Ever wanted to make fried rice just like in the restaurants? It’s easy with this delicious chicken fried rice recipe. Together we will put together a simply scrumptious fried rice that will disappear as soon as it hits the table. Yes, it is that good. Let’s take a look at how to make it!
This fried rice recipe is: Gluten Free and better than you get in a restaurant!
An Easy Fried Rice Recipe
I’ve been making fried rice for about ten years at home. My first batches didn’t really resemble anything you might find at a Chinese restaurant. They were kind of a mushy mess of rice and soy sauce with some other ingredients mixed in. Sure, they tasted fine but it always seemed like a better idea to order take-out than make it at home. But, I kept at it… making batch after batch (mostly when my wife wasn’t going to eat at home that night!).
The breaking point between so-so-make-at-home fried rice and WOWWY-WOW fried rice happened about four years ago. I remember that night so clearly. The Exec Chef at my cooking school ran a private cooking party which showcased all kinds of Asian specialties… including some of the most delicious fried rice I have ever eaten. Keep reading the post. I’m going to share all the secrets I learned that night.
I love the fact that now we can have delicious fried rice any night of the week and I never have to get in the car to go and get it. There’s something really satisfying when I look around the dinner table and everyone is smiling as they are jamming their faces with this yummy dinner. I promise that if you follow the step-by-step instructions your fried rice recipe will turn out as good or better than any restaurant will make.
Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
So this is a chicken fried rice recipe. Why? Because we like chicken fried rice the best at our house. Does that mean that you can’t substitute other proteins instead of the chicken? Absolutely not. Let’s review what you can add in, or what you can omit:
- Vegetarian Fried Rice: Simple to do and you’ll end up with a delicious vegetarian fried rice. No need to change anything in the recipe except to omit the chicken. If you want more veggies, add in peas or Napa cabbage. Check the carrots to ensure they are cooked through. If not, add in 3-4 minutes cook time.
- Shrimp Fried Rice: If you are going to make shrimp fried rice, my suggestion is to cook the shrimp right after you make the egg. Pan sear the shrimp over high heat with just some salt and pepper on them. When they are cooked, set aside on a plate and continue the recipe. Add the shrimp in at the very end so it doesn’t overcook.
- Pork Fried Rice: I love pork fried rice. I don’t like to use really lean cuts of pork for fried rice because they tend to dry out. Basically, leave the tenderloin or center cut loin for some other recipe. If you can find a small shoulder or boneless country pork ribs you’re headed in the right direction. Cut them small enough that they will cook quickly and discard any sinew that you run across. Simply substitute the pork for the chicken.
- Beef Fried Rice: Yes. Any recipe with beef is a friend of mine. I like using the beef that is already cut in the grocery stores. The packet says that it is for stir fry. If you want a more tender cut, I suggest using tenderloin. If you use tenderloin, cook it like I suggest in the Shrimp Fried Rice section.
However you choose to make this recipe, I know it’s going to be good! Now let’s get into some of the secrets.
Homemade Fried Rice Secrets
Ok. So here are some of the secrets to making really good homemade fried rice. Take em or leave em… but these tips really changed the outcome of my fried rice.
- Make the rice way ahead of time. Using hot or warm rice will result in a sticky, clumpy mess. The rice will also fall apart a bit. No fun however you look at it. I’ve added some additional rice tips below.
- Making the egg separately is essential. Adding raw eggs into the rice will make a fried rice omelette.
- Season each layer. As you are adding in the ingredients, particularly the carrots, onions and chicken, make sure that you are adding salt and pepper. The salt will help release the water and the pepper will add some nice depth.
- Butter. Who knew that butter was good in fried rice? Not me, but it is true! Adding in butter at the very end rounds out the flavors and really makes this a super delicious fried rice.
- Use good soy sauce. When I am in the states, I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Not exactly soy sauce, but it tastes delicious. Soy sauce adds more than just salt to the dish. It adds an umami or savory flavor. Cheap soy sauce just adds salt and will make the fried rice fall flat.
- Be careful how much sesame oil is added. All sesame oil is not the same. Toasted sesame oil is typically incredibly strong. Some regular sesame oils taste just a bit more nutty than canola oil. It’s up to you to determine how much sesame oil to add. Too much will make it taste like a bowl full of sesame seeds.
QUICK COOKING TIP: The key to really good fried rice is to make the rice far enough ahead of time that it has a chance to cool. If you’re short on time, here are some tips to cool your rice more quickly:
- Take out a large platter and evenly spread the rice from edge to edge. After the top feels cool, slice through it with the edge of a spatula to release the heat from below.
- If you need it to cool faster than shown in step 1, do the following: let the rice cool as shown in step 1 just until it is cool enough to handle. Then add it to as large a container as will fit in your freezer. Place in the freezer (not near anything perishable) and stir every 5 minutes until cool.
- Living in a cooler climate? Great. Use two or three large platters. Follow the directions for step 1 on each. Place outside to cool.
Ok. Let’s start making this awesome homemade fried rice recipe.
A delicious fried rice recipe that is better than a restaurant! So easy to make you'll be coming back time and again for more of this super yummy fried rice. Change to shrimp, pork or beef fried rice easily too!
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 3 cups Water
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 large Eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp Sesame Oil optional
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 large Carrots peeled & diced
- 1 Onion peeled & diced
- 2 Chicken Breasts boneless & diced
- 4 cups White Rice cooked & cooled
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Scallion sliced
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce Optional
Add all the ingredients for the white rice into a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Stir well to pull any rice off the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove the rice from the pot to a large platter to cool.
In a large skillet or a wok, heat the pan over high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Add the eggs and cook in a thin layer. Roll the eggs as you are removing them from the pan with a spatula. Set aside on a cutting board to slice for later in the recipe.
Add in the sesame oil and olive oil into the pan over high heat. Add in the carrots, onions and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add in the cubed chicken, a pinch of salt and pepper. If necessary, add in another tablespoon of sesame or olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes until nicely browned.
Add the rice in batches, breaking up any clumps that may have formed. Add in the soy sauce. Taste and adjust the soy sauce. When it tastes good, add in the butter and mix well.
Reduce the heat. Add in the green onion, sesame seeds and sliced eggs. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot (or really hot with some Sriracha sauce) and enjoy!
You can add in a number of other ingredients if you want. Lots of people love peas in their fried rice recipe. We're not huge fans, so I don't add them. If you use canned peas, add them in the last step of the recipe. For frozen peas, add them in after the chicken has browned.
You can also slice some Napa cabbage thinly and add to the carrots and onions for some extra flavor. It's really tasty.
If you want more layered heat than just the Sriracha sauce at the end, add in 1/4 tsp (or more) of red pepper flakes with the chicken. The heat will be another added layer of flavor.
You can omit the butter at the end, but I promise that it will give the fried rice an incredibly rounded flavor that you just can't get without it.
Final thoughts on the Chicken Fried Rice Recipe:
I made this recipe twice this week already. The first time was for this blog post. The second time was because everyone in the family asked for it again. I love when my kids request dinners and help me when we are making them.
If you’re looking for something to eat with this yummy fried rice go ahead and check out my Thai Sweet Chili Wings. The combination makes for an evening of fantastic Asian flavors.
Do you have a fried rice recipe that you love? What other ingredients do you like mixed in with your rice? However you make it, I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do. Happy eating.