Easy Fried Rice

Learn how to make The Best Fried Rice at home! This copycat recipe tastes just like your favorite restaurant but even better! Loaded with tons of vegetables, scrambled eggs, leftover white rice and my secret ingredient: Butter!

Love fried rice as much as I do? Give my Shrimp Fried Rice, Beef Fried Rice or Cauliflower Fried Rice a try!

easy fried rice in white bowl topped with black and white sesame seeds

The BEST Fried Rice

Note: Pictures have been updated but the recipe is still the same!!

Vegetable Fried Rice has to be one of my all time favorite takeout inspired dishes to make at home. It’s easier to control the saltiness, sweetness and to bump up the veggies when you make it at home! Our family makes this fried rice at least once a week with whatever vegetables we have on hand. It is always the perfect accompaniment to my take out style dishes. I love serving this rice with my General Tso’s Chicken and my Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef.

It all starts off with cold day old rice. This is super important! If you are like me and don’t always plan ahead make sure to cook your rice first and allow it time to completely cool in the fridge or freezer. Stir fried rice is best when it is made with cold rice. You can even cook the rice the night before. The longer the rice sits the better it tastes!

Next, I add in lots of veggies! For flavor I add soy sauce and oyster sauce. I also like to add Sriracha for a little kick. This recipe is a great way to work in any leftovers. You can substitute any vegetables you have on hand. You can also toss in chicken, bacon, pancetta or try my Shrimp Fried Rice or Beef Fried Rice Recipe.

fried rice with wooden spoon in a large skillet

The Best Rice for Fried Rice

Long grain rice has less starch which makes it the perfect choice for fried rice. Using a long grain rice like jasmine will result is soft and fluffy rice every time! Other rice varieties like short grain sushi rice would not work for fried rice. It would make the fried rice clumpy and almost gummy in texture. Not what were looking for!

Fried Rice Ingredients

  • Butter: This is my secret ingredient! This is what they use at hibachi restaurants for their fried rice and has been a game changer ever since I started using it. It adds a lot more flavor and helps to brown the rice. You can always substitute any other cooking oil if you prefer but I really suggest giving butter a try in your fried rice.
  • Eggs: Are added for protein and are typical in fried rice recipes. You can omit and substitute tofu if you are allergic to eggs or simply not a fan.
  • Veggies: I use diced carrots, onions, garlic and peas. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Bell peppers, zucchini, leeks, corn and edamame would all be great in this!
  • Rice: I prefer to use long grain white rice or jasmine rice. It cooks up fluffy and does not clump together.
  • Soy sauce: I always use low sodium soy sauce however dark or regular soy sauce can be substituted just make sure to dilute it a bit with water to cut down on the saltiness.
  • Oyster sauce: Is a thick savory slightly sweet and salty sauce that can be found in the international or asian section of your grocery store.
  • Sesame oil: Adds a wonderfully nutty flavor to this recipe. A little bit goes a long way!
  • For serving: I like to top my stir fried rice with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish.

the best fried rice in large skillet

How to make Fried Rice

  • Start by heating 1 tablespoon of butter into a large skillet. Add the eggs and scramble until fully cooked.

scrambled eggs set aside on white plate

  • Remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter into the pan. Add carrots and onion to the pan and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.

sautéing diced carrots and onions in large skillet

  • Add in the cold rice and peas and sauté for 3-4 minutes. The rice should brown up a bit.

stirring in peas and rice to large skillet

  • Add the eggs back to the pan and stir in soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately with green onions for garnish, if desired.

adding in scrambled eggs and sauce ingredients

Can you make Fried Rice in the Air Fryer?

Yes! Cooking fried rice in the air fryer is super easy! Simply add all of the ingredients to the air fryer and cook until warmed through. Find the full step by step instructions in my Air Fryer Fried Rice Recipe.

vegetable fried rice in air fryer

Tips for making The Best Fried Rice

  • Choose the right type of rice: Long grain rice like jasmine is best!
  • Use COLD day old rice: For best results! However if you are in a pinch make the rice first and spread it out onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Pop it in the fridge or freeze to cool down quickly then use as directed.
  • Always rinse the rice before using: This removes the extra starch from the rice and prevents it from clumping.

rinsing long grain rice in mesh strainer

  • Add some heat: If you like extra heat add in some Sriracha or chili garlic sauce. I usually start at about 1 teaspoon and work my way up.
  • Break up the clumps of rice: When rice is old it tends to clump up. To ensure even browning and crisping of the rice break up the clumps with your hands before stir frying.

breaking up clumps of cold rice with hands

Why Butter?

