My rice is never mushy. If you put too much water or stir too much, it will be mushy. It is all in the way you cook rice. I have mastered my recipe and I only use brown rice. My husband eats all the leftovers, so I rarely have any left.
This is very easy and fast, perfect for a weekday meal!
We can substitute shrimp with other seafood and even chicken!
Great to use leftovers too.
I have to make this. Thank you!
I love fried rice and use Trader Joe’s Jasmine Brown Rice. I’ve started adding in a package of rice cauliflower, fresh or frozen, cooked for 5-8 minutes in microwave. It doesn’t overpower the rice and makes it a healthier dish. I could eat this everyday!
This looks so good! Thanks for the general fried rice tips, it’s going to make changing this recipe up and making it my own so much easier
This recipe was great! I eat shrimp fried rice all of the time but never tried to make it until now.
Delicious! Easy too. Next time I will add more onions and bean sprouts.
I tried this recipe yesterday but used mixed seafood. It was a combination of shrimp, baby scallops and calamari. I did not use the cornstarch and added much more soy sauce, but it was low sodium. I also used left over Basmiti rice. Itwas vundabar.
Great idea to use mixed seafood Donna!
I made this last night and it was wonderful. Everyone had seconds during dinner. I’ve tried other fried rice recipes in the past with mixed success. This is by far my favorite, and it was quick and simple to make. I know it is a central point in the recipe to use day old rice, however I didn’t have any. To try to get close to the intent we made some rice a couple hours before dinner and drained it in a strainer and threw the rice in the strainer into the refrigerator for an hour. That seemed to do the trick, the rice was perfect. Thanks so much for this treat.
Tried this tonight using brown jasmine rice that I had cooked last night. It came out great, not my usual mushy stir fry. I do wish it had a little more flavor. I added a little bit of garlic powder. I did not have any sesame oil, so maybe that’s why. I also used a regular frying pan. My husband loved it as did my six year old. Adding this one to my repertoire.
Just tried it, absolutely great. Thank you for the tips
Just tried this tonight and it was a hit. I used parboiled white rice because that’s all I had, it actually was perfect because even though I used it straight out of the rice cooker it wasn’t sticky and each grain was separate.
This has become a go-to recipe for us that the whole family loves. Today I added chopped asparagus with the green onions so it would cook just slightly and used quinoa instead of day-old rice; it works right after it’s cooked without getting mushy. I also tend to use a full pound of shrimp because that’s how it’s sold frozen. A Sunday night favorite! Thank you Jade and Elise for another classic recipe.
I’ve been craving this ever since I saw the recipe. Fantastic! I added more green onions and a thin drizzle of Siracha sauce in my bowl. It’s just like my old favorite from a restaurant that is no longer in business. I realize I’ve been craving this for years! Thanks for all the tips, it worked perfectly.
Hi, thanks for the recipe. I’m unable to obtain a wok right now. Which large pan should I use, a non-stick or non-coated aluminum/steel? Thanks.
I would use a cast iron frying pan or a hard anodized aluminum pan. ~Elise
I have made this recipe about a dozen times now and every time I tell my husband what we are having for dinner, he drools. Thanks for a great, reliable recipe!
I absolutely adore this recipe because the product is perfection. This is the only meal I have missed since becoming a vegetarian.
Sounds delicious. Just wondering, what is the cornstarch for?
In step 1, you’ll toss the shrimp with cornstarch ~jaden
This was a big hit with our finicky boy. Can’t wait to try the hollowed out pineapple suggestion above. Thanks so much!
i made some substitutions (no shrimp, broccoli instead of peas, bell pepper instead of onions) but followed jaden’s key points on how to prepare friend rice and it’s absolutely the most perfect restaurant-like fried rice. so easy to prepare too.
i’ll definitely be returning to the recipe over and over again!
I tried this recipe last night for dinner. I used long grain brown rice, and added some chopped up asparagus that I had left over to increase the amount of vegetables. My husband and I both thought the dish was delicious – with the brown rice it felt very wholesome and filling!
I think next time I’ll need to make sure the rice is even drier before I put it in the fridge over night. I had a bit of sloppiness, but it wasn’t bad.
I made this the other day, and served it in a hollowed out half of a pineapple :-) It was gorgeous. I added some whole cashews to it, and some golden raisins. It was a delicious recipe! Thanks so much.
I made this yesterday for a potluck luncheon and it turned out great. I followed the recipe with the exception of adding some extra shrimp. The only thing I would change is the green onions in step 4. A few seconds after they hit the hot pan they started to burn. Luckily I had some extra so I just added them in raw in step 5 when it all comes together. Thank you-I will definately make this again!
I made this with chicken for supper tonight and it was sooooo tasty! I used brown rice (instant, cooled for an hour or so before frying), 2 c. of frozen veges, 14 oz of chicken, 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, and 1 total T. of oil. Cooked it up and figured it to be 5 Weight Watchers points for 1/4. It was a lot of food for a little points! And TASTY!
Thanks for providing such a great base recipe to use and modify as fits our tastes and dietary needs. Yay!
This recipe ROCKS! I had tried making fried rice once before and failed miserably because of the glutinous slop I created. So after years of buying frozen fried rice or ordering it in restaurants I finally got up enough courage to try it again…and wow! This is an easy recipe that makes a lot of sense and is delicious! Keys are (like they say) day old rice, cooking items separately, and leaving things alone to cook (when the urge is oh-so-strong to stir, stir, stir). Voila! Perfect fried rice. Now for adding a few more leftover ingredients in my next batch.
