Fried Rice Recipe

4.39 from 26 votes
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I’ve been cooking fried rice for as long as I can remember. Once I started paying closer attention to the masters of the Hibachi grill, I learned some simple tricks to make really good Japanese-inspired fried rice right at home. I love this recipe because it’s flavorful but also very light and simple to make.

Finished hibachi style fried rice in a stainless steel wok.

Hibachi-style fried rice or Japanese fried rice is a lot simpler than you may think. The key to the perfect fried rice is the combination of high heat, soy sauce, and butter. This lends so much rich flavor that takes the rice to the next level.

Paired with simple veggies like carrots, peas, and onions, you’ll be well on your way to making restaurant-quality fried rice in your own kitchen. While there are numerous variations of fried rice, I’ve always stuck with very basic ingredients and don’t typically use oyster sauce or fish sauce.

This fried rice pairs well with crab rangoons or my beef and broccoli recipe. If you enjoyed this recipe, you can also make it with my sweet and spicy chicken or grilled beef skewers!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make fried rice on a cutting board.
  • White rice: look for short-grain white rice. Long-grain or jasmine rice is also perfectly fine. Cold or day-old rice is always best. Do not use freshly cooked hot rice.
  • Chopped carrots: frozen carrots work well and save a lot of prep.
  • Peas: you can usually find frozen peas and carrots together in the frozen food section.
  • Low-sodium soy sauce: I prefer light or low-sodium Japanese soy sauce because the flavor is not overpowering. You can add more if you prefer more flavor or substitute it with darker soy sauce for a more pronounced flavor.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make Fried Rice

Step 1.

Prepare rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cold. For best results, make rice the morning of or the day before preparing the dish. If not using frozen veggies, chop all vegetables into finely chopped pieces and place them in a small bowl.

Step 2.

Leave butter on the counter to soften. If you don’t have time, soften it in the microwave in short intervals. Mash the butter with a fork until very soft. Add soy sauce and gently mix. It won’t entirely mix together and that’s OK.

Softened butter mixed with soy sauce in a small bowl.

Step 3.

Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add whisked egg and scramble. Use the tip of a spatula to break the egg into small chunks. Remove from the pan and place on a small plate.

A scrambled fried egg being chopped with a spatula in a stainless wok.

Step 4.

Add all veggies to the pan with another small splash of oil and cook until warmed through and tender, about 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and place on the same plate with the egg.

Sautéing chopped onion, carrots, and whole peas in a stainless wok.

Step 5.

Add another splash of oil along with the cooked rice. Fry the rice, tossing every 30 seconds, to warm through and slightly brown. Be sure to manage the heat to prevent burning. Cook for 4-5 minutes until nice and hot. Drizzle the butter/soy sauce over the rice and toss to fully coat. It’s ready when there are no more white grains of rice.

Step 6.

Return veggies and eggs and mix until fully incorporated. If you think the rice needs a little more soy sauce, drizzle some extra over the top and toss to mix. Serve immediately. 

Expert Tips

  • Always start with cold rice. Cook rice in the morning or the night before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fry it. This makes the frying process easier and also helps the rice to not clump together. You’ll get a lighter fluffier final product.
  • Experiment with sesame oil: I typically use peanut or canola oil in the beginning and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil for its toasty, nutty flavor.
  • Start with low sodium or light soy sauce. Regular or darker soy sauce has more sodium and can be a bit overpowering in terms of flavor. I like lighter-tasting fried rice.
  • Invest in a wok. A wok can be used for a lot of Asian cuisines and can easily hold a large volume of rice and veggies. If anything, use the largest pan you have and plenty of oil to keep things well-greased. Look for a carbon steel wok for the best non-stick performance.
  • Frozen peas and carrots make for quick veggies and minimal prep. We usually keep a bag of white onions, peas, and carrots in the freezer for quick weeknight meals such as this.
  • Keep ingredients moving in the pan to prevent burning and sticking. Lay out all of your ingredients ahead of time in small prep bowls. It makes the process much easier and prevents distractions.

Adding Protein

If you want to make fried rice more of a complete meal, you can add beef, chicken, pork, or small shrimp. Season liberally with salt and pepper and fully cook in your wok after you have cooked your veggies. Remove before adding the rice and then toss with the veggies at the very end.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best oil to use for fried rice?

Stick with peanut, vegetable, or canola oil. All three are flavorless and suitable for stir-frying because they have higher smoke points. Sesame oil can be used towards the end to add unique flavor.

Can I reheat fried rice?

Absolutely. You can reheat fried rice in the microwave or by gently heating it on the stove in a large pan.

How long will fried rice keep in the fridge?

Freshly made fried rice can be stored covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Finished hibachi style fried rice in a large bowl.

Similar Recipes

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4.39 from 26 votes

Fried Rice Recipe

Servings: 6
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
A simple hibachi-inspired fried rice recipe made with white rice, butter, soy sauce, and veggies.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups 4 cups cooked short-grain white rice (long-grain or jasmine rice is also perfectly fine)
  • 1 egg, whisked/scrambled
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup peas, I use frozen
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons half stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, optional
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Instructions 

  • Prepare rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cold. For best results, make rice the morning of or the day before preparing the dish. If not using frozen veggies, chop all vegetables into finely chopped pieces and place them in a small bowl.
  • Leave butter on the counter to soften. If you don’t have time, soften it in the microwave in short intervals. Mash the butter with a fork until very soft. Add soy sauce and gently mix. It won’t entirely mix together and that’s OK.
  • Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add whisked egg and scramble. Use the tip of a spatula to break the egg into small chunks. Remove from the pan and place on a small plate.
  • Add all veggies to the pan with another small splash of oil and cook until warmed through and tender, about 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and place on the same plate with the egg.
  • Add another splash of oil along with the cooked rice. Fry the rice, tossing every 30 seconds, to warm through and slightly brown. Be sure to manage the heat to prevent burning. Cook for 4-5 minutes until nice and hot. Drizzle the butter/soy sauce over the rice and toss to fully coat. It’s ready when there are no more white grains of rice.
  • Return veggies and eggs with a drizzle of sesame oil and mix until fully incorporated. If you think the rice needs a little more soy sauce, drizzle some extra over the top and toss to mix. Serve immediately. 

Notes

Frozen peas and carrots make for quick veggies and minimal prep (usually packaged together). We keep a bag of white onions, peas, and carrots in the freezer for quick weeknight meals such as this.
Always start with cold rice. Cook rice in the morning or the night before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fry it. This makes the frying process easier and also helps the rice to not clump together. You’ll get a lighter fluffier final product.
Experiment with sesame oil: I typically use peanut or canola oil in the beginning and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil for its toasty, nutty flavor.
Start with low sodium or light soy sauce. Regular or darker soy sauce has more sodium and can be a bit overpowering in terms of flavor. I personally like lighter-tasting rice.
Invest in a wok. A wok can be used for a lot of Asian cuisines and can easily hold a large volume of rice and veggies. If anything, use the largest pan you have and plenty of oil to keep things well-greased. Look for a carbon steel wok for the best non-stick performance.
Keep ingredients moving in the pan to prevent burning and sticking. Lay out all of your ingredients ahead of time in small prep bowls. It makes the process much easier and prevents distractions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cupCalories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 42.4gProtein: 6.2gFat: 6.9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 359mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1.3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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57 Comments

  1. I also am wondering how much garlic powder was in the original recipe? If you happen to have the original recipe I would love to get a copy of that!