An easy chicken fried rice that will turn out better than take-out from your favorite restaurant! This classic Chinese dish is a beloved favorite around the world, and for a good reason. It’s easy to make, completely delicious, and can be customized to your liking with various vegetables. In this post, we will share our recipe for the perfect chicken fried rice and the three secrets for making it at home. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner in the kitchen, we know you’ll find something useful in this post. So grab your wok and let’s get cooking my friend!
Why I Love Easy Chicken Fried Rice
I live in the middle of nowhere Minnesota and one of the few downfalls of living in a small town is the lack of dining options. Like, basic fast food and a few local joints. However, we had a momentous occasion last week when a sushi restaurant opened. I adore sushi so of course, I went and devoured a large platter (yes, platter) of it. That delicious meal has completely put me in the mood for more Asian food. So, I made up a batch of my easy chicken fried rice.
I’ve been making this fried rice recipe for so many years that I forget that many people assume it is hard to make at home. Since I have learned so much about making fried rice in my own kitchen, I figured it is about time that I share those secrets to success with you guys. And of course, my recipe as well. Even if you already have a chicken fried rice recipe you love, these tips and tricks will make your version even better!
What is Chicken Fried Rice?
Chicken fried rice is a type of Chinese stir-fry dish made with already-cooked rice, diced chicken, and a variety of vegetables, such as peas, carrots, mushrooms, and green onions. It is typically seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other flavorings. Many love to garnish it with fresh green onions. It is often served as a side dish or even as a main course at many Asian restaurants and is a popular take-out choice.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice Ingredients and Supplies
What makes this easy chicken fried rice recipe amazing is that it uses simple ingredients. All the best recipes keep the ingredients simple and the flavors amazing.
- Cooked and chilled white rice
- Green onions
- Frozen peas
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger
- Cooked chicken
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Large nonstick skillet or wok
- Rice cooker, Instant Pot, or medium saucepan
How To Make Chicken Fried Rice
Think of making chicken fried rice like the best way to use the leftovers in your fridge! It is one of the simplest dinners you can make so don’t be intimidated by it.
Time needed: 15 minutes
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
- Prepare the rice
Cook the rice on the stove, in an Instant Pot, or in a rice cooker. Place the rice in the fridge and let it get cold before using it. This step cannot be skipped and makes all the difference in the end result of this easy chicken fried rice.
- Cook the eggs
Cooking the eggs before frying the rice allows the end result to have nice pieces of scrambled eggs in it. Remove the eggs once they are cooked.
- Cook the vegetables
Using some of the butter, sauté the vegetables until they have softened a bit. Don’t overcook them or they will become mushy in the finished fried rice.
- “Fry” the cold rice
While it is called fried rice, you actually don’t fry the rice. You sauté it in butter over high heat, along with the vegetables, and cooked chicken.
- Add the seasonings and sauce
While stirring the fried rice, add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat the rice in the seasonings. Add in the cooked egg.
Serve the rice right away with a sprinkling of fresh green onions over the top.
Three Secrets to Perfect Fried Rice
- Use COLD rice:
- I know this may seem odd, but it is my most important trick for easy chicken fried rice. If your rice is hot and goopy when you try to fry it, your end result will also be goopy. When the rice is cold, the starches reabsorb and give you individual grains of rice as an end result. If you didn’t plan ahead enough in your day to have cold rice in your fridge, just spread the hot rice onto a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Then stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow it to cool off quickly. Just be sure it is cold!
- Add a few odd-sounding ingredients:
- If you want a restaurant-quality result, then guess what? You have to use the same stuff they use. You may not like the way oyster sauce sounds but don’t let that scare you off from using it! Also, no substitutions when it comes to the finishing drizzle of toasted sesame oil over the top. It MAKES the dish the rock star that it is! Also, use butter instead of oil when you fry the rice because it provides a richer flavor compared to canola oil.
- Veggies….Load them on Baby:
- Want boring fried rice? Then skimp on the veggies. The vegetables aren’t there just because they are good for you. They give the rice the most amazing depth of flavor. I know some might turn their noses up at the baby portobello mushrooms in my recipe, but they add so much richness. If you *think* you hate mushrooms, then chop them up so small that you won’t know they are even there. Feel free to add some of your favorite vegetables and personalize the rice for your family.
Fried Rice FAQs
I wish there was just one “secret” to amazing fried rice, but there are a few key factors that contribute to the best results. Each one is important, so implement each one when you make this recipe.
1. Quality ingredients: Using high-quality ingredients, such as fresh vegetables and authentic seasonings is essential for great fried rice.
2. Proper rice preparation: Fried rice requires cold rice that has already been cooked. If you use warm or room-temperature rice, you’ll end up with a mushy mess.
3. Sufficient oil: Using enough oil or butter to coat the ingredients is important for ensuring that the rice doesn’t stick and that it “fries” evenly.
4. Quick cooking: Fried rice should be cooked quickly over high heat to preserve the flavors and textures of the ingredients. And you need a large pan for that to happen.
5. Aromatics: Adding aromatics such as garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and onions to the pan adds depth of flavor to the dish.
Chinese fried rice typically has a savory and slightly salty flavor due to the inclusion of soy sauce and oyster sauce. It may also have a slightly sweet and slightly spicy flavor due to the inclusion of hoisin sauce or chili sauce. Other ingredients that contribute to the flavor of Chinese fried rice include toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, onions, and various vegetables.
Can I skip the sesame oil in this easy chicken fried rice?
Hey, it is your kitchen and your family so do what you think is best. That being said, I always encourage my readers to make my recipes as written the first time. When you assume you don’t like an ingredient because you’ve had bad experiences with it in the past, you miss out on so many amazing dishes. If you worry about the sesame oil in this recipe, try using half the amount instead.
Can I use chopped frozen vegetables?
Yes, you can totally do that, as long as you keep the garlic, ginger, and mushrooms in the recipe. Those three aromatics create the base of the flavor of this easy chicken fried rice. Don’t skip those important ingredients! If you do use frozen veggies, add them at the end with the chicken. This is so they don’t get overcooked and mushy.
Looking for More Great Asian Recipes?
If this easy chicken fried rice is just what you were looking for, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes. Go grab them now before you forget!
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- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- 6 mushrooms, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 C frozen peas
- 4 C cooked rice, cold
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 1/2 Tb butter
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Combine the soy sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large, nonstick skillet heated to medium-high heat, melt 1/2 Tb of butter then cook the beaten eggs. Once fully cooked, set them aside in a small bowl.
- Return the pan to high heat and melt 1 Tb of butter. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and carrots, along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sauté until the veggies begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the rest of the butter then the cold, cooked rice, frozen peas, and cooked chicken breast. “Fry” the rice in this additional butter along with the veggies you were already sautéing. Stir the rice as it cooks for about 3 minutes.
- Add the bowl of sauce, along with the green onions and scrambled eggs. Stir it well to coat the rice with the sauce. Before serving, drizzle the sesame oil over the finished rice, then toss to distribute it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian
- Serving Size: 1/6 th
- Calories: 296
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 752 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 37 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 12 g
- Cholesterol: 97 mg
Keywords: easy chicken fried rice