How to make fried rice: Recipe

Is there anything more satisfying than a lunch of lightly fried rice with egg, spring onions, and a perfect combination of seasonings? With this recipe, you'll learn how to make the most delicious fried rice.

Perfect egg fried rice can be a delicious and easy lunchtime meal.
Perfect egg fried rice can be a delicious and easy lunchtime meal.  © Unsplash/Obi - @pixel8propix

There is a vast variety of fried rice dishes out there, each with its own flavor profile and ingredients. To tackle the more complex dishes, you should first learn how to make the most basic of all fried rices, mastering your skill and setting yourself up to create something truly delicious.

How to make the perfect egg fried rice

The perfect egg fried rice is all about the ingredients you use, keeping things simple and getting the technique right. While in many cases fried rice is made better by the equipment you have, it is still something you can make even with the most basic of kitchen utensils. If you don't have a wok, for example, try not to worry.

Here's the equipment you will need to make egg fried rice:

  • A wok, or a large shallow-bottomed frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring utensils
  • Rice cooker or pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

As you can see, you don't need anything very special or expensive to make a good egg fried rice.

Fried rice is perfect to share, or as part of a bigger meal.
Fried rice is perfect to share, or as part of a bigger meal.  © Unsplash/Pixzolo Photography

Egg fried rice recipe | Ingredients

Ultimately, the quantities used in an egg fried rice are all about your personal taste and preferences. Feel free to be liberal with the use of certain ingredients and toss in what you want. In the end, it is about the technique and a few basic elements, not about precise measurements and ingredients.

Here are the ingredients you'll need for a basic egg fried rice:

  • Day-old rice (refrigerated), 1-2 cups
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced or thinly sliced
  • One large carrot
  • 2 eggs
  • Soy sauce, 1-2 tablespoons
  • Neutral cooking oil, 1 tbsp
  • Sesame oil, 1 tbsp
  • Spring onion
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Peanuts (optional, to garnish)

On the proportions: We have designed this recipe to generously feed only one person, though it could be split between two if paired with another dish. If you want to create more or less, adjust the quantities proportionally.

Egg fried rice recipe | Instructions

It would be ideal to use a wok when making egg fried rice - but don't use olive oil, for goodness' sake!
It would be ideal to use a wok when making egg fried rice - but don't use olive oil, for goodness' sake!  © Unsplash/Laura Ohlman

Making the perfect fried rice is all about technique, not the specific qualities or quantities of the ingredients. The biggest tip we can give you is to cook on a high heat, do things in the right order, preferably use a wok, and season, season, season. It's all about getting a good flavor!

Here's how to make the perfect egg fried rice

Step 1: Start by preparing all of your ingredients, using day-old rice or cooking rice and refrigerating it for a few hours. Dice your other components and whisk your eggs. Once you start cooking, you need everything ready to go.

Step 2: Heat up your wok or pan until it is ripping hot, with a smoky haze. Add your neutral cooking oil as well as your carrots and garlic, quickly tossing until the garlic sweats down (but doesn't brown) and the carrot is soft.

Step 3: Add your eggs, stir-frying them with the carrots and garlic until completely cooked and lumped into clumps.

Step 4: Add your rice and mix thoroughly, making sure all the different components are well combined. Season with salt and a bit of white pepper and fry off for 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: Now it's time to layer in the flavors. Add your sesame oil and toss to mix. Then pull the rice down towards you, exposing a bit of the pan towards the top of the rice.

Step 6: Pour your soy sauce in this space in a moon-shaped curve over the top and immediately start rigorously tossing the fried rice so it all gets effectively mixed together, and the soy sauce reduces in the hot pan.

Step 7: As the soy sauce sweats out, continue to toss and fry off the rice so that it gets little crunchy bits. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 8: Take the rice off the heat and mix in your diced spring onions. Immediately serve, garnishing with some peanuts if you so desire.

As you can probably tell, while fried rice is all about the technique, it's not a particularly difficult to master. Practice a few times, and you will be making a fantastic fried rice in no time at all!

What is fried rice, and where does it come from?

Fried rice is a versatile dish that features in many different cuisines across the Asian continent. Most famous are Chinese and Korean fried rice, which are made up of very different ingredients but utilize a similar technique in the cooking. There are also variations in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

It is believed that fried rice originated in China, specifically during the Sui Dynasty. Today, each kind of fried rice has its own distinct lineage, flavor profile, and story – making them all worthwhile to try.

Important: Fried rice should not be confused with biryani, the Indian dish featuring fluffy saffron-flavored basmati rice. Biryani rice is baked, not fried.

Kimchi fried rice, or other variations, can be a great spin on this legendary dish.
Kimchi fried rice, or other variations, can be a great spin on this legendary dish.  © Unsplash/Emanuel Ekström

Kimchi fried rice and other variations

Fried rice is one of the most versatile dishes in culinary history and is famous for being a feature of many different cuisines. Once you have learned the basic technique behind a good fried rice, you can make all sorts of different variations by combining regional-specific ingredients.

Here are a few basic and easy variations on fried rice, centered around the base we have taught you:

  • Kimchi fried rice: Stir fry kimchi into the fried rice, as well as ginger, chili paste, and MSG.
  • Indonesian style: Also known as nasi goreng, it features a spice mix of tamarind paste, chili, tomato paste, brown sugar, shrimp paste, garlic, and fish sauce. Serve it with a fried egg on top.
  • Bacon fried rice: Make your fried rice exactly as described, but frying off some bacon in step 2.
  • Shrimp fried rice: Chuck some prawns in there, along with shrimp paste and peas.

There are many fantastic options to put a delicious spin on fried rice. It's all about learning the basic technique, mastering it, and then jazzing it up with some more interesting ingredients.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Obi - @pixel8propix

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