Fried rice is one of my favorite chinese takeout dishes. I’ve been experimenting with different versions of fried rice and hunting for the best recipe for years. My husband and I both agree, this is the winner.
This fried rice is the perfect balance of light, savory, fresh, and spicy. Best of all, it is incredibly easy to make and doesn’t require any unusual ingredients!
Here’s how you make it:
First, collect and prep all of the ingredients. Just like with stir fry, fried rice comes together really quickly and you definitely need all of your ingredients prepped and waiting by the stove before you start cooking.
Fried rice is the perfect place to use leftover rice. This recipe actually works BETTER with leftover rice! When I made an asian dish earlier this week, I just made a little bit of extra rice and popped it in the fridge for fried rice.
Fried rice also works best with leftover meat. For this recipe I am using chicken from my Classic Roast Chicken, but you could also use pork, beef, lamb, shrimp or whatever you like. Alternatively, you could leave out the meat completely for a vegetarian fried rice.
For the garlic, peel the garlic and then give it a good smash on the cutting board. And then smash it again. And then again. You basically want to crush the garlic up a bit helping it to release it’s flavor and oil.
After you’ve given it a good beating, roughly chop the garlic. Don’t worry about being too precise here, you just don’t want to leave chunks so big that someone gets an unpleasant amount of garlic in one bite.
On to the ginger. Using fresh ginger is very important. The dried stuff just doesn’t quite do it for authentic Chinese dishes. The first step is peeling the ginger. In favor of not wasting any of the delicious flesh, the skin should be peeled off with the back of a spoon. It takes a little bit of practice to do this quickly and accurately, but believe me, once you get good at it, it is so worth it. This really is the best way to peel ginger with the least waste.
Once you have the ginger peeled, you’ll want to grate it up using a zester or fine grater.
Last part of the chinese trinity is the peppers. This is totally optional for the fried rice. My husband and I like a little bit of a kick so I sliced up one red pepper to add to the rice.
Next, stem and slice 6 to 8 baby bella or shiitake mushrooms.
Dice 2 medium carrots into 1/4 inch cubes.
You will also need to thaw one cup of frozen peas and lightly scramble 3 eggs.
Once everything is prepped and sitting by the stove, pour 1 tbs of vegetable or peanut oil into the wok (or pan deep sided pan in my case) and turn the heat on high.
Once the oil is hot, pour in the eggs and scramble them. Try not to leave too many huge chunks or too many small chunks. You want mostly medium sized pieces that will easily mix into the rice.
Once the eggs are cooked through, remove them to a bowl beside the stove.
Pour another tbs of oil into the pan and allow it to heat up. Once the oil is hot, put the chinese trinity (garlic, ginger, and pepper). Gently pass it through the oil with the spoon and keep it moving as it cooks to prevent burning. Cook for 1 minute.
Add in the carrots and gently stir for 2 minutes.
Add in the chicken and mushrooms, stir together, and cook for 2 minutes while gently stirring.
Add in the rice and peas and cook until everything is incorporated together. Be careful when stirring the rice together that you don’t smoosh the rice. This will make a blob of mushy rice rather than the slightly dry, individual pieces of rice that are necessary for a good fried rice.
Once everything is incorporated together and the rice is heated through, add in the eggs, salt and white pepper to taste, and 4 tbs of light soy sauce. Gently mix together. Once totally mixed, add in 1 tsp of sesame oil and mix in.
Turn off the heat, and serve!
Garnish with spring onions for extra color and flavor.
Chicken Fried Rice
- 2 tbs vegetable or peanut oil
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tbs grated ginger
- 2 cloves diced garlic
- 1 thinly sliced red pepper (optional)
- 5 to 6 cups of leftover rice
- 2 finely diced carrots
- 2 cups cooked chicken cut into 1 inch pieces (can substitute for another meat or leave out for a vegetarian fried rice)
- 6-8 mushrooms stemmed and sliced
- 1 cup thawed peas
- 4 tbs light soy sauce
- White pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 tbs sliced spring onions for garnish
Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a deep sided pan or wok over high heat. Pour in the eggs and scramble. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Pour the other tbs of oil in the pan and heat. Add in the garlic, ginger, and the red pepper. for 1 minute while gently stirring.
Add in the carrots and cook for 2 minutes while gently stirring.
Add in the chicken and mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes or until heated through while gently stirring.
Pour in the rice and peas. Gently stir to incorporate, being careful not to smoosh the rice. Cook until heated through (2-3 minutes).
Add in the eggs, soy sauce, salt and pepper to pepper to taste. Gently stir to incorporate. Add in the sesame oil and stir in.
Turn off the heat, garnish and serve.