From savory Chinese restaurant style fried rice, Japanese yakimeshi and Filipino garlic rice, these fried rice recipes are delicious and so easy to make at home. Follow the step-by-step instructions – or add your own touches and make it truly yours. Either way, these recipes are the perfect takeout fakeout!
These homemade fried rice recipes are easy to make and loaded with flavor. I hope they get you excited about firing up the wok in your kitchen!
Fried Rice Ingredients
Most fried rice recipes tend to have a fairly simple ingredients list. Base ingredients are typically rice and eggs (you’ll scramble those). Vegans can simply omit the eggs. Then it’s decision time.
- Vegetables: Veggies like dices carrots, green peas, mushrooms, garlic, bell pepper and leeks all work well.
- Proteins: Roasted pork fried rice is a Chinese classic. Chicken, shrimp, tofu and vegetarian meat alternatives are all common additions as well.
- Flavor: From soy sauce, Maggi seasoning and fish sauce – to white pepper, chili flakes and even a sprinkling of msg. You get a lot of creative latitude when making fried rice at home. Use what you like!
- Finishers: Chopped green onions, crispy garlic chips and a few drops of chili oil come to mind.
The Simple Secret to Making the Best Fried Rice Recipes
Use day-old rice. Seriously.
No matter whether I’m using jasmine rice or Japanese rice, I prefer to make fried rice recipes with leftover rice that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a day or two.
And the reason is simple:
- The cooked grains of rice dry out a bit as they ‘age’ in the fridge.
- That means, when you add liquid ingredients (like soy sauce, tamari, sesame oil, etc.) the grains can absorb the liquid as it cooks in the wok.
- Freshly cooked rice is already fairly saturated with water. While you can use fresh rice, it tends to have too much moisture on board and can turn out mushy and gloppy when using it for fried rice.
Another tip: use a hot wok, skillet or frying pan 🔥
A Iukewarm pan on low won’t stir-fry anything. It’s best to cook fried rice recipes quickly on at least medium high heat.
Basic Fried Rice (Restaurant Style)
Start here. Why? Because this is the recipe that most closely represents the classic Chinese buffet or takeout classic. And it’s also proof that you can stir fry rice at home with minimal effort – maximum flavor. Anytime I’m staring at a mostly empty fridge with a few odds and ends in the vegetable crisper, my mind hones in on this easy fried rice recipe. Think of the recipe itself as a template and use your own favorite ingredients Tip: use medium to long grain rice for this one.
Filipino Garlic Rice (Sinangag)
This Filipino garlic rice is infused with fragrant garlic oil and absolutely chock-full of crispy garlic chips. While this is a breakfast staple in the Philippines, you can make sinangag anytime you need an infusion of comfort food in your life. It’s a great use for that leftover Jasmine rice sitting in your fridge right now. Also, since there’s no egg in traditional garlic rice – this is a perfect vegan dish. Bonus: it’s ready in just 10 minutes from start to finish. Garlic lovers rejoice!
Classic Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
If you think fried rice sometimes comes across as a little meek in the flavor department, this will obliterate that notion. Kimchi bokkeumbap (김치 볶음밥), is a popular Korean dish made of leftover rice pan fried with kimchi. Then a mixture of soy sauce, gochujang (Korean chili paste) or gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes) brings umami and heat. Most fried rice recipes call for scrambled egg. However, for this one, I find a fried egg with a runny yolk provides the perfect creamy counterpoint to the otherwise aggressive flavors.
Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
I only had to order takeout shrimp fried rice for $18 once before I decided that price-point was for the birds. The next time that craving struck, I just made it myself. And you know what? That bowl of homemade fried rice had the taste I was obsessing over at a fraction of the price. You can chop the shrimp up and incorporate them into the fried rice – or pan fry whole shrimp and serve them on top. Confession: I do both.
