15 minutes is all you need to make homemade fried rice that tastes better than take-out! This simple veggie fried rice recipe makes a perfect side dish or vegetarian dinner.
Fried rice is one of those meals I make when it it time to clean out the fridge. With some leftover veggies and rice from the week–I can easily whip together a healthy meal in a matter of minutes that the entire family loves.
Growing up my mom’s go to easy dinner recipe was fried rice. She called it stir fry, but really all it was leftover rice, shredded carrots and fried egg and sometimes chicken.
Fried rice was such a simple meal that everyone loved. And given that I can whip up this fried rice in less than 15 minutes, it is definitely a favorite in my house as an adult too.
Fried Rice Ingredients
- Cold Cooked Rice (white or brown both work!). It is really important you use cold rice as this helps the rice fry up properly and become a starchy, gooey mess. If I am in a hurry, I will make rice and then spread on baking sheet in thin layer and pop in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Fresh Veggies I load up on the veggies and change it up based on what I have. My favorites are fresh cabbage, sugar snap peas, shredded cabbage, peas, and edamame. And a bag of frozen carrots and peas work great as well. If using frozen vegetables, just be sure to fully defrost or slightly cook the vegetables first and soak up excess moisture with a paper towel before adding to your hot skillet.
- Soy Sauce Soy sauce is critical to really flavor the fried rice–and you need more than you may think. For that reason, be sure to purchase low-sodium soy sauce.
- Eggs I love to add scrambled eggs into my fried rice, as is traditional in take out fried rice. However, if you are egg free or vegan–simply omit this step.
- Garlic Because garlic flavor makes everything taste so much better!
- Oil/Butter I use peanut, avocado, or canola oil to fry my veggies and rice in due to their high smoking point. But I recommend butter to scramble up the eggs for a rich, creamy flavor. Again, you can use oil if you are dairy free or vegan.
- Rice Wine Vinegar This may seem like a surprising ingredient–but it really helps to wake up the flavor of the fried rice.
- Optional Add a dash of sesame oil or sesame seeds at the end of cooking for a hint of sesame flavor and crunch.
How to Make Easy Fried Rice
Step One: Fry Eggs
- Start with a large non-stick or stainless steel skillet or wok.
- Heat over medium heat and add in butter to melt.
- Whisk together eggs and add to melted butter.
- Scramble eggs in skillet until eggs are just set and remove from skillet.
Step Two: Fry Veggies
- Add in 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and turn to medium-high heat.
- You also need an oil that can handle high heat. I use avocado oil or peanut oil, but coconut oil or vegetable oil will work in a pinch.
- Add in veggies of your choice and stir frequently for 5 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften.
Step Three: Fry Rice
- Once vegetables have begun to soften, increase heat to high and add in cold rice and soy sauce. Stir everything together to evenly distribute ingredients. Continue to stirring until rice has begun to brown and get crispy and is warmed through–3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your skillet.
- Turn off heat and add in eggs, sesame seeds and oil (if using) and mix to combine.
- Serve with additional soy sauce and Sriracha on the side.
Leftover Fried Rice
- Fried rice can be stored in the fridge for 3 days.
- The best way to reheat fried rice, is to heat up a skillet skillet you made your fried rice recipe in and then saute the leftover fried rice quickly on high heat for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
A Few Things to Remember
- If you do use eggs, whisk your eggs up before adding to your skillet so that they are even in color.
- You can also fry up chunks of chicken, steak, pork or tofu, BEFORE you saute your rice. Cook the meat/tofu until browned on all sides, then add in your rice and proceed with recipe.
- I use brown rice, but any rice will work. I have found that wild rice and black rice don’t fry up as nicely as plain jasmine, brown, or white rice.
- Do not add any salt until after you have cooked the rice. Whether you need to add additional salt will depend on the type of soy sauce you use.
- To make Gluten-Free Fried Rice, use tamari or certified gluten-free soy sauce.
More Easy Chinese Recipes
Easy Stir Fried Rice
- 1 /2 tablespoon butter
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon avocado, peanut, or canola oil divided
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots or defrosted carrot chunks
- 1 cup peas defrosted if frozen
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 2 cups leftover brown rice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce reduced sodium
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil optional
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds optional
- Heat large non-stick or stainless steel skillet over medium heat and add in butter to melt.
- Whisk together eggs and add to melted butter. Scramble eggs in skillet until eggs are just set and remove from skillet.
- Add in 1/2 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and turn to medium-high heat. Add in veggies and stir frequently for 3 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften.
- Once vegetables have begun to soften, increase heat to high and add in remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, cold rice, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Stir everything together to evenly distribute ingredients. Continue to stirring until rice has begun to brown and get crispy and is warmed through--3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your skillet.
- Turn off heat and add in eggs, sesame seeds and oil (if using) and mix to combine. Serve with additional soy sauce and Sriracha on the side.
- Be sure to use cold rice, leftover rice works best.
- If you don't have avocado oil, peanut or vegetable oil will work.
- Serve with additional soy sauce and Sriracha if desired.