How to make the most delicious homemade chicken fried rice. Quick and easy stir fry dinner recipe that's so much better than takeout!
My family loves Asian food, especially Chinese food and Thai food. Though I'm not sure chicken fried rice is truly authentic, it's one of my favorite things to get when we go out to eat or order take-out.
I love everything about it, from all of the delicious flavors to the vegetables, the scrambled eggs, and the soy sauce… It's really delicious!
It's taken us a long time to really learn how to make a good fried rice recipe. Dan purchased a really nice wok awhile back, and ever since, he's really experimented with different foods and come up with some delicious dishes!
This chicken fried rice recipe is one of those dishes he likes to make, and man, he's so good at it. This is HIS recipe, through and through.
Lower carb option: Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice
We have a few tricks for getting the rice to fall right off your fork and not leave any clumps. And we also cook both the rice and the chicken ahead of time.
In fact, sometimes we just cook extra when prepping another meal and save it back for something like this. It's a handy way to save a little time.
Sometimes we'll make a double batch, just so we can make up a batch of chicken fried rice spring rolls to go with dinner.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE FOR CHICKEN FRIED RICE?
If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the delicious chicken fried rice recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
What Is Chicken Fried Rice?
Chicken fried rice is a stir fry dish cooked on high heat in a skillet or wok.
It's made with ingredients like chicken and rice, of course, along with eggs, onions, peas, carrots, other vegetables, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
What Kind of Rice Should I Use?
I recommend using a long grain rice, since short grain rice will tend to be softer and will most definitely clump together when cooked. We used Jasmine rice for this recipe, and it worked really well.
Now another tip for getting your rice to literally fall right off the fork (or the spatula/spoon while frying), is to cook it ahead of time and chill it.
We usually cook ours in our Instant Pot, and then we'll spread it all out on a cookie sheet, cover it, and stick it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill. If we haven't made it up ahead of time, we've even been known to stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.
Chilling it really helps with getting the rice to fry without all the clumpy, goopy mess that rice can sometimes turn into.
Tips for How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
- Cook both the chicken and the rice ahead of time. And again, chill the rice before frying (see reasons above).
- You can either shred or chop the chicken, totally your preference, though I prefer shredded.
- It's important to heat the sesame oil in the wok first before adding anything in. You're going to cook fried rice on a medium high heat (depending on your stove), and it's going to be a super quick process, so make sure that all of your ingredients are ready before you ever turn on the heat.
- While we don't parboil our vegetables beforehand, you may prefer to parboil the peas and carrots, so they're not as crisp, and Food Fanatic has great tutorials for how to parboil. Personally, I love the hint of crispness they give with the rice.
- Once your sesame oil is heated and all of your ingredients are ready to go, you'll throw the vegetables, onion, and garlic in together and cook 'til tender, all the while stirring.
- Make a well in the center of your mixture, and scramble the eggs together with the vegetables.
- Then add in the chicken and stir together.
- Mix the rice into the ingredients.
- And finally, pour in the soy sauce, stirring everything and mixing it all together really well.
Making chicken fried rice is a super quick process once you have all of your ingredients ready to go. And it tastes so much better than takeout.
Alternative Ways to Make Fried Rice
There are so many ways you can switch up this recipe and make it different every single time. The easiest way to switch it up is to use different meats or vegetables.
- Beef – Use leftover beef roast, stew meat, or steak.
- Pork – Use leftover pork chops or pork roast.
- Fish – I could see making fried rice with grilled fish fillets, maybe trout or maybe even grilled salmon. Or for an easier route, try canned tuna or salmon.
- Roasted Turkey – would work just as well as chicken.
Or you can even switch up the veggies…
- Stir in or sprinkle in a generous helping of chopped green onions.
- Use a pack of stir fry veggies from the freezer section. Think sugarsnap peas, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, etc.
- Add diced or sliced peppers in for even more delicious flavors.
Can You Freeze Chicken Fried Rice?
Yes, you can. Just place it in a sealed container or cover it well, and it should keep for about 6 months.
This makes it easy to prep ahead of time, freeze, and reheat for dinner.
More Homemade Chinese Recipes:
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Kitchen Tools You'll Need to Make This Recipe:
Wok Spatula – This comes in really handy for stirring and scraping the wok as you toss the ingredients while cooking.
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Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- Heat the sesame oil in a large wok on medium to high heat.
- Add the veggies, onion, and garlic to the wok, and cook 'til somewhat tender but still slightly crisp, maybe 3 to 5 minutes.
- Make a well in the middle of the veggies, and scramble the eggs into the veggies.
- Stir the chicken into the mixture.
- Then stir the rice into the mixture, mixing everything together really well.
- Add the soy sauce and stir fry everything together.
- When everything has been heated thoroughly, it's ready to serve.
This post was originally written in March 2016. It was updated and republished with more photos and tips in January 2019.