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!
- The BEST Fried Rice
- The Best Rice for Fried Rice
- Fried Rice Ingredients
- How to make Fried Rice
- Can you make Fried Rice in the Air Fryer?
- Tips for making The Best Fried Rice
- Why Butter?
- Why cold rice?
- What can I use instead of oyster sauce?
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- What to serve with Vegetable Fried Rice
- Here are more Easy Rice Recipes to try!
The BEST Fried Rice
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.
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.
How to make Fried Rice
- Start by heating 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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!
- 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!
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
- Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef
- Vegetable Chow Mein
- Homemade Egg Rolls
- General Tso’s Chicken
- 30 Minute Mongolian Beef
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Egg Drop Soup
- Homemade Dumplings
- Chicken Lo Mein
Here are more Easy Rice Recipes to try!
The BEST Fried Rice
- 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
- 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.