How to Make Fried Rice

  • 01 of 08

    What You'll Need to Make Fried Rice

    Fried Rice
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    The classic Chinese comfort dish, it's believed that fried rice (Chao Fan) originated in the city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu province. Made with barbecued pork, shrimp, and spring onions, Yangzhou Fried Rice is still the standard by which all other fried rice dishes are judged. But you don't need to follow a special recipe to enjoy fried rice -- it's a great way to use up leftovers.


    This basic fried rice recipe makes a nice alternative to steamed rice as a side dish, or you can turn it into a...MORE main meal by adding meat/seafood and vegetables. (If you are adding other ingredients, increase the number of eggs to three).


    Basic Fried Rice Ingredients


    • 2 green onions, finely chopped
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Pepper to taste
    • 3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
    • 4 cups previously cooked rice, at least 1 day old
    • 1 – 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired (see Add the Seasonings for more suggestions)

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  • 02 of 08

    Prepare the Rice

    Steamed white rice
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    The most important tip in making fried rice is to use rice that has been previously cooked. Using previously cooked rice helps keep the dish from turning out wet or mushy. While you can use rice that has been cooked the night before, 2 or 3-day old rice is even better.


    Gently rub the rice between your finger to break up any clumps (this will help the rice cook more evenly).


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  • 03 of 08

    Beat the Eggs

    Beaten eggs with fork
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    In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork or chopsticks until they are frothy.


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  • 04 of 08

    Scramble the Eggs

    Scrambling eggs in pan
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    Heat a frying pan or wok on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil, swirling so that the bottom of the pan is coated. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the eggs.


    Cook the eggs, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan.


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  • 05 of 08

    Cook the Rice

    Cooking rice to make basic fried rice, a Chinese side dish
    Cooking the Rice. Rhonda Parkinson

    Add 1 tablespoon oil, swirling so that the bottom of the pan is coated. Add the rice. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is heated through.


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  • 06 of 08

    Add the Seasonings

    Chinese Fried Rice - adding seasonings
    Adding Seasonings. Rhonda Parkinson

    Stir in the soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired.


    Note: Traditionally, the Chinese do not add soy sauce to rice. If you like, you can serve the dish plain, without the soy or oyster sauce. Another option is to add a small amount (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of XO sauce or thick soy sauce, or to use 2 to 3 teaspoons of dark soy sauce - these will give the rice a darker color.


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  • 07 of 08

    Putting it all Together

    Cooking Chinese fried rice
    The Fried Rice is Ready to Serve. Rhonda Parkinson

    When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Add the green onion. Stir-fry to heat everything through.


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  • 08 of 08

    Serve the Fried Rice

    Fried rice
    Hidehiro Kigawa/Getty Images

    Basic Fried Rice makes a nice alternative to plain steamed rice as a side dish. Here it is paired with a Basic Beef Stir-fry.


    Now that you've got the basics down, here is a printer-friendly recipe for Basic Fried Rice. And, here are more fried rice recipes for you to try:​


    Chicken Fried Rice
    Maddy's Festive Fried Rice With Chicken and Prawns
    Pork Fried Rice
    Quick and Easy Pineapple Fried Rice
    Shrimp Fried Rice
    Taiwanese Style Fried Rice