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Best Fried Rice & Stir Fry Recipes

I love to cook. However, I just can't seem to get the fried rice to be like fried rice. I should let you all know that I am a vegetarian - but I can adapt recipes if they have meat in it. I've heard, cold rice, oil should do the trick, but it just doesn't work out.

Please, I beg of you...remind me what great fried rice tastes like without having to order in.

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  1. I don't really have a recipe... but I always use jasmine rice (well... because that's what I always have on hand) and I never use soy sauce. I just don't like the taste of soy sauce fried rice since I always grew up with more of a yang-chow style fried rice. So instead of soy sauce I use salt to season. My grandma's secret is to sautee finely chopped onions first. So sautee onions until translucent and beginning to brown in oil (and also add any veggies that you're using and cook until tender). Set aside. Add more oil to wok until hot, add the beaten eggs (if using). Stir the eggs a bit but before they're set, add the rice. Stir the rice and the not-yet-set-eggs so it gets coated evenly. Add the onions and the veggies again and chopped green onions, mix and continue to cook until rice is heated. Season with salt. Serve. Some might find my recipe quirky since I don't use soy sauce... but that's how I make my yang chow fried rice, and fiance and others seem to love it.

    1. Try using thick soy sauce. It comes in a jar and has the consistency of molasses. It is sweeter than regular soy which gives the fried rice a caramelized, smoky flavor. As you are a vegetarian, you can't use the other trick which is to fry the rice in pork fat - that gives the dish a really distinctive taste.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheryl_h

        As alternative to thick soy sauce, try oyster sauce for your fried rice. I add it last after cooking everything.

        1. re: vsoy

          Hmm, never used oyster sauce in fried rice. I think it would give a very different result from soy.

          1. re: cheryl_h

            Different yes, but I'm not sure if that's the taste you're going for. Oyster sauce tends to be too sweet to get that authentic taste of fried rice.

      2. Use cold, leftover fried rice. Start with very hot oil. Toss in the whites of a bunch or two of green onions and stir fry for a minute or so. Add the cold rice and stir fry, breaking up the clumps. Add soy sauce to taste and stir fry until the soy has been absorbed. Move rice to the sides of the pot and add the eggs, scrambling lightly. If you want to have chunks of egg in your rice, then let the eggs cook all the way before bringing the rice back to the middle. If you want your egg to "disappear" into your rice, stir the rice into the runny egg and let the egg cook that way. Add the rest of the green onions and whatever other veggies you want. Stir fry until everything is heated through. I rarely cook my veggies ahead of time, but you can if you want to. Taste and add more soy or salt as needed (I rarely add any more).

        6 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          what if you don't have left-over fried rice? how am i supposed to make fried rice w/o leftover fried rice?

          1. re: adkim

            It's not the end of the world if you use freshly made rice, it's just better with leftover stuff. If you are making the rice fresh, make sure you use a long grain rice and don't use any more than the required amount of water. And let the rice rest a good 20 minutes after cooking before using it for the fried rice.

            1. re: adkim

              I plan my meals out ahead of time, and if I know I want fried rice tomorrow, i make some rice tonight, and put it in the fridge. . A little prep work, and menu planning goes a long way in having meals turn out good.

              1. re: adkim

                It really doesn't turn out as well with fresh rice. You can do it, but the texture will be a bit different.

                1. re: prunefeet

                  Day-old cold rice is a must for fried rice, I think...

              2. re: TorontoJo

                i think, if there is one more spice to add, there is chopped GINGER. i followed the instruction of chef and tv host Ming Tsai. it did really brighten the flavour of soy sauced fried rice.

              3. You didn't really say how you are doing it now, so it's hard to trouble shoot for you. But what I do is to use really old really dry rice, something long grain and non-sticky is good. Jasmin will work, I've also used Basmati.

                Heat wok/pan with oil until sizzling hot. Sautee your veggies, I use a combination of onions, scallions, and sometimes the frozen veggie mix. After that has carmalized, I add the rice and break it up and sautee more. Add more oil if it looks dry. While I detest adding oil and fat to my food, fried rice is something that just won't taste right with not enough oil. You want the grains to be coated evenly.
                When the rice is heated through and toasted, push it aside and add you eggs. Scramb that a bit and push the rice mixture into that. Mix everything up and add your seasons now. I tend not to add too much soysauce or other liquid as that'll make the rice soggy. I use salt and pepper and msg. (okay, you have to use msg, that's what make the restaurant fried rice taste good!)

