|Written By Lara Wadsworth|
This fried rice recipe is easy and can be made with a wide variety of ingredients; as long as you have vegetables, protein, day-old rice, and some soy sauce, you can make something delicious! The protein and produce I recommend in the recipe are just what I tend to use most often. However, dicing up any leftover produce and protein and throwing it in is sure to be a win! This recipe works with fresh or frozen produce, just follow the directions!
Fried Rice Ingredients:
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery, washed and diced
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- ½ a large onion (or 1 small onion), peeled and diced
- 1 nob of ginger (about 1-2 teaspoons), peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons of oil (I like coconut but any kind works), divided
- 2-3 cups of day-old rice
- 1 large chicken breast (or another similar amount of protein) cooked and diced*
- ½ cup of green beans, washed and diced
- ⅛ cup hoisin sauce (substitute 2 tbsp sugar if needed)
- ¼ cup of soy sauce, plush a few dashes
- ⅛ cup of sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 eggs (optional- see note **)
Fried Rice Cooking Instructions:
1. First, be sure that you have at least day-old rice! Fresh rice will turn mushy and ruins the entire dish. If you are planning to make the dish in advance, I recommend making rice and then spreading it out on a sheet tray to cool and dry in the fridge overnight.
2. Prep all the ingredients. Once you turn on the heat, the cooking process goes very quickly and there’s not much time for chopping. Wash, peel, and dice up everything and have it ready to go by the stove.
3. Get out your wok or large sauté pan and get the heat on high. Woks are traditionally used and are awesome because the flame travels up the side and creates lots of surface area to crisp up the dish. However, any kind of stove and any pan that's large enough will do just fine for the home cook!
4. While the wok or pan heats up, add 1 tablespoon of oil and coat the pan. When the oil starts smoking just a tad, add in all fresh vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, green bean, ginger, and garlic) along with a splash of sesame oil and a few splashes of soy sauce. Let these veggies sweat out by stir-frying them for about 3 minutes. Ideally, some of them will get a light bit of char.
5. Once the onions are translucent, transfer all the veggie mix out of the pan and set aside.
6. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the wok and coat completely. Add in the rice and break up all the clumps.
7. While the rice is starting to fry, mix together the soy sauce and hoisin sauce (or sugar). Once all the rice clumps are broken up, add this soy sauce and hoisin mix to the rice and stir quickly and vigorously until all the grains of rice are evenly colored.
8. Once the rice is warmed through and starting to get some lovely color from the heat, add in the diced chicken or other protein along with the rest of the sesame oil. Stir vigorously.
9. At this point, add in any frozen veggies that you may be using but be sure that they have also been diced. They don’t need to be thawed ahead of time. Stir until heated thoroughly.
10. Add back in the previously cooked fresh vegetables and stir.
11. After everything is incorporated and heated through, this is when I give it a quick taste for salt and pepper. I typically add about ¼-½ tsp of pepper and a few dashes of salt to round out the flavors.
12. Marvel at your magnificence. Serve, and enjoy!
Storage: Leftover fried rice can be stored in the fridge or freezer and it reheats beautifully! This is a perfect meal prep recipe. If you plan on storing this for more than a week, I recommend storing it in a freezer-safe bag. When ready to eat, heat a large pot of water until just before boiling. Then cut the heat and plop the SEALED bag into the water. After 5-10 minutes the dish will be heated through and the texture will be just like fresh! Works every time.
*Note: I prefer to precook my protein or use leftover chicken from a different recipe. It makes the cooking process go much quicker and prevents the meat from overcooking. You could even make this dish vegan with edamame or extra firm tofu! Add in the edamame as one of the vegetables (fresh or frozen). Tofu should be pre-seared or crisped in a pan (or air fryer) to help it stay together.
**Note: Most fried rice recipes include some scrambled eggs. I add that in sometimes but at the time of writing this recipe, eggs are expensive and I decided to leave them out. If desired, whisk 2-3 eggs in a bowl, and when the rice is almost done, move it aside and quickly scramble the egg in the same pan. After the egg is cooked, stir to incorporate!
I am a native of Southwestern Michigan, where I also reside, and I love all things plants! I got a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture and found the first work-from-home job I could get. Now, I spend my days writing for TLM, playing with my dog, eating delicious food with my husband, and plotting my next landscape or gardening move. I believe everyone should get down and dirty in the soil now and then. Happy Gardening!