Fried Rice is one of the best take out dishes from Chinese restaurants. You can learn how to make Chicken Fried Rice right at home with simple ingredients and in just a few minutes. If you don’t feel like having chicken, make it with shrimp, pork, extra vegetables, or serve it as a side dish.
The Best Chicken Fried Rice
Fried rice is probably the best way of eating rice and it’s so easy and fast. Anytime I have leftover rice from a Chinese restaurant take out, I look forward to saving that plain rice that comes with the meat and turning it into a delicious dinner. I even make extra rice for other dishes just so I can save it and use leftover rice in fried rice the next day.
Once you learn how to make your own Chicken fried rice at home, you’ll never look at the cardboard box filled with white rice with sadness again. All you need is a few simple ingredients, 30 minutes of your time, and don’t forget the leftover rice. Your family will thank you!
You know what’s another great thing about this dish? It has a base recipe but the rest is totally customizable. You can add or omit vegetables you love or hate. Use different cuts of chicken or substitute for another protein all together. If you don’t have leftover rice, you can make some using your favorite type of rice. And, don’t be afraid to add a little extra soy sauce if your taste buds call for it.
Chicken – you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thigh meat. Chicken breast meat is more lean but chicken thigh meat is juicier and more flavorful.
Soy Sauce – use a low sodium soy sauce and feel free to use gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos if you need to.
Oyster Sauce – If you have a gluten allergy, use gluten free oyster sauce.
Garlic – Fresh garlic will yield the most flavorful results. Don’t use pre-minced garlic from the store, as the flavor is quite different.
Peanut Oil – use peanut oil to prepare most of the Chinese inspired dishes. If you’re unable to get peanut oil, use avocado or vegetable oil instead.
Peas – Use frozen peas, but allow them to thaw before cooking. Any brand should work just fine.
Carrot – I usually recommend a medium carrot but if you want more, feel free to use a large one.
Ginger – Use fresh grated ginger for the best flavor, not dried ginger.
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
Best Rice To Use To Make Fried Rice
Long Grain White Rice – long grain rice in always recommended for fried rice dishes. It’s also best to use leftover cold rice is the best option. You can always make rice the day before and then store it in the fridge until ready to use.
If you don’t have any leftover fried rice and forgot to make some the day before, I do have a trick. Cook the rice fist and then spread it on a large plate or a rimmed baking sheet. Pop it into the refrigerator and let it chill for 15-20 minutes.
How To Make Chicken Fried Rice
PRO TIP: Prepare your ingredients first because this is a fast recipe. So dice chicken and vegetables, whisk eggs with a splash of soy sauce, and whisk together soy sauce and oyster sauce.
First, brown the chicken with a little oil and a splash of soy sauce until done and take it out of the pan (1 and 2).
Next, add a little more oil to the pan if needed and add onions and carrots. Cook onions and carrots until softened and add pea. Cook for a minute or so (3). Make a little well in the middle of the veggies and add garlic and ginger and a little splash of oil (4). Sauté just until flagrant and mix it in with the vegetables.
After that, spread the veggies to the sides of the pan and pour in whisked egg in the middle (5). Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for a couple minutes, until almost cooked through.
Add cold rice into the pan and quickly stir it together (6).
Finally add back the chicken and stir it all together (7). Pour soy sauce mixture over everything in the pan (8) and stir to coat everything evenly with sauce (9). Let it cook about a minute as you’re stirring everything and then take off heat.
As it comes, no it is not gluten free because soy sauce and oyster sauce contain gluten. BUT, you can easily make it gluten free IF you use gluten free soy sauce and gluten free oyster sauce. There are brands of both sauces that make it in a gluten free version. So check the labels when shopping and find ones marked “gluten free.”
If you cannot find gluten free soy sauce, use tamari or coconut aminos.
Absolutely! Everyone has their favorite chicken meat, whether it’s light or dark. You can easily use chicken thigh meat or chicken breast meat. Chicken thigh meat is the dark meat that is more juicy and flavorful because it contains more fat. Chicken breast meat is the white meat that is much leaner.
Not necessarily. It’s better to use leftover rice for the texture of fried rice dish but you can make rice specifically for this recipe and just let it cool down all the way. Don’t forget to fluff it up after it’s cooked and after it’s cooled.
Best rice to choose is either jasmine rice or long grain rice. You can also use brown rice if you want to keep it a little healthier.
Garlic, onions, carrots, and peas are the most common vegetables you’ll find in fried rice. You can also add corn, bell peppers, green onion, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans. Any dense and hearty vegetables would be nice, just make sure to finely dice it so there are no large chunks.
Make It A Little Healthier
Substitute the oil. Peanut oil is not the lightest option and if you want to lighten your dish, use avocado oil or even avocado oil.
Substitute white rice for brown rice is another way to make it a little healthier.
You can also try Cauliflower Fried Rice.
Use low sodium soy sauce to minimize sodium amount in the recipe.
Throw it extra vegetables even when making chicken fried rice or shrimp fried rice and use less rice.
Use chicken breast meat because it’s leaner.
How To Reheat Fried Rice
Storing: Make sure to also store rice in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, that will help it from drying out too much. Properly stored, it should be food for up to 5 days.
You can easily reheat fried rice but you need to add a little moisture. Rice is like a sponge that soaks in any moisture around it so it gets pretty dry after sitting in the fridge overnight. When reheating fried rice, I like to use a either a combination of water and a little soy sauce OR some low sodium chicken broth to introduce some of the moisture back into the rice.
Depending on how much rice I need to reheat, I add about a tablespoon of liquid. A tablespoon per serving is usually enough to get it moist.
You can reheat it in the microwave but make sure to cover with a microwave-safe lid. Best way to reheat it though is to pan-fry it with a little oil, water, and soy sauce (or chicken broth).
Try More Variations
If you don’t like chicken or dimly don’t have any, there are many variations of fried rice you can try:
Pork Fried Rice
Vegetable Fried Rice
Fried Rice with Ham (you can also utilize holiday leftover turkey and ham)
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Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken breast or chicken thigh meat boneless skinless
- 2 tbsp peanut oil canola or vegetable oil will work too
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1-2 tsp sesame seed oil optional
- 5 cups cold cooked rice
- Prepare your ingredients first because this is a fast recipe. So dice chicken and vegetables, whisk eggs with a splash of soy sauce, and whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame seed oil (if using).
- Preheat a large wok or a large non-stick cooking pan with tall sides over medium-high heat. Add some oil and sauté chicken with soy sauce until just done. Take it out of the pan and set it aside.
- Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and add onions and carrots. Cook onions and carrots until softened and then add peas. Cook for a minute or so.
- Make a little well in the middle of the veggies and add garlic and ginger and a little splash of oil. Sauté just until flagrant and mix it in with the vegetables.
- Spread the veggies to the sides of the pan and pour in whisked egg in the middle. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for a couple minutes, until almost cooked through.
- Once eggs are mostly cooked, fluff the rice and add it to the pan. Stir rice, vegetables, and egg together to mix.
- Add back chicken and stir to combine.
- Pour sauce mixture all over the rice and mix to coat everything evenly with sauce. Sauté for a couple of minutes to heat through and combine, take off heat, and serve.