HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Trouble with fried rice

I love the fried rice one gets at any american chinese take out place but i have failed to replicate it at home.
Heres what i have figured out thus far.
1. requires drying time
2. requires lots of oil and a hot pan
3. can use just about any ingrediants

heres my problems
1. when i leave the rice overnite in fridge it just doesnt seem to dry out very well.
2. idk how much to use ive used a few tablespoons but it seems like however much i put in the rice absorbs all of it. am i suppose to use the whole bottle of oil?
3. im not sure what to do for seasoning and i like the brown fried rice which i think means add soy but again my rice just absorbs it i dont get the look or texture to the fried rice that i want.
4.does anyone have some recipes im specifically looking for a way to bbq some pork for my fried rice and id also like to know what do do for seasonings and flavorings. i do not wish to add lard either.

pleases help

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Fried rice is usually made with leftovers, so I can't help with a BBQ pork recipe, but you can add any left over meat, or marinated meat. Chicken, prawns, cookied ham etc...
    If your pan is hot enough, you should have no problem with the rice absorbing too much of the oil.
    I usually spray the pan with oil, just enough so the eggs don't stick and that's it. Maybe a 2 sec spray
    I would cook the scramble eggs first, until it's still a little runny, remove it and set aside.
    Add meat to pan, cook until it's almost done (if using raw meat) or until it's warm through if left over meat.
    Add any veg (i.e. peas, carrot, bok choy) you like, when the veg are done
    Add day old long grain rice, break up any clumps of rice, mix everything well until rice is warm through
    Add chopped green onions
    Return eggs back to the pan, mix everything well
    Add soy sauce last, mix well so the soy sauce is evenly distributed

    1. I'm not sure about your wet rice/oil concern, I have never had that happen. Maybe it's because you are using brown rice?
      As far as seasoning goes, I use plenty of garlic and onions at first, then soy while cooking, and finish it off at the end with a drizzle of sesame oil and it knocks the flavor factor up. Sprinkle with green onions.
      When I started doing fried rice, I scanned recipezaar and allrecipes for ideas and then just went off.

      Your BBQ'd pork fried rice sounds like it is going to be amazing!

      1. You can roast boneless pork that has been cut into one inch strips on a rack in a roasting pan. Marinate the meat in soy, ginger, garlic, five spice powder, and a touch of sesame oil. When it is almost done (don't overcook), brush honey that has been tinted red with food color liberally over the pork. You may need to do this two or three times. It will get you a pretty good BBQ pork for your fried rice.

        1. Are you cooking your rice in a rice cooker or a pot? What kind or rice and how much water are you using?

          I have found that it is best to use a Jasmine rice that has been cooked with less water that works best, so the rice cooker seems to make the best texture. If you are using a pot, use no more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water for each cup of uncooked rice. TURN OFF the burner so that it doesn't stick when it is partly done to let the water get absorbed and the rice cooked. Fluffy, wet and or Basmati/long grain rices don't do as well with this dish.

          BTW. you don't need a ton of oil -- only enough to prevent sticking. That brown color you see is from soy sauce. There are also flavoring packets out there in the Asian food section of your supermarket specifically made for fried rice. You can try them to see how close they take you.

          1. Mr. Chili, are you rinsing the uncooked rice in cold water before cooking? That helps to remove excess starch and makes the rice very fluffy when cooked. Fill the uncooked, rice-filled pan with cold water and move your hand about in it to start releasing the starch. Drain the starchy water. (This starch water can be re-used to water plants.) Re-fill with cold water and hand-stir again. Drain and repeat once more. This technique works great for white rice, far less so for brown rice. This should help greatly when trying to make fried rice the next day.

            1. You are using too much oil, but more importantly, I bet your pan is not hot enough. As for the wetness of your rice, put it in the fridge overnight UNCOVERED. The pan has to be crazy hot...hotter than is safe for most non-stick, BTW. Alternately, you may be overloading the pan, which will have the same effect of cooling the pan too much.

              1 Reply
              1. My rice maker came with a recipe for "Not" Fried Rice. It is the PDF you can find at http://www.cuisinart.ca/en/pdf/ibs/CR... I used white rice instead of basmatti, small chicken pieces instead of shrimp and added some finely diced carrots. Came out just like fried rice. . . very little oil.

                1. here is how I fix fried rice. I don't bother with the cold rice. It's really not a problem. Just make sure the rice is not hot. I mix the rice with 2 beaten eggs and some salt and a dash of white pepper. Then in an nonstick frying pan, I add about a tablespoon of oil and then proceed to fry the rice in it for a good 5-10 minutes, tossing frequently till the rice is golden. After that, remove it to a serving platter. Add another tablespoon of oil and then throw in some diced shrimp, chinese barbeque pork if you want that and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rice back in, throw in some shredded iceberg lettuce and some finely minced scallions and it's done. I do not add soy sauce to the fried rice. Sometimes if I'm in the mood, I'll add a teaspoon or so of XO sauce, but usually not.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bw2082

                    Fried rice is way better without soy sauce. and I like soy sauce.