Japanese Fried Rice – Yakimeshi
I’m a sucker for the fried rice made at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants. There’s something hypnotic about watching your food come together on a grill top before your very eyes. Now, for this Japanese chahan, I’d recommend using (leftover) short grain Japanese rice. It results in fried rice that is chewier than versions made with longer grains. Since the cooked rice is slightly sticky to begin with, be sure to gently break up any large clumps of rice prior to adding it to the wok or frying pan. If you’re a visual learner (like me) check out the video.
Omurice – Japanese Omelette Rice – オムライス
Of all possible permutations of global fried rice recipes, this Japanese version reminds me of my childhood the most. Wait… ketchup? And the egg is on the outside? Yes and yes. Omuraisu, is a Western-influenced Japanese dish consisting of fried rice seasoned with ketchup, wrapped in a thin omelette, and topped with more ketchup. It’s popular comfort food served at home, in family restaurants and cafes all across Japan. Watch the step-by-step video and try it for yourself at home. Btw… your kids will LOVE this one.
Breakfast Fried Rice
Wondering how to turn breakfast sausages and eggs into the most delicious Asian comfort food of all? This is how. Ever since I showed Ben how to make this, he probably whips it up once a week. It’s no secret that he craves things that can typically be described as umami and eggy like 23 hours per day. There are no real rules when it comes to making this fried rice. So you can make yours with your favorite meat or plant based sausages. It’s ready in just 17 minutes from start to finish. Get cooking!
Hong Kong-Style Western Fried Rice
That title is a mouthful – and the concept bends the mind. Hong Kong style Western fried rice? Yep! You see, this is a mash up of Cantonese fried rice that just happens to feature very North American ketchup. During the years I spent in Hong Kong, I had this in my favorite local joint all the time. It’s salty, sweet and perfect. I left out the sausage you’d typically use in this Hong Kong classic. But feel free to add it in if you so desire. Think of this recipe as comfort food 2.0.
Easy Vegan Fried Rice
Now, most fried rice can actually be made vegan. Just leave the egg out and be sure to use a vegan protein. This is a version of takeout vegetable fried rice – but I’m using brown rice instead. It runs higher on the health meter than the usual version. But don’t let that scare you! It’s still savory and perfect. The secret is the sesame oil and cashews you stir in after you turn the heat off, but before you plate it up to serve.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Do you have leftover chicken, some frozen peas, a couple garlic cloves – and maybe a carrot rolling around in the vegetable crisper? Well, you won’t need much more than that to make this Japanese tori chahan. And that goes for the seasoning as well. You see, I love using powdered chicken stock or dashi powder. They’re always in the cupboard – and either one boosts the flavor without flooding your fried rice with additional moisture. This is the best easy fried rice recipe to make if you’re short on ingredients and short on time. It’s ready in around 10 minutes from start to finish!
Have you tried any of these easy fried rice recipes? Are there changes you made that you would like to share. Sound off! Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below.Print
Japanese Fried Rice – Yakimeshi
You don’t need a Teppanyaki grill top to whip up this simple and savory Japanese Fried Rice recipe. Yakimeshi can be made in a skillet and be ready to serve in just 15 minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 people 1x
- Category: Rice
- Method: Stir Frying
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 small leek or onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small carrot (finely chopped)
- 300 grams 1-2 days old cooked Japanese rice that was kept in the fridge
- 1 cup lettuce (shredded)
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt and ground white pepper (to taste)
- In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the leek and carrot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but still yielding a crunch.
- Add the day-old rice and break it up until it’s no longer clumpy. Add the lettuce and mix it in with the rice.
- Push rice to one side and add the whisked eggs to the empty side. Move in zigzag motion to scramble the eggs, using a spatula and fold them into the rice.
- Next, add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper, and toss the rice until the seasoning is evenly spread through the fried rice.
- Turn the heat off, transfer the fried rice to a plate and serve.
Store the fried rice in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 183
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 191mg
- Fat: 4.4g
- Saturated Fat: 1.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 29.3g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Protein: 6.1g
- Cholesterol: 94.8g