The BEST Fried Rice perfect to curb that Chinese Restaurant takeout craving. Super easy recipe to make at home in 15 minutes on the stove. Plus just a few secret ingredients and tips to make it better than the local takeout restaurant. With step-by-step video.
Quick and easy meals like Fried Rice are an all time favorite around here.
We make Chinese food a ton and I always get questions like:”How do you make the perfect restaurant style fried rice at home?.”
With SO many recipes online that claim to be the best or better-than-takeout fried rice – I’m finally sharing my version. Along with secret tips I learned from my dad who was a chef at one of the top Chinese Restaurants back in Hong Kong.
And you know what? It’s even better than takeout! And so perfect if you guys have a ton of vegetables hanging out 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 Best Fried Rice
Three secret ingredients I use are:
- Fish sauce (it adds SO much umami flavor and should not be skipped) (I’ve also heard 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 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 to make the best fried rice:
- 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.
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup finely diced onions
- 1 cup mixed vegetables , fresh or frozen (thawed first)
- 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 4 cups cooked day-old rice, chilled and clumps separated
- 2-1/2 -3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce , can substitute with gluten free tamari or coconut aminos for paleo-friendly version
- 1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons fish sauce or vegan fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin , Shaoxing wine or dry sherry can also be used in a pinch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- salt & black pepper, to taste
- cooked chicken , beef or pork, cut into bite-sized pieces(leave out for meatless version)
- Sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- roasted cashews
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil on high heat in a large wok or non-stick pan until smoky hot. Toss in the mixed vegetables and sauté for about 10 seconds. Add garlic, ginger, and onions and stir-fry for another minute or 2 until fragrant and onions have softened up. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Return pan to stove and add another 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble into small pieces until cooked. (Add in cooked meat if using and saute for another minute).
- Stir in the rice and break up any large chunks with a spatula while tossing until heated through around 2 minutes.
- Drizzle in soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin and sesame oil, tossing to combine everything evenly. Keep stirring the fried rice until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked vegetables back to the pan and toss to combine. Add salt, black pepper, red chili flakes or even Sriracha to taste.
- Transfer to bowls and serve hot and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
Feel free to swap in other vegetables to your liking but be sure they are chopped in bite-sized pieces so they cook evenly. Check the blog post for more tips.
Leave out the chicken and use whatever protein you have on hand
More takeout favorites:
Slow cooker / Crockpot Chicken Lo Mein Noodles – very popular with readers