Enjoy the flavorful, fulfilling, and adaptable homemade fried rice, an Asian-inspired recipe that is ideal for any mealtime. A variety of vegetables, tender chicken pieces, and fluffy rice grains are stir-fried to perfection in a flavorful sauce for this quick and simple meal. This fried rice recipe is certain to become a family favorite, whether you have leftover rice or are looking for a quick weekday supper option.
What is fried rice?
Fried rice is stir-fried with a range of ingredients, including vegetables, eggs, meat, seafood, and seasonings to create the popular Asian cuisine known as fried rice. This adaptable and savory meal can be found in many Asian cuisines, each with its own regional variations, including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, and others.
Because rice fries better after cooling and the grains have separated, fried rice is often made with previously cooked rice. Fried rice is frequently made with leftover rice from prior meals, but you may also prepare the rice in advance and store it in the fridge.
|Prep time: 15 minutes||Cook time: 15 minutes|
|Rest time: 5 minutes||Servings: 4|
2 cups cooked white rice (preferably chilled, as it fries better)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu (your choice)
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup diced bell peppers (a mix of red, green, or yellow)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional but adds depth of flavor)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
- Sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
Prep the Ingredients:
- Cook the rice according to package instructions and let it cool completely. For the best results, use chilled rice as it prevents the grains from sticking together during frying.
- Dice the cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu into bite-sized pieces.
- Dice the carrots, bell peppers, and green onions.
- Scramble the Eggs:
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the pan and scramble them. Once cooked, remove the eggs from the pan and set them aside.
- Stir-fry the Protein and Veggies:
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the diced chicken, shrimp, or tofu and stir-fry until they are cooked through and slightly browned.
- Add the Veggies:
- Toss in the diced carrots, peas, and bell peppers.
- Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes until they are tender-crisp, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Incorporate the Rice:
- Add the chilled cooked rice to the skillet, breaking up any clumps with a spatula.
- Drizzle soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using) over the rice, and mix everything together until the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Finish with Sesame Oil:
- Drizzle the sesame oil over the fried rice, giving it a delightful nutty aroma and flavor.
- Garnish and Rest:
- Stir in the scrambled eggs and sliced green onions, reserving a few green onions for garnish.
- If desired, sprinkle sesame seeds over the fried rice for added texture and appearance.
- Turn off the heat and let the fried rice rest in the pan for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve and Enjoy:
- Transfer the homemade fried rice to serving plates or bowls.
- Garnish with the remaining sliced green onions.
- Serve hot and savor the delightful medley of flavors in this comforting and satisfying one-pan wonder!
Tips for making best fried rice:
Making the best fried rice requires some key techniques and tips to achieve the perfect balance of flavors, textures, and aromas. Here are some tips to help you master the art of creating delicious fried rice:
- Use Cold Cooked Rice: To prevent the rice from becoming mushy and clumping together, it’s essential to use cold, cooked rice. Leftover rice from the previous day is ideal as it has dried out slightly in the refrigerator, making it easier to stir-fry without sticking.
- Fluff the Rice: Before adding the cold rice to the wok, use a fork to fluff the grains and break up any clumps. This step ensures that each grain of rice is coated evenly with the sauce and other ingredients.
- High Heat is Key: Cooking fried rice over high heat helps to achieve the characteristic smoky flavor and prevents the ingredients from becoming soggy. A wok or a large skillet is best for even heat distribution.
- Use the Right Oil: Opt for oils with high smoke points, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil. These oils can handle the high temperatures required for stir-frying without burning or imparting a bitter taste to the dish.
- Aromatics are Essential: Start by sautéing aromatics like minced garlic, ginger, and chopped onions in hot oil to infuse the dish with flavor from the beginning of the cooking process.
- Cook Proteins First: If you’re adding meat, shrimp, or tofu to your fried rice, cook them first until they are almost done. Set them aside before stir-frying the vegetables and rice. This prevents overcooking the proteins and keeps them tender and juicy.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Wok: Stir-frying works best when the ingredients have enough space to cook evenly. Avoid overcrowding the wok and cook in batches if needed.
- Add Veggies for Color and Nutrition: Include an assortment of colorful vegetables to enhance the appearance and nutritional value of the dish. Common choices are carrots, peas, bell peppers, broccoli, corn, and green beans.
- Go Easy on the Sauce: Add the sauce sparingly at first and taste as you go. You can always adjust the seasoning to suit your preference. A mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a dash of sesame oil is a classic combination for a flavorful fried rice.
- Mix Gently: When incorporating the sauce and other ingredients, be gentle with the stirring to avoid breaking the rice grains. A folding motion helps distribute the flavors evenly without mashing the rice.
- Add Eggs at the Right Time: Push the rice and vegetables to one side of the wok before adding the beaten eggs. Allow the eggs to cook slightly before scrambling and mixing them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Garnish for Extra Flavor: Finish your fried rice with sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, or toasted sesame seeds. These garnishes not only add visual appeal but also provide an extra layer of flavor.
Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to making fried rice. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and seasoning to find your perfect combination. Enjoy your flavorful and satisfying homemade fried rice!