                If your rice looks wet from the eggs, jack up the heat and keep stir-frying it until it dries up. and the kernals separates.

                2 Replies
                1. re: OnceUponABite

                  I think you nailed it OUAB
                  Sorry I didn't explain what I was doing...but I think it's that I use too little oil and too much soy which makes it wet mooooooshier. Does anyone have an actual recipe for fried rice? I think that would help me get my oil ration to food right...

                  1. re: lollya

                    I don't have a recipe, and probably most Chinese home cooks just make it by experience. Maybe you google for a recipe, but I think you just need to experiment a little. There are certain things I don't like to make myself, because I know I am not willing to add the fat required to make it taste the way it should. But if I'm eating out, I pretend it's perfectly healthy! :)

                2. What's your idea of fried rice - what qualities do you like in it? Mine is dryer than most, and is full of crusty pieces of browned rice but is still tender. I use oil or butter but never eggs and soy sauce would be anathema.


                  4 Replies
                    1. re: uptown jimmy

                      i don't partake in the fish - although i've been considering it for it's health appeal.
                      i believe there is a vegetarian oyster sauce that they make from mushrooms, not sure about a fish sauce!

                        1. re: KTinNYC

                          I third the fish sauce. I also use a lot of finely chopped vegetables - whatever I have on hand.

                    2. Sesame oil (to finish, not to fry) is the ticket.

                      1. Remember to use at least day old rice (the post about long grain is best but i also use my normal medium grain california japanese style rice). and yah, if i use shoyu which is not all the time, the most would be a couple of teaspoons worth to a 2-3 cups of cooked rice whereas the oil would be at least 3-4 tablespoons to cook the protein if using, veggies, and eggs and the rice.

                        1. When I do stir-fry (I have never tried with fried rice...not sure how the rice would stnad up to it) I always add a big dollop of ketchup to my veggies. It caramelizes them a bit, ads the salt you would otherwise get from soy sauce, and lends a fair amount of flavor...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dagoose

                            Last time I made fried rice I was unhappy with the mushiness and lack of flavor, so this post is helpful.
                            Question: Would Indonesian kecap manis be a good idea? (Instead of soy sauce or in addition to...??) I also have fish sauce and oyster sauce on hand.

                            1. re: erica

                              The only way you can get your fried rice to resemble what you get in a restaurant is to keep as little liquid out of the rice as possible and to fry in very small batches.

                              My mom use to fry her rice in 4 or 5 batches and I thought she was crazy but this method enhances "wok hay" or that distinct flavor restaurants get by using their high btu ranges. I think kecap manis would be too thick. Mom uses fish sauce.

                          2. I think what's interesting is that everyone assumes you mean Chinese fried rice. I am Korean (well, half really) and we make stir fried rice differently. You can use just cooked rice. I've seen my mom do it that way, or else use day old rice. But the thing that I remember her doing is sauteeing the veggies (carrots, green peppers, onions, etc) first, seasoning them with salt, pepper, asian crushed red pepper ( not the same as what you put on pizza ), soy sauce, and sesame oil, then adding the rice. We also add bean sprouts, mung bean sprouts if you can find them. Then she would crack a couple of eggs on top of it and cook it out.

                            See if this works as a tasty alternative for you!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Adelinemf

                              Thanks KT and Adeline!
                              I am going to try both of these options!

                              Adeline - I do think it's kind of funny/silly as well. I think because most people generalize fired rice to be Chinese because that is what is most prevalent in America. However, we cook everything and my favorite takeout place does a blending of all styles of asian food - which I love. They have Thai, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian and some Indian dishes. YUM! I can't wait to try your version!

                              1. re: lollya

                                Did you happen to see this thread? Great ideas and recipes...

                            2. Hi! My husband makes the most divine fried rice. His trick seems to be to only par-boil long grain rice - then let it cool in the fridge. His theory is that once it is added to the wok that it continues to cook - this being the reason MY fried rice is always gluggy!

                              We also use the Indonesian Ketchup Manis - a thick sweet soy that adds a smokey flavour - yum.