I prefer to use unsalted butter versus any other type of cooking oil in fried rice. I love the flavor and richness that the butter adds to the dish. It also helps the rice and veggies brown up perfectly!

Why cold rice?

When rice is just cooked and still warm it clumps together. However when you use cold day old rice the rice dries out a bit and the clumps can be easily broken apart. This ensures each kernel of rice actually gets “fried” when your stir frying resulting in a less mussy fried rice!

Variations

  • In place of the rice try adding cauliflower, quinoa or riced broccoli for a healthy low carb twist.
  • For protein add beef, shrimp or chicken to this recipe. Simply brown the protein first, set aside then toss back in with the rice and veggies once they’ve finished cooking.
  • For a twist try adding chopped up kimchi for kimchi fried rice. It adds the perfect tang and heat!
  • Brown rice can be substituted for the white rice for extra fiber and nutrients.
  • Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand. Red bell peppers, celery or broccoli would all be great in this!

close up shot of the best fried rice

What can I use instead of oyster sauce?

If you can’t find oyster sauce or simply don’t have it in your pantry you can substitute hoisin sauce or try and make your own oyster sauce. Here is a great recipe for diy oyster sauce!

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • Refrigerate: Fried rice for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
  • To freeze: Store leftovers in a large ziplock bag for up to 3 months. To freeze fill up the ziplock bag then lay flat and remove the air. This makes it easy to stack in the freezer and defrosts super fast!
  • Reheat from refrigerated: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, skillet or air fryer. You may need to add a splash more of soy sauce or butter to keep it from sticking to the pan.
  • Reheat from frozen: Allow the rice to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat rice in the microwave, skillet or air fryer!

What to serve with Vegetable Fried Rice

black and white sesame seeds on top of fried rice in white bowl

Here are more Easy Rice Recipes to try!

The BEST Fried Rice

4.66 from 188 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
The BEST Fried Rice. This fried rice is loaded with veggies and only takes 20 minutes to make!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • 2 medium carrots small dice
  • 1 small onion small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I either use white or brown rice)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • sliced green onions for garnish if desired

Instructions

Images:
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter into a large skillet.
    Add the eggs and scramble until fully cooked. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of butter into the pan. Add carrots and onion to the pan and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add in the cold rice and peas and sauté for 3-4 minutes. The rice should brown up a bit.
  • Add the eggs back to the pan and stir in soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through.
    Serve immediately with green onions for garnish, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
The BEST Fried Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 767mg33%
Potassium 302mg9%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 5726IU115%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Beef Fried Rice, Chinese, Easy Weeknight Dinner, Take out recipes, The BEST Fried RIce

 

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Comments - page 1/29

    • Hi Gae,

      Yes I like to use butter in my fried rice. You can also use oil it is personal preference.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

    • Ron

      Casey, she wasn’t being rude… You were

    • Sharon C

      I don’t see how she thought that was rude,she simply said it’s your personal preference.Some ole like butter and some would rather use ???.

    • Snorlax

      There is an objective better option and you know it, Sharon

    • sharon lynn

      Gae was rude. WRONG choice of words and no tact. Great recipe with the BUTTER!

    • Shafina

      Nothings wrong. I am from Malaysia and there are one called butter fried rice. And i always put bit of butter to finish the rice. It becomes more fragrant and buttery.. yums!

    • Alan

      Derogatory comment while calling someone out for being rude… classic interwebs.

      Anyway, great recipe, love it!!!

    • CT

      Recipe trolling. What next? Nice recipe. Butter is a good idea.

    • K

      Why people criticizing use what ever u like its option

    • Katrina

      What do u have against butter dummy??

    • Amanda

      Respect the animals. Why use butter if you can use a healthy substitute like avocado oil or whatever u wish.

    • Jonathan SoRelle

      So you don’t repsect the vegetables? By product of a living thing just like butter. Guess we need a march for avocados.

    • Tanya

      You can’t compare the suffering of animals to vegetables. Don’t be stupid. Humans are animals. Are you going to start comparing the suffering of the Jews in nazi Germany to broccoli?

    • Takei Noyo

      Jesus Christ, shut the hell up. Cows don’t suffer from butter bwing made from their milk. Don’t bother responding. I don’t listen to food fascists who don’t understand anything. Some people are limited by what is available locally or just by their means. We can’t all afford $14 for 6oz of avocado oil. Locally sourced butter from grass-fed, open range, fat, happy cows is reasonably priced and absolutely beautiful, especially salted.

