Easy fried rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite dishes.  It’s a meal in a bowl.  I watched my mom make it at home.  I watched the chef make it in the Chinese restaurant where I washed dishes.  Every Chinese restaurant serves fried rice.  The secret is, this dish is actually just a quick and tasty way to use up old rice and leftovers.  And it’s so easy!  It takes 15 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to cook.  There’s a lot of flexibility in the choice and the proportions of ingredients.  It’s like a salad - you can make do with whatever you have.  

When Michelle and I had a Chinese lunch stand one summer, we made hundreds of these.  People lined up for it.  All the prep was done at home.  Out in the field, we fried each lunch to order.  When you get the whole sequence down, the cooking takes as little as 2 minutes.

Sammy Wong's Teahouse image

Sammy Wong's Teahouse during college.

The basic mix includes rice, vegetables, meat, and eggs.  

Tips for making easy fried rice.

Type of rice.

Loose grain rice works better than sticky rice. Leftover rice works better than fresh rice, because it has been dried and hardened in the refrigerator.

Vegetables.

You can use either fresh or frozen vegetables.  Fresh vegetables, like carrots, will take a little longer to cook and soften. The vegetables are diced.  They need to be firm veggies that will stay separate, like onions, corn, peas, mushrooms, and carrots, not soft veggies, like eggplant, which will get mushed up with other ingredients.  

Meat.

The meat is also diced.  Pork and shrimp are popular in restaurants, but beef, chicken, and chinese sausage (“lap cheung”) also work fine.  The meat are the flavor surprises in the fried rice.  You can use chopped bacon, spam, ham which make wonderful tasty bits in the dish.  Fish is too soft to work.  

Egg.

I find that it is better if you scramble and cut the eggs separately and in advance, they won’t get stuck to the other ingredients.  You will also want to add this at the end so that the egg won’t get darkened by the other ingredients or shredded from too much stir frying.

Fried rice ingredients

Fried rice ingredients

A wok is ideal but a regular frying pan will work. 

Flavoring.

Salt, sugar and soy sauce are the only seasonings you need. You can add chicken bouillon, but it is not essential.  Light soy sauce is preferable as it keeps the fried rice colorful and bright rather than brownish when using the dark soy sauce.

The recipe below seems precise, but remember that this dish requires no precision.  Roughly, it’s 50/50 between the rice and all the other ingredients.  So the proportions might be like this:  1 part eggs, 1 part onions, 1 part corn, 1 part carrots, 1 part pork, 5 parts rice (since the total of all the other ingredients is 5 parts).

Fried rice closeup

Garnish and crunch for this easy fried rice.

Garnish with chopped scallions.  We recently took a road trip along the West Coast of the USA up to Seattle.  We stayed with some friends there and they cooked fried rice for us.  They added thinly sliced iceberg lettuce just before serving.  This added the crunch and a little more vegetable!

Fried rice closeup

EASY FRIED RICE

Michelle Sam
This delicious and easy fried rice recipe is made with rice, egg, veggies and a tasty meat. It takes minutes to cook up and is amazing! So, always ask for the leftover rice at the Chinese restaurant!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Cooling Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 640 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams cooked and refrigerated rice
  • 100 grams corn fresh or frozen
  • 100 grams frozen peas
  • 100 grams diced carrots fresh or frozen
  • 100 grams diced onion
  • 100 grams chopped tasty meat
  • 3 large eggs, scrambled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp chicken bouillon powder

Instructions
 

PREP ON THE DAY BEFORE OR SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE

  • Cook the rice.
  • Leave it in the refrigerator, uncovered.

PREP BEFORE COOKING

  • Dice the vegetables.
  • Dice the meat / protein.
  • Scramble the eggs.
  • Cut the eggs.

COOK

  • Preheat wok / pan to medium heat.
  • Add oil.
  • Add carrots, onions, and meat. These ingredients are added first because they take longer to cook.
  • Cook for 2 minutes until vegetables look cooked.
  • Add corn and rice.
  • Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add flavorings. Authentic Chinese fried rice is closer to white than brown.
  • Add the eggs last. This way, they won’t get darkened by the other ingredients or shredded from too much stirring.
  • Serve!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 640kcalCarbohydrates: 114gProtein: 22gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 998mgPotassium: 519mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4637IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chinese fried rice, fried rice
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