce (optional if making this vegetarian) and toasted sesame oil to my fried rice, along with a few good twists of freshly-cracked black pepper.
  • Eggs: And finally, a few eggs, which we will scramble and then mix into the fried rice.  (Just omit if making this recipe vegan.)

Ginger Kale Fried Brown Rice in Skillet

How To Make Fried Rice:

Whenever you make fried rice, the steps tend to move pretty quickly.  So I highly recommend prepping all of your ingredients before you begin.  Then please also resist the temptation to stir the fried rice while it is frying in the butter!  If you let it sit there for 2 minutes or so undisturbed, the bottom of the pan will get nice and browned and make your rice legit-crispy — which is what we’re going for here. ♡

A good non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan will also make cooking the rice and eggs much, much easier.  But any skillet that you have will work.

Here is a quick overview of the steps we will follow to make this ginger kale fried rice recipe:

  1. Sauté the green onion, garlic and ginger. First we will sauté the green onion (the white and light-green parts), garlic and ginger in butter.
  2. Sauté the rice. Then we will crank the heat to high, melt a bit more butter and add the rice so that it can fry.  In order to get the rice extra crispy, it’s important to let the rice sit undisturbed for long intervals (about 2ish minutes each) so that the bottom layer of rice can brown and crisp up.  I would do this two or three times until the rice reaches your desired crispy consistency.
  3. Add in the peas, (green) green onions and kale. Next we will add in the peas, half of the reserved green parts of the green onions, and kale, quickly tossing the kale with the rice one handful at a time until it is incorporated and begins to wilt.
  4. Add in the seasonings. The soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil — which I usually just add right in, but you can whisk them together in a bowl to combine first if you prefer.
  5. Scramble the eggs. Push the rice to one side of the pan and cook the eggs in the other, stirring them frequently until scrambled and cooked through.
  6. Taste and season. Give the rice a taste and season with black pepper and/or extra soy sauce as needed, to taste.
  7. Serve. Remove from heat and then serve immediately, garnished with remaining green onions.

Ginger Kale Fried Rice Closeup

Possible Variations:

There are all sorts of delicious ways that you can customize this fried rice if you would like!  For example, feel free to…

  • Add a protein: Cooked chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, salmon or crispy tofu would all be delicious additions to this fried rice.
  • Add extra veggies: Mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, broccoli or any other veggies that sound good could also be sautéed and added to this dish.
  • Use different greens: If you don’t happen to have fresh kale on hand, you could sub in baby spinach or chopped collard greens instead.
  • Make it spicy: Feel free to add in some sriracha or some sliced red Thai chiles if you would like to give this fried rice some extra heat!
  • Make it vegan: Omit the eggs and oyster sauce, and use your favorite oil or vegan butter in place of the traditional butter.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free tamari (instead of soy sauce) and gluten-free oyster sauce (or omit the oyster sauce).

Ginger Kale Fried Rice In Bowl

More Favorite Rice Recipes:

Looking for some more winning rice recipes?  Here are a few of my faves:

Print

Ginger Kale Fried Rice

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x

Description

This ginger kale fried rice recipe is quick and easy to make, full of great flavor, and pan-fried until the rice is extra-crispy!  See notes above for possible ingredient variations.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I used short-grain brown rice)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small bunch kale, roughly chopped (after ribs and stems have been removed)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, or more/less to taste
  • 2 teaspoonoyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoontoasted sesame oil
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Sauté the green onion, garlic and ginger. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the white and light-green parts of the green onions and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute, stirring often.
  2. Sauté the rice. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and increase heat to high heat.  Once the butter has melted, add in the rice and spread it out in an even layer.  Let the rice cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until crisp on the bottom.  Give it a good stir and repeat, letting it cook for about 1-2 minutes or until it is crispy.
  3. Add in the peas, (green) green onions and kale. Add in the peas, half of the reserved green parts of the green onions, and kale, quickly tossing the kale with the rice one handful at a time until it is incorporated and begins to wilt.
  4. Add in the seasonings. Drizzle the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil evenly over the rice and toss to combine.
  5. Scramble the eggs. Push the rice to one side of the pan and cook the eggs in the other, stirring them frequently until scrambled and cooked through.
  6. Taste and season. Give the rice a taste and season with black pepper and/or extra soy sauce as needed, to taste.
  7. Serve. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with remaining green onions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 comments on “Ginger Kale Fried Rice”

  1. Your original fried rice is my go to – you’re right – chilled rice and butter are the KEY ingredients. Love ginger so I’ll be adding this one to my list as well!

  2. Hello, Ali, This looks like a great recipe to try. A friend has been giving me kale!! I have a question about sesame oil. Where I live, I have not found toasted sesame oil so buy what is labeled “Sesame Oil.” Is there a big difference in the flavor? Is the toasted variety worth seeking out if I get to larger metropolitan area?

    Thank you so much for your help!! I enjoy your site. Some of your soup recipes are my favorites.:)

  3. Delicious! Fun change from our regular fried rice and I felt good about the fact that there were so many veggies in there! Your original fried rice recipe was what brought me to your blog and I’ve made so many of your recipes over the years! I recommend your blog to friends (and strangers!) all the time as my go-to recipe source. Thanks!

  4. I made this dish tonight and it was absolutely marvelous! I used ghee instead of butter and added shitaki mushrooms to the mix. It was a great meal and I know I’ll make it again. Thanks so much for this great addition to my repertoire!

  5. This was the best fried rice recipe I have made! It was the perfect weeknight meal – easy and fast!

  6. This was delicious. The flavours blended very well. Will definitely make it again.

  7. Hi !
    I have subscribed to your Blog list just a few minutes ago.
    I find the Ginger Kale Rice recipe …good for the “Eyes”
    …so in a few moments I shall try it out!
    I am also, like many of your Readers, an amateur in this
    practical cooking-field! The ‘Stay at Home and Cook…
    or Perish” matrix has been a push into this ‘experiment
    vocation’! Thank you for your quality sacrifice of spare
    Time…it is so priceless,clocks tick away,never to return!
    I know this grim truth …so am grateful for your sincere
    contribution. Do keep in touch…the Net does at times
    gift some lucky friendships!
    I would revert with my trial cooking result..soon! Bye!
    Regards
    Madhu

    • Hi !
      Just a quick add-on to my last….I did cook the Ginger Kale Rice
      ..with one modification! It tastes great! I have just finished tasting!
      Dinner is going to be after three hours…so this is to let you know that
      …I have Come, Seen, Tried…and now like the Red Indian Chief, ” I have
      Spoken”!! Thank you!
      Regards
      Madhu

  8. This is so GOOD! Healthy and fresh take on traditional fried rice. Served it with pepper tofu for a double ginger hit!

  9. This was fantastic!!! I added shrimp that I sautéed in olive oil with pepper and salt and then chopped them up into small pieces to mix in. My kids (6 and 8) and husband loved it. The flavor was amazing! And the flavor was somehow even better for lunch the next day! I left out the sesame oil and used vegan butter. On a side note, I have yet to try a recipe from your blog that has not been a huge hit with my family. Thank you!!!

  10. Any thoughts on how this would work with quinoa?

    I love your fried rice and fried quinoa recipes, and I bought a giant CostCo bag of quinoa at the start of the pandemic, so I’m thinking of giving it a try.