                              Fresh organic garlic is also a must - and fry it well in the best quality olive oil you can afford. Combined with the fried rice it gives the dish a very nutty flavour.

                              1. ok i give this to you so you can start . remember try to hold back on the soya as it can make the rice like um rubbish .just dont go made with the soya .

                                ok so fried rice .
                                2 Eggs
                                0.25 tsp Salt
                                0.25 ground black pepper
                                3 tbsp vegetable oil
                                2 drops garlic cloves, chopped
                                1 piece of fresh root ginger (2cm)
                                2 Spring onions, chopped
                                50g cooked shrimps
                                50g peas, boiled
                                50g cooked ham, diced
                                400g steamed rice, cooled
                                2 tbsp light Soy sauce
                                1 tbsp oyster sauce
                                1 tsp Sesame oil
                                2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

                                Method 1. Beat the eggs and seasoning in a small bow and heat a small frying pan with one tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Pour in the eggs and scramble them over a low heat, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl and leave them on one side to cool slightly while you fry the other ingredients.

                                2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over a high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chopped spring onions and stir fry for about 30 seconds.

                                3. Add the prawns and stir fry for another minute before tipping in the peas, ham and scrambled eggs. Add the cooked rice and stir fry for another minute or so, to warm through.

                                4. Season the rice with soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground black pepper and sesame oil - sprinkle over the coriander and serve straight from the pan.

                                do hope you get on ok please let me know if you can

                                jason ,london

                                1. hey lollya, here is my recipe for fried rice. If you scroll down a bit from the photo, you'll see. You don't have to use meat. In fact I make fried rice often without meat. I like to use dark soy sauce for fried rice, mainly for color but I love the rich flavor. And I agree with the people that say use rice that is at least a day old (refrigerated) the grains of rice seperate beautifully. When you use the same day cooked rice, I find there's just too much moisture and it will gum up. I use jasmine rice, its my everyday standard no fail rice. I love the faint scent and taste. I hope this helps!


                                  1. I've seen lots of posts here, but I enjoy my fried rice more than I enjoy most restaurant versions. The base oil is lard ( yeah, I know). FRESH ginger helps...don't be stingy...and a little oyster sauce is good. Fried rice is an Asian leftover. It's a way for Asian cooks to stretch their ingredients. But, it is Oh so good and I'm still looking for the perfect recipe combo. But, I've found the basics. Cold rice, green onion, FRESH garlic (oh yes...you'd be surprised), Asian soy sauce (if all you can get is kikkoman then use low sodium), FRESH ginger, leftover pork (save a cooked pork chop next time), White pepper (fresh ground black in a pinch), peas and carrots and just a splash of oyster sauce... 2 scrambled eggs and LARD. Go play with those ingredients and make your masterpiece!

                                    1. use 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 2 T of sugar, pinch of sesame oil.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sueski99

                                        We posted our recipe for fried rice on Chow a while ago - you can just take the chicken out and use loads of veggies instead, we do this often. http://www.chow.com/recipes/27951-yum...

                                        Adding sweet chilli sauce to the fried rice gives a nice spicy but sweet flavour! Always use cold rice though...we've made fried rice with slightly warm rice it's turned out just not quite right texture wise.

                                      2. For a better dryer rice. When you finish cooking your brown rice, and this may work for white as well, let it cool a bit in the pan and then lay it out on wax paper to dry. This takes some time so you would want to plan for this ahead of time. Just keep breaking it up with a wooden spoon so it dries well, After it is dried try and separate it with a wooden spoon or what ever you have to get the clumps out. Put it in the fridge. Use in what ever recipe you choose. I would never have thought, but Oyster sauce used sparingly at the end of cooking is awesome.

                                        Ellen in Montana

                                        1. Sometimes I find my fried rice is mushy and very hard to work with. So if I know I will be making fried rice, I would make more rice the night before so I would have leftover. Make sure you loosen the leftover rice because the clumps are harder to work with.
                                          If I want to make fried rice and don't have left over then I would make fresh rice but make sure I put a little less water than normal so it is harder. After it is done, I open up and take out the rice pot so it can cool as soon as possible and loosen it. The cooler it is the quicker it dries up and easier to work with. Do not cover at this point as the moisture will keep the rice wet and harder to work with.
                                          I also do not like soy sauce in my fried rice. Vegetarian bouillon powder is a good mix.