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!

Chinese Fried Rice in skillet with wooden spoon

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.

scrambling eggs in black nonstick pan

  • 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.

Sauteeing onion and carrots in butter in cast iron skillet

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

Adding frozen peas to skillet with rice

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 oyster sauce and soy sauce to skillet

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.

rinsing long grain rice

  • 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.

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!

Rice with peas, carrots and scrambled eggs

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

Close up shot of fried rice with peas, carrots and scrambled eggs

Here are more Easy Rice Recipes to try!

The BEST Fried Rice

4.65 from 182 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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Recipe Rating




Comments - page 2/29

    • Alisha Moore

      Fresh Fruit of course being number 1 next to frozen goods aside them can goods will always be the worst…. ? Especially when U had the best…. #FreshFruit Gotta try it. And pleases know 2 not burn it so that it will work 4 U along with ur taste buds ?

    • Thad

      Because using peas that are already thawed out will turn to mush. Same with the rice if you use it right after it is cooked.

  • I used your recipie and prepared this teppanyaki style on my Blackstone Giddle. Was a winner and will be served at our son’s birthday party in two weeks!

  • Katie

    Wasn’t crazy about the taste of the oyster sauce. I think next time I’ll substitute hoisin or plum sauce.

    • Hi Lala,

      You will still have lots of flavor in this without salt & pepper.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

    • Simon

      There’s plenty of salt in Soy/Oyster sauce, so that’s taken care of.

      I used ginger (from a jar of fresh minced that lives in the fridge), diced ham and peppers added while the onions were cooking and my boys devoured it very eagerly. I did add a little black pepper too, and sesame seeds rather than oil. Normally I’d eat it with sweet chilli sauce but didn’t have any, so a bit of Tabasco had to suffice, and the boys are mortally afraid of anything hot and spicy.

  • So I tried it tonight, came out good. I used at least twice the oyster sauce, otherwise I only tasted the soy sauce, and a bit of Worcester sauce. Some chicken cooked in minced garlic, and some sweet union cut long placed in the pan almost as the pan is leaving the heat. Really enjoyed, and a great presentation!

  • JoEllyn

    This was good! Added 1 stalk of diced celery with the other vegetables and cooked the rice a little longer toward the end so it got browner. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly.

  • Ana

    Cooking the eggs first worked perfectly. I’ve added at the end in the past and it always turned out a big mess. Also, cooled rice did the trick too. Made a rice cooker and then spread out on a cookie sheet for about an hour in the fridge, perfect texture! I did’t follow recipe exactly but it was a great guide.

  • SteelerGal4Life

    Turned out great. Left out eggs and peas. I hate them both. ? Used frozen veggie mix. So ?

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