    • Thad

      Right. My favorite animal is steak. Yum!

      Great recipe for it’s simplicity. I like to add a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce for an authentic Chinese taste.

    • Pete

      Steak is a GREAT choice, and BUTTER is s wonderful topping, Just saying as it is server that in some of the best Steak Restaurants, No meanness just pot stirring

    • m.oron

      THISIS JUST A GODDAMN RECIPE ABOUT FRIED RICE WHY ARE WE ARGUING ABOUT BUTTER AND FUCKIN VEGTABLES WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN PREFERENCES RESPECT IT

    • Big Country

      Although I agree with your thinking, I only wish I could have replied as eloquently as you, m.oron.

    • rudey

      Wow you are rude dude rude rude rude. Let’s all be rude.

    • valerie Huibers

      I am finding this whole conversation quite funny!! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE BUTTER!!

    • Lindsay

      All you had to say was that you could substitute a fat/oil that didn’t trigger you

    • Gmass

      Benihana and other places like it add butter too. Haven’t tried the recipe but will!

    • Irene

      What the heck is going on here? A yummy recipe is posted to share and you all go berserk! Stay on subject. Thank you, Kelly. I have ALS and my husband is always looking for easy, delicious dishes.

  • Jacquie Cook

    What brand would you recommend for the different sauces your recipes call for? ie, oyster sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce & mirin. I have tried sesame oil 1 time & was not pleased with the flavor, however I bought it at the local Walmart from the Asain food area. I live in the middle of Nebraska, not much too choose from.
    Also, what is the best way to store Ginger so it stays fresh?
    Please email me your response, if you are able. Thanks!!

    • Susan

      Sun luck pure sesame oil
      Kikkoman soy sauce
      Sun luck oyster sauce

    • Jackie

      Store fresh ginger in the freezer, then just use a cheese grater when you need to add it to a dish, then pop the ginger right back in the freezer.

    • Mimi

      What a great idea. Thanks. I’ve always just put I in the door in the fridge, but this way will last longer.

    • julie Scherbarth

      I had a lot of fresh ginger to use before it became rotten/moldy so I grated it, chopped it into a container and covered it with olive oil and put it in my refrig. in a covered container. Its keeping wonderful.

    • Home2Cook

      Jacquie, you can order any brand and type of Asian sauces, spices and condiments on Amazon if you can’t find them locally. I know what you mean about sesame oil, it’s and acquired taste that kind of grows on you. 🙂 Start by using the tiniest bit and the work up to more slowly, or you can just chuck it and make the recipes that call for it with an oil you do like and sauces that are pleasing to your palette.

    • Christine

      I always freeze my ginger. I peel it first then all you have to do is either grate or slice it from frozen. Easy peasy.

    • Seraphine Formedi

      Since the essence/fragrance of ginger resides in its peel,it is best not peeled before use. Thorough washing is just enough

    • Tanya

      It’s good but a touch sweet. Oyster sauce is sweeter than fish sauce. Unless you like sweet, I would use fish sauce.
      I’ve never used butter in fried rice but I tried it. Really didn”t taste any different that other oils.

  • Kendra

    What kind of pan did you use for this?I used a large pot and it took forever for the rice to brown..other than that delish!! I will make this again!

    • Hi Kendra,

      I usually use a wok or a non stick skillet. I like to put the rice in an even layer and not stir for a while to help it brown.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Jo

    Followed the recipe to the letter and it ended up so dark it was almost black :/

    • Hi Jo,

      I’m sorry this did not work out for you! I would keep an eye on the fried rice when browning to make sure it doesn’t burn.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Divina

    I Made this last Thursday and husband love it so much and also my stepson who is so picky ate a lot and they said,this is the best fried rice they’ve ever tasted!i also added left over chicken!Now I’m going to make it again tonight!

    • Sean

      Making this for the nth time. Gets better and better and better!

  • Linda McArthur

    This is absolutely the best fried rice ever! Better than in a restaurant!

  • Angelina

    If you do not have oyster sauce can you leave it out or is there a subtitute you could use instead?

    • Hi Angelina,

      You can always leave it out or add a bit of hoisin sauce if you prefer.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

    • Tiffany

      I was just reading comments thinking about how I don’t be currently have oyster sauce, but I have hoisin! Thanks for the recipe. Cold rice is a great tip.

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