We love fried rice, especially BBQ pork fried rice. Fried rice can be made with BBQ pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, or any other meat you choose. A favorite around here is House Fried Rice which contains all four of these meats. Fried Rice from Leftover Rice is delicious! A steaming hot bowl of this fried rice will make you forget all about Chinese restaurant take-out!
Fried rice is a classic dish that can be prepared in various ways. It starts with a basic recipe that serves as a foundation and you take it from there. When cooking fried rice, it's important to have a large wok or pan to stir-fry the ingredients. Fresh veggies, such as bell peppers, especially red peppers can be added to enhance the flavor and provide a colorful touch. As the ingredients are cooked in the center of the pan, the flavors meld together, creating a delicious blend. Cooked eggs can also be incorporated, adding richness and texture to the dish. Whether you choose to include bell peppers or not, fried rice remains a versatile and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Fried rice is, at its core, comfort food. One of the best things about this recipe is that the ingredient list is short and forgiving of substitutions. My Fried Rice Leftover recipe uses day-old rice. You can also add leftover ingredients like pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, bok choy, or other fresh vegetables. Fried rice is easy to make and very adaptable. Create your signature fried rice to impress friends and family.
If you love fried rice you might also like my Chicken and Steak Stir Fry.
- cooked medium-grain rice (Leftover white rice works best for your first time making this dish. The next time you might try other varieties of rice.)
- white onion (diced)
- green onions (green tops and white bottoms)
- carrot (diced)
- frozen green peas
- ham/pork, chicken, shrimp, or cooked sliced beef
- ginger (use very little)
- sesame oil (optional, but it really creates the familiar fried rice flavor)
- salt and black pepper
- soy sauce
- peanut oil
Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the recipe card.
Bonus: How to make "leftover" rice from fresh rice
Start by cooking rice in a rice cooker if you have one, or on the stovetop following the directions on the package. Remove the rice immediately and spread it out on a large baking sheet with a Silpat or other silicone mat. Don't use foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc. The rice will stick to all of those. If you don't have a silicone mat, rub a little olive oil on the sheet pan and place the rice directly on the surface. Use two forks to separate the grains of rice. Leave the pan out at room temperature for a couple of hours, fluffing the rice frequently to dry it out. Refrigerate until you are ready to make my Fried Rice from Leftover Rice. Use your "leftover" cold rice directly from the fridge.
Add oil to hot wok.
Add carrots, ginger, garlic, and onions.
Stir in the hot oil until softened.
Add peas and meat.
Stir fry until meat and peas heat up.
Push food to one side, add oil then egg.
Lightly scramble the egg. Do not brown!
Add the cooked rice.
Add sesame oil, salt, pepper, soy sauce.
Stir fry until piping hot and mixed well.
- Buy BBQ pork at your local Chinese restaurant. Dice it in small pieces to make pork fried rice. (This is what I did for this post)
- Omit the egg in the fried rice, then serve the fried rice topped with a sunny-side-up fried egg. The only thing you need now is the hot sauce! This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fried rice.
- Go completely vegetarian and use only fresh and/or frozen vegetables. This is a great way to clean out the vegetable drawer.
- Make plain veggie fried rice and use it as a base for a beautiful piece of miso-glazed salmon.
- Make scrambled egg and jalapeño fried rice. Wrap as much rice as you like in warm buttered flour tortillas for an amazing breakfast.
The egg adds protein to the dish as well as flavor and texture. It adds a protein element to plain vegetable fried rice.
Fried rice recipes usually call for long-grain or medium-grain rice. Thai versions use fragrant jasmine rice (my favorite), and Japanese-style fried rice can even be made with short-grain sushi rice.
While the exact origins of fried rice are up for debate, it's believed that it was invented sometime during the Sui dynasty (A.D. 589–618).
Looking For More Leftover-Rice Ideas?
- Sharp knife
- Wok - I use a carbon-steel, double-handled, perfectly seasoned wok. I do a lot of stir fry meals, so I went a bit overboard. If you have a large, non-stick skillet with high sides that will be fine.
I installed a stovetop with a high-heat designated wok burner in the center.
This is my prized possession, a perfectly seasoned carbon steel wok.
- Spatula for flipping rice and vegetables. I use this special spatula made for stir fry. You can use a rigid non-metal spatula instead. This one is great of you do a lot of stir-fry like I do.
Food Storage Tips
Fried rice keeps for 1-2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat fried rice, I put it in a cold frying pan and heat it slowly over medium heat. I have an awesome "re-heat" feature on my microwave, so I mostly use that.
- I use a large, screaming hot, carbon-steel wok to make fried rice. It is great if you have one, but if you don't, a large non-stick pan will do.
- Cut your vegetables and meat into like-sized cubes for even cooking. I like mine about ½ inch square.
- Carrots take a long time to cook, so I par-cook mine by placing the diced carrots in a small microwave-safe bowl, covered with water, and microwaving for one minute. This softens them so that they are cooked, but a little crunchy in the fried rice. Start with 30 seconds in the microwave and add more time as needed. You do not want them mushy.
- My Crispy Asian Dumplings would make a perfect pairing with Wok Fried Rice from Leftover Rice.
- Restaurant Style Potstickers would be great with this dish. This recipe has a lovely dipping sauce too.
- As for spirits to pair with Wok Fried Rice, China Wine Competition says dishes that go well with Junmai Sake are stir-fried vegetable or meat dishes. A rice bowl of any description makes for an easy-to-make, no-fuss option.
Fried Rice from Leftover Rice
- Wok or large skillet
- 3 cups cooked medium grain rice leftover rice works best!
- ¼ cup chopped green onions the white part
- ¼ cup white onion diced
- ⅓ cup chopped carrot
- ⅓ cup frozen green peas
- ⅓ cup diced ham/pork chicken, shrimp, or cooked sliced beef
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 small clove garlic pressed or finely minced (optional)
- ½ inch ginger knob finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 TBS soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon peanut oil
- Green onion tops sliced for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon black or white pepper I like white pepper in this dish
- Heat 1 teaspoon of peanut oil in a wok or a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Put the carrots, ginger, and garlic in the pan and cook until softened.
- Add the frozen peas and meat to the wok and stir to combine with the other vegetables.
- Push the vegetables and meat to one side and add the second tablespoon of peanut oil.
- Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the wok or skillet and cook as you would for scrambled eggs. Do not brown the eggs!
- Add the rice and stir-fry together until heated through.
- Turn the heat down to low, pour soy sauce, salt, and sesame seed oil (if using) and stir fry quickly.
- You may lead less or more salt depending on taste and the meat you used. Garnish with sliced green onion tops.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.