Perfect Fried Rice – it’s so easy to make this popular Chinese takeout dish at home. Best of all, this 15 minute recipe includes a few secret ingredients and tips to make it better than the local takeout restaurant. Plus recipe video.
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Quick and easy meals are always a favorite around here.
One of the questions I get asked the most on here? How to make the perfect restaurant style fried rice at home.
And what makes my PERFECT FRIED recipe so special? Well, I figured it was about time since:
- Fried rice was the very FIRST real dish I learned how to make at just 11 years old
- I still make it almost every week
- And, I’ve got my own secret tips plus a short video on how to achieve that perfect bowl of fried rice.
And this Perfect Fried Rice is another easy ONE pan dish. Do you guys always have odds and ends lingering around by the end of the week? Fried rice is seriously the BEST for cleaning out the fridge!
The one I’m sharing today uses diced mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen (thawed first)) and a couple of eggs.
You can choose to add chicken or your favorite protein – shrimp, beef or tofu.
How to Make the Perfect Fried Rice
Three secret ingredients I use are:
- Fish sauce (it adds SO much umami flavor and should not be skipped) (I’ve heard also read great things about this Vegan version)
- Mirin (Japanese sweet wine) or you can try to use dry sherry in a pinch
- Sesame oil (for that toasted nutty flavor)
And if you want a kick of heat you can add in some grated ginger, diced onions, Sriracha, chili garlic sauce or red pepper flakes.
I also like to add in some roasted cashews for a nice crunch if I have them on hand.
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Type of rice – Medium to long grain rice works best. I almost always use Jasmine rice which produces fluffy, sturdy grains that don’t clump or fall apart when fried. Short grain rice like sweet/sushi rice or glutinous rice, tends to be softer and stick together.
- Chilled cooked rice – preferably day-old leftover rice that had a chance to firm up in the fridge making it easier to separate and decreases the chances of your fried rice turning out mushy. If you don’t have any leftover rice and don’t want to wait until the next day, you can make your rice with 1/3 less of water than what it calls for or spread the freshly cooked rice onto a large baking sheet and place the entire tray in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, then toss the entire batch into a large zip-top back for a few hours
- A blazing hot wok (a wok is ideal but a large nonstick pan or skillet) and an adequate amount of oil will ensure your ingredients don’t stick to the surface.
- Try not to overcrowd your pan with too much rice or add-ins or the cooking surface won’t get hot enough and your ingredients will get soggy causing the rice to clump together. You can always cook in batches or each ingredient individually (raw vegetables or meat, egg) then remove from the pan onto separate plates and return all the ingredients to the pan at the end. Ideally, you should cook no more than 2-3 servings at a time.
- Don’t overdo the saucy seasonings like soy sauce or it will make your rice mushy. You can always season at the end with a little bit more salt, pepper or even red pepper chili flakes for a kick of heat.
BONUS TIP: USING A RICE COOKER to cook your rice grains helps ensure that you’ll consistently get perfectly cooked rice every. single. time. We use and love this Tiger JAX-T10U-K. It’s the perfect size for our family, super easy to use and the rice cooks up perfectly every time.
My husband and kids are big rice fanatics so having a rice cooker makes it super easy and convenient to make which we then use for a batch of fried rice at the end of the week.
Fried rice is also a sure way to get my kids to clear their bowl even when they tell me they’re not really hungry.
It’s also a tasty and simple dish to make during those busy weeknights once school is back in session.
More takeout favorites:
Slow cooker / Crockpot Chicken Lo Mein Noodles – very popular with readers