Fried Rice is a classic Chinese takeout dish that is surprisingly easy to make at home. We love putting lots of add-ins, such as peas and carrots, onions, garlic, and egg in our fried rice.
You can add any other veggies that you like. I’m sharing all the keys to success to make perfect fried rice perfect every time.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Pre-cook the Rice
I used parboiled rice because that’s what I had on hand.
I do not recommend instant rice just because it tends to be a bit sticky and it’s harder to get the proper texture.
The first step is to cook your rice of choice.
You want a total of 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice.
The ratio of dry rice to water is different depending on the type of rice you are using.
The amounts below are estimates.
Be sure to refer to the packaging for your rice for exact cooking times.
To make 3-4 cups of cooked rice –
- White Rice: 1 cup dry white rice + 2 cups of water (cook 15 minutes)
- Parboiled Rice: 1 cup dry parboiled rice + 2 cups of water (cook 20 minutes)
- Brown Rice: 1 cup dry brown rice + 2 cups of water (cook 45 minutes)
Once the rice has cooked, fluff it with a fork then refrigerate it overnight or until you are ready to make your fried rice.
You want to start with cold rice when making fried rice.
What if I forgot to pre-cook my rice?
If you forgot to pre-cook your rice, you can use freshly cooked rice.
The recipe will still work, but using cold pre-cooked rice results in a firmer texture and allow the rice to “fry” properly.
Key to Success #2 – Add in All the Good Stuff
Fried Rice actually starts with all the good stuff.
Cook the onions over medium-high heat until they are softer and translucent.
If the onions start to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium.
When onions are almost fully cooked, add in the minced garlic and cook just a minute or two then stir in the peas and carrots.
Next, move the veggies over to the side of the pan and crack two eggs into the empty side of the pan.
Scramble the eggs quickly with your spatula. (I use a flat wooden spatula when making fried rice.)
It’s okay if you get some of the vegetables mixed in with the scrambled eggs.
You want to attempt to keep them separate so that you’ll have some visible pieces of egg in your fried rice.
When the eggs are fully cooked, stir them in with the vegetables.
Key to Success #3 – How to Fry the Rice
Once your goodies are all cooked, it’s time to fry the rice.
I know that sounds mysterious but it’s actually super easy.
Simply add the sesame oil to the pan and let it heat a minute then fluff the cold rice with a fork before pouring it into the wok or skillet.
Quickly stir in the rice.
You want to try to fully coat the rice with the sesame oil and warm the rice through.
This only takes a minute or two.
Finally, pour in the soy sauce (I prefer low-sodium soy sauce) and continue stirring until fully combined.
Once you start adding in the sesame oil, rice, and soy sauce, you’ll only stir it for maybe 3-4 minutes total.
Then just remove from the heat and serve.
You don’t want to keep stirring and cooking or your fried rice will start to get mushy and stick together.
Don’t worry – the rice will be warmed through very quickly.
I should mention that the sesame oil is a non-negotiable in this recipe.
It’s what gives fried rice its distinctive flavor.
I do not recommend substituting any other oil flavor.
You can use regular or low-sodium soy sauce though.
And you can use more soy sauce if you prefer.
I use about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce when I’m making the fried rice but I always put the soy sauce on the table in case some people want more.
Save this Fried Rice recipe to your favorite Chinese Food board or your Side Dishes board.
- 3-4 cups cooked rice
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 small can peas and carrots, drained
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- *** Pre-cook rice well in advance until just tender then refrigerate until ready to make fried rice.
- In large skillet or wok, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat then add in diced onions. Cook onions until translucent.
- Stir in minced garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant.
- Stir in peas and carrots. Move everything in the pan to one side and add eggs then quickly scramble them. Continue stirring the eggs until fully cooked then stir into the other ingredients in the pan.
- Pour in sesame oil. Add in cold, pre-cooked rice, stirring quickly to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes until warmed through.
- Stir in soy sauce until fully combined.
- Serve fried rice immediately.
Use your favorite kind of rice - long-grain white, parboiled rice, or brown rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 366mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g