Easy Fried Rice

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Chinese fried rice made with fragrant jasmine rice, carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs. This easy stir-fried dish turns plain white rice into flavorful grains lightly seasoned with soy sauce and tossed with colorful vegetables. I often use leftover rice for a quick and convenient meal.

Fried rice in a white bowl

Fried rice is a Chinese food restaurant staple that’s always on the take-out menu. It’s hard not to eat every light and fluffy morsel. What makes the dish so tasty is the stir-fry technique that’s easy to tackle at home. Using this vegetarian recipe as a base, you can incorporate any mix-in’s or proteins you’d like to switch up the taste.

Growing up in a big Chinese family not far from Oakland Chinatown, homemade fried rice at our house was a “clean-out-the-fridge” type dish, no recipe needed. My mom would use leftover rice from a previous meal and then add in some meat like diced ham, spam or char siu. Easy and delicious every time.

Fork fluffing white rice cooking in a saucepan

Fresh rice vs. leftover rice

Leftover cold rice is ideal to use because the grains are separate and cook easier in the wok. That doesn’t mean that a fresh pot of rice can’t be used, especially when the craving hits. It only takes about an extra 20 minutes to prepare.

The key to fresh rice is allowing it to cool slightly before using it. The cooling process can quickly be done by spreading the rice on a sheet pan at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes if you’re impatient like me. The rice should be cool to the touch before adding it to the pan.

Spoon mixing rice and carrots in a wok

Fried rice ingredients

  • White rice, jasmine or long-grain; fresh or leftover
  • Minced white onion
  • Diced carrots
  • Green peas, fresh or frozen (avoid canned; too mushy)
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Eggs whisked
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt and white pepper (spicy flavor and adds no color to the dish)
  • Sliced green onions

Person pouring egg wash into a wok filled with rice

How to make Chinese fried rice

  • Fry the rice by lightly browning in a pan or wok.
  • Stir-fry the onions, garlic, and carrots until tender.
  • Make a large well in the center of the pan with the rice.
  • Pour in the whisked eggs and scramble until small curds form.
  • Soy sauce is optional but adds a savory flavor to the rice.
  • Add green peas at the end to retain color and shape.

Green peas sitting on top of fried rice

Make it an entree

I am guilty of eating the rice straight from the pan, often serving as dinner instead of just a side. Other ingredients to add to this recipe are shrimp (fresh or dried), tofu, diced chicken, Chinese barbecue pork, or diced bacon. For those on a low carb diet, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice are tasty cruciferous substitutions.

A bowl filled to the brim with steaming rice, and bite-sized pieces of egg and vegetables bring maximum taste-bud satisfaction. My chopsticks can never move fast enough as I devour my first serving, with the hope that there’ll be a little extra left to scoop out from the bottom of the pan.

Wok spatula mixing fried rice in a pan

More Chinese recipes

Use long grain rice for fried rice

Long grain rice holds its shape and stays separate when stir-fried. Jasmine is my top choice because it has a delicate and light floral aroma, not too sticky when cooked, and slightly dry in texture, making it easy to maneuver in the pan. Medium-grain like Calrose or brown rice can be used, but incorporate when chilled or day-old as it is stickier. Make sure to always wash the rice before cooking to remove excess starches on the surface, which can cause clumping.

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Fried Rice

Chinese fried rice recipe made with fragrant jasmine rice, carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs. Put down the takeout menu and make your own!
Pin Print Review
4.13 from 118 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Side
Cuisine Chinese


  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ¼ cup minced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced carrots, ¼-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup peas, frozen, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • kosher salt, as needed for seasoning
  • white pepper, as needed for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced


  • In a 3-quart sized saucepan, rinse uncooked rice with cool water until it runs clear, then drain off excess water.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the washed rice.
  • Bring water to a boil and then turn down heat to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Simmer rice for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and rice is tender.
  • Remove rice from the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Fluff rice with a fork and allow it to cool to room temperature while preparing the other fried rice ingredients.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, once hot add in the rice.
  • Stir-fry the rice to evenly coated with oil, then spread and lightly press around the pan.
  • Allow to cook for 30-seconds, then stir. Repeat the spreading and stirring every 30-seconds for 5 minutes total to encourage some light browning on the rice.
  • In the center of the wok, make a large well with the rice and add in 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil.
  • Add onion, garlic, and carrots, stir-fry in the center of the pan for 1 minute, then mix with rice to combine.
  • Make another large well in the center, add in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • Pour in whisked eggs, allow to sit for about 30 seconds, then gradually stir to create small scrambled egg pieces, stir to combine with the rice.
  • Add in soy sauce, stir to combine.
  • Add peas, stir to combine and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  • Taste rice and season with salt and white pepper as desired.
  • Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.

Recipe Video


  • For this recipe, 4 cups of cooked rice are used.
  • To cool the rice quickly, spread on a sheet pan until it reaches room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Leftover cold rice can be used, simply skip the freshly steamed rice cooking steps 1 through 6. 
  • Substitute 4 cups cooked rice for the 1 cup of uncooked jasmine rice. 
  • If using cooked day-old rice, break it into individual pieces with your fingers before adding to the pot. 
  • If larger pieces of the egg are preferred, cook them first, breaking into the desired size, transfer to a plate and reserve, then and add back to the end of cooking right before serving. 
  • Other types of rice can be used like long-grain, medium-grain Calrose, or brown rice. Just make sure that it yields 4 cups of rice, as each variety cooks up to different volumes.
  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

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Nutrition Facts
Fried Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 297 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 307mg13%
Potassium 192mg5%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 2945IU59%
Vitamin C 8.2mg10%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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73 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Amisha says

    This is a really good recipe and I’ve been using it for a while now, but her prep and cook times and very low compared to how long it actually takes. The rice can also be cooked in a pressure cooker. Use 1 cup of rice, 1 1/2 cups on water and cook for 20 mins. Also, this tastes best with a tofu and broccoli dish.

  2. Dave says

    My family loves this. Now we are wondering, how do we incorporate cooked shrimp into the recipe? I,m 65 years old so it has to be simple.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I would saute the shrimp in some oil at the beginning, then transfer to a plate once cooked. Add it back at the end just to toss in with the other ingredients and warm it back up.

  3. Lorena says

    This recipe is great! It has been my go-to for a while. The process is easy to follow & always makes a great batch of fried rice. It’s also easy to modify with what you have on hand… for example, using edamame instead of peas, or adding bacon/another meat or tofu . Thanks for a great recipe, Jessica 🙂

  4. Sabelle Ingram says

    Very simple and easy to follow recipe! It was my first attempt at “Chinese takeout” fried rice and it came out a success. I would suggest adding oyster sauce for an added savory flavor. I’ll be on the lookout for more of your recipes!

  5. Dave says

    I tried this recipe for the first time today. The only change I made was that I used basmati rice, which is similar to jasmine rice. It turned out great and I’m sure I will make it again.

  6. June says

    Fried rice is my fiancee’s favorite dish especially from our Japanese place done on grill. They use butter to stir fry theirs, is it best to use oil? Your recipe looks good and easy so giving it a try for dinner with friends next week. Serving with grilled shrimp skewers. Can’t wait.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I use oil for the fried rice because it has a higher smoke point. Butter would be tasty, but has milk solids so it will brown quickly in the hot pan. Perhaps add some at the very end for flavor to prevent burning.

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