An overhead shot of a plate of pork and shrimp fried rice sitting on a white marbled table. The dish features golden-brown grains of rice mixed with pink and orange shrimp, cubes of Chinese barbecue pork (cha siu), green peas, and scrambled egg, all piled high on a white plate.

Fried Rice

Introducing the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings for something hearty, savory, and packed with flavors – my delicious recipe for fluffy and fragrant jasmine rice, pan-fried to perfection with scrambled eggs, juicy shrimp, succulent barbecue pork, and bright green peas. Whether you’re a fried rice lover or a newcomer to this classic dish, this recipe is incredibly easy to make, even if you don’t have any leftover rice on hand. So let’s get started and whip up a batch of this mouthwatering fried rice that’s guaranteed to become a new favorite in your kitchen!

What is fried rice?

Fried rice is a popular dish in many cultures that many of us have fond memories of eating. The Chinese-style of it is made with rice, eggs, vegetables, and meat, all fried together in a wok. While the ingredients can vary depending on the region and personal preferences, the basic recipe remains the same. Many people choose fried rice as a go-to meal that they can easily prepare and customize. The dish also provides a great opportunity to clean out the fridge with, as it can incorporate almost any ingredient. I grew up eating a simple version of the dish made by my paternal grandma with white rice, eggs, ham and ketchup. Due to its simplicity and affordability to cook, it remains a classic dish that I always prefer to prepare at home rather than buying it.

My recipe is a Chinese-style fried rice inspired by Yang Chow (Yeung Chow or Yang Zhou) Fried Rice. Traditionally, it may contain gourmet ingredients such as sea cucumbers, pork, shrimp, and chicken. However, a simpler version typically includes jasmine rice, Chinese barbecue pork (cha siu) or American ham, scrambled egg, and shrimp. This fried rice pairs well with Beef Broccoli, Miso Garlic Scallops, Taiwanese Braised Pork, and Miso Soy Garlic Steak!

What is the secret to good fried rice?

To make any dish delicious it’s important to achieve a balance of textures and flavors. For this dish, I look for a fluffy rice base, a variety of colors, soft scrambled eggs, and juicy proteins like pork or shrimp. To achieve the perfect texture for fried rice, using leftover rice is one of the secrets to making it restaurant-quality. When you expose leftover rice to heat, fat, and seasonings, it can be revived to a soft texture without becoming soggy. This is because leftover rice is firmer and drier than freshly cooked rice. However, it’s important to handle leftover rice with care, as it can become inedible after a few days even when refrigerated.

From top left to bottom right: steamed jasmine rice, cha siu, raw shrimp, eggs, green peas, oyster sauce, soy sauce, scallions, chicken bouillon, finely ground white pepper powder, and salt

Can I get sick from eating leftover rice?

If you have ordered takeout in the past, you may have ended up with a lot of extra rice. If you’re like me, you have tried to save it to eat later! Unfortunately, eating leftover rice can be potentially harmful due to the risk of bacterial growth which can cause food poisoning. To prevent this, ensure that you are handling and storing cooked rice properly.

  • Cook only enough rice for your recipe or meal
  • Cook rice thoroughly to avoid the risk of bacteria and to ensure that it has a desirable texture. Rice cookers are a great option for cooking rice because they simplify the process and are more consistent than cooking rice on the stove.
  • Store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking
  • When eating old rice it is important to reheat the rice until it’s steaming hot at 165°F / 74°C all the way through, which will help eliminate any remaining bacteria
  • Consume the rice within a day or two of cooking and discarding it beyond that point

Can I use freshly steamed rice to make fried rice?

Yes, if you don’t have leftover rice on hand, you can still make great fried rice by steaming rice fresh. To achieve the best texture for fried rice, you can steam fresh rice according to the package instructions but use about a quarter less water than called for.

Special Ingredients

What is cha siu?

If you’ve strolled past Chinese restaurants, you may have noticed slabs of marinated and roasted pork, glazed with a shiny red color, hanging in restaurant windows. This dish is called cha siu, and it’s typically sliced into thin pieces. The meat is typically cut into thin, tender slices with a slightly sticky and caramelized exterior. The marinade typically includes a combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder. This sauce gives the pork a sweet and savory flavor.