                  2. well ive learned that ive got to uncover the rice when leaving in fridge over nite. thnx that will help alot.
                    i guess i shouldn't be using that 5min rice crap and should pobably make rice with less water when i cook it.
                    also i don't have my pan hot enough. my question is what kind of pan should i use if not nonstick since it has to be very hot? Should i go buy one of those big wok pans not like that eletric pos but like a big pan?
                    also when i rincse the rice is this like the day i cook it or the day after it dries cause i dont think i should be rewetting it should I?

                    btw ty for all the recipes and help.
                    ima try that pork recipe and try to season my rice with the other stuff

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Mr. Chili

                      No need to buy a wok really unless you have a high BTU gas range - like Viking or Garland ranges that start at about 15,000 BTU. Most other home gas ranges are in the 10K range. And certainly never buy an electric wok! Just use a large fry pan and as mentioned, don't over fill it. The large fry pan will give you greater surface coverage. I rinse the rice just before cooking it. No need to rinse after cooking or the next day. You want the rice "dry" for fried rice.

                      1. re: Mr. Chili

                        Are you using 'converted' rice? DON'T! Use real rice, not some par-boiled, no-flavor, no-texture poser pseudo-rice! Donate all that stuff to a food bank.

                        1. re: ricepad

                          Parboiled (or, as Julia Child referred to it humorously to avoid the trademarked "converted" work, "avuncular rice") rice is an ancient, authentic foodstuff. It was not invented by industrial America, but like bulgur is an ancient way to stabilize a grain (and also make it a bit less inviting to vermin) and create a different texture palate with it. It's just not suited to frying.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            Um...thanks for the history lesson, I guess. I didn't say it was a recent invention, nor did I pin it on "industrial America". I just implied that it's crap. And now I'm saying it: It's crap.

                      2. here's an actual email from my mom b/c I had emailed her specifically for her fried rice recipe! (I do include my own notes below too)

                        scoopG makes a very good point- I remember my mom "washing" rice before cooking it, but I never knew why she did it.

                        Dear daughters:

                        What happened to all the recipe books I sent you? Chinese cooking really is easy and healthy.

                        The basic ways to cook meal with meat:
                        1. marinate meat with soy sauce, rice wine, pepper, ginger powder, chopped garlic sesame oil and corn starch.
                        Cut meat into thin slices.
                        Marinate for about an hour?
                        2. heat some grape-seed oil (this is the best kind I know)
                        about 1T
                        3. saute meat ( pork takes longer time)
                        For a few minutes
                        4. add in some vegi ( peas, celery, asparagus, cabbage....)

                        Cooking vegetable:
                        1. heat oil
                        2. put in chopped garlic
                        3. put in vegi
                        4. add salt & pepper

                        Fry rice:
                        1. saute marinated meat
                        Take out of pan and set aside.
                        2. make scramble eggs
                        I used 4 eggs or eggbeaters, and added scallions, salt and pepper, some milk
                        I used 2 T grapesead oil so eggs are nice and fluffy
                        Take eggs out of pan and set aside.
                        3. heat some more oil and put in COLD rice ( so the rice won't stick together )
                        I used 1 T more oil
                        4. put in some corn, pea....
                        I used frozen veggies that I had pre-cooked in the microwave.
                        5. add some salt and lots pepper
                        Mix back in the meat, then the egg as the last step.

                        I thought the rice was bland, so I poured over the top some dumpling sauce which is:
                        Soy sauce
                        Sesame oil (add in 1t at a time)
                        Cider vinegar (add in 1t at a time)

                        Taste it. If it is too oily, add more soy sauce. Too bitter from the vinegar, add in more soy sauce.
                        That is why you add the sesame oil and vinegar slowly and taste after each addition.
                        I poured this over the rice and it was delicious!

                        chicken, spare ribs, beef chunks..
                        1. broil meat and dump the water ( to get ride of some of the smell and make soup clearer)
                        2. add water again, put in meat, add salt, ginger root slices, wine and vegi (daikon, cabbage, corn on the cob.....)
                        3. cook for half hour or until its done.

                        Easy, cheap and healthy, hope you all spend some time to practice, it is worthwhile.

                        Take care!


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ade333

                          GREAT email! Sounds like maybe the cold rice is the key.

                        2. My favourite fried rice recipe, traditional...


                          1. the pan has to be really hot. heat it up as much as you think is necessary, then heat it for a few minutes more.

                            1. Use botan calrose rice it is perfect for fried rice. Cook it according to the directions then spread it out on a baking sheet and let it cool while mixing it around.then add about two table spoons of oil to a hot pan and stir fry until gains separate and golden (of course add soy sauce eggs and anything else you want)