You can serve this on its own as an appetizer or add it to other dishes such as noodle soups or fried rice. You can make cha siu at home or purchase it pre-made from Chinese restaurants. To save time, I prefer to buy it from local restaurants in Chinatown that specialize in roasting pork, duck, and chicken. If you plan to use it in fried rice, ask the chef to sell the cha siu whole instead of sliced.

What is chicken bouillon powder?

Chicken bouillon powder (chicken powder, chicken flavored bouillon) is a powdered seasoning. The Chinese-style bouillon differs from American-style, which typically includes the flavorings of a chicken noodle soup such as celery. If you taste it, you’ll notice that Chinese-style bouillon tastes more plain as it is usually made from dehydrated chicken meat, MSG, and sugar. This versatile seasoning is suitable for use as a marinade, seasoning blend, or base for soups and sauces made with meat, seafood, and vegetables. It is also a great addition to hot pots, casseroles, noodles, pasta, and chicken-flavored rice dishes. When I cook Chinese cuisine, I most commonly use it as a dry seasoning to enhance the flavor of various dishes.

What is light soy sauce?

Soy sauce is a popular condiment used in many Asian dishes, and it comes in several different varieties. Generally, when a recipe calls for soy sauce, it is referring to light or premium soy sauce, which are essentially the same thing. This type of soy sauce has a lighter color and more delicate flavor compared to other types like dark soy sauce or tamari. It is made from a combination of soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. The mixture is fermented for a period of time to develop its characteristic savory and umami taste. It’s important to note that different brands may have slightly different flavor profiles, so it’s a good idea to taste-test various brands to find the one that works best for your taste preferences. Due to its unique qualities, light soy sauce should not be substituted with dark soy sauce.

What is oyster sauce?

Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It is made by simmering oysters in water and soy sauce until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Oyster sauce has a rich, savory flavor with a slightly sweet finish. In addition to its distinctive flavor, oyster sauce is also valued for its thick consistency, which helps to create a glossy finish on dishes. When purchasing oyster sauce, it’s important to check the ingredient list as some brands may use artificial flavorings and preservatives. Quality oyster sauces will have a high percentage of oyster extract and should have a rich, savory flavor.

An overhead shot of a plate of pork and shrimp fried rice sitting on a white marbled table. The dish features golden-brown grains of rice mixed with pink and orange shrimp, cubes of Chinese barbecue pork (cha siu), green peas, and scrambled egg, all piled high on a white plate.

Fried Rice

Fluffy, fragrant grains of jasmine rice pan-fried with scrambled eggs, barbecue pork, juicy shrimp, and bright green peas.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4 Cups
Calories 673 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 eggs scrambled
  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp light or premium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 lb Chinese barbecue pork (cha siu) or ham
  • 10 pieces raw shrimp peeled, deveined
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup scallions julienned

Instructions
 

  • Rice | If you're using fresh rice, add one cup of rice into the pot of a rice cooker. Rinse until it runs clear of starches. Drain and add enough filtered water to the pot according to the instructions on the package and steam, 30 minutes.
  • Prep | While the rice is steaming, bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.
    If you’re using frozen peas, add them to the boiling water and cook until softened. Drain the peas and set them aside.
    Add the shrimp to the same pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until it's almost fully cooked. Drain the shrimp and set them aside.
    Cut the pork or ham into equal-sized cubes.
  • Fried Rice | Heat a large pan over high heat and add oil to the pan. Wait until the oil is hot and smoking.
    Add the scrambled eggs to the pan and cook until they are almost set. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine with the eggs. Break up any clumps of rice.
    Add the chicken powder, white pepper, sea salt, soy sauce, and oyster sauce to the pan. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
    Turn the heat down to medium and add the cooked peas, pork, shrimp, and scallions to the pan. Stir everything together until evenly distributed and the shrimp is fully cooked. Serve the fried rice hot.
    If you've tried this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it helps me improve my recipes for future cooking adventures. And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to give it a thumbs up or share it with your friends! You can help my channel by tagging @vocabularyoffood in your cooks. <3

Nutrition

Calories: 673kcal
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