I tried this recipe tonight and it turned out SO fantastically, I found a perfect egg drop soup recipe, and paired it with egg rolls, beautiful red grapes and some mildly sweetened green tea. It was definitely a hit!
I tried this last week – but did not have all the ingredients. It was not great but promising nevertheless. I tried again this week with all ingredients and voila – awesome fried rice. Thank you for all those wonderful tips – I am not going to be making soggy fried rice ever again!
Hi Jaden – Sorry if this is a cooking newbie question (but I am!), but what type of rice do you use?
I like jasmine rice. I like it because it’s lighter and more delicate than Japanese or Korean style of rice, which is short-grain. ~jaden
Great looking recipe which I’m ready to try. But any time I’ve used cornstarch, the instructions always said to mix with water (or other liquid). Here the directions say to marinate the shrimp only with the cornstarch, salt and pepper — no liquid. Is this correct?
Thanks so much.
Hi there, yes, this is correct. Recipes will call for a “cornstarch slurry” which is water plus cornstarch to add towards the END of a stirfry to thicken up a sauce.
In this recipe, as with most of my stirfry recipes, cornstarch is added with the meat or seafood during a marinade. This does 2 things. It allows the marinade to cling to the protein. It also creates a light coating around the meat to protect the meat during the stirfry.
I normally don’t add cornstarch slurries in my stirfries, because I just don’t like super thick, goopy sauces.
Hi – just wanted to say that I have made this twice now and really love it. One note: if doubling shrimp, don’t double salt. I did this the first time and it came out too salty.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I made this for dinner and it was just as tasty as it looked in the photo. Thank you for an easy to follow and delicious recipe.
I made this tonight for dinner. Frying everything separately worked very well, and I used day-old brown rice. Delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and techniques!
This looks great—I love fried rice. Fried rice is a regular comfort food around here. My mom made it all the time when I was growing up!
But we always eat it for breakfast, making a simple bacon fried rice. I use short-grain “sticky” rice, since that’s what I usually have. Soooo good.
I like to add a bit of oyster sauce in addition to a little soy sauce to flavor the rice. Just yesterday I made it for my son’s breakfast and I added some leftover corn I had. The sesame oil gives it a great aroma and taste.
Yum, now I’m hungry!
While I’ve eaten fried rice since I was a very young child, before tonight I’d never even attempted to make it. This recipe was perfect! Absolutely perfect. Couldn’t ask for anything better. I used boil-in-bag white rice made 6 hours ahead and kept in the chiller until I was ready for dinner. Thanks so much for posting this recipe – I will make this again and again!!!
I wanted to know what kind of rice do you prefer for the fried rice recipe. I only use basmati rice but I think its too fragile for fried rice.
I prefer Jasmine, as I think it’s the perfect “stickiness” for fried rice. Any medium grain rice works well. Basmati will work too – the grains are very separate and will make a light fried rice. ~Jaden
I am from South East Asia, and back home we just adore Chinese food, but sadly here in Canada, I couldn’t find the same excellent taste of Asia.
I have to hand it to you, I followed your recipe word by word and I couldn’t believe what I ended up with! The result was absolutely delicious!! Thanks a ton for this recipe!!!!
I’m Hong Kong – Chinese as well, so I’ve learnt a few tidbits from various family friends on fried rice. It’s so easy to put together – leftover rice, a bit of veg, a bit of meat of any sort, an egg and soy sauce.
I guess I like the egg adding near the end, and having a high flame closer to the typical Asian “flame” in kitchen helps a bit (although it probably isn’t nearly like the ones they have in my grandma’s home).
I guess I didn’t know I had to cook the food separately either – I tend to cook the veg first, then throw in the meats, then rice and the egg with soy sauce.
Maybe I’ll try cooking the meat and veg separate next time.And adding the dark soy sauce for colour. Thanks for the tips.
I wonder if you know how to do the really nice subtle sweet soy sauce they have in Chinese restaurants for steamed fish?
You mean this one: Chinese Steamed Fish
If you cook the vegetables first, then throw in the meat, you won’t be able to get a nice sear on the meat…unless you have a super high powered flame in your kitchen. Because vegetables are “wet” – they’ll end up bringing moisture into the pan and you’ll be steaming your meat.
You can add the egg at the end, but again, on weaker home stovetops, you’ll run the risk of soggy rice as you won’t be able to generate enough heat to instantly fry the egg. ~Jaden
Love love your blog, it is so much fun with great recipes. I made this last weekend for my mother and sister for lunch and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Great tip about dark soy. Who know it would be less salty than regular?
Thanks again. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
My fiance and I just made this for dinner tonight. It’s definitely a keeper!
Thanks Becky! ~Jaden
That looks good. Fried rice is one of my favorite foods, but I never get it right. I’m sure my problem is fussing with it and cooking it all together like the other recipe I try to follow. I was wondering if it is possible to skip the cornstarch. I can’t eat anything with corn in it, I feel terrible for almost a week. Whole corn and cornstarch are the worst for me. Is the cornstarch mainly added for the shrimp? Thank you for your time if you have a chance to answer!!
Yes, you can substitute the cornstarch with tapioca powder…or just leave it out completely if you want to. The cornstarch helps protect the shrimp (or meat) from the heat of the wok and also thickens the marinade so that it sticks to the shrimp. But feel free to leave out – just make sure you drain any liquid AFTER marinating. Otherwise you’ll end up steaming or boiling the shrimp instead of frying it.~Jaden
My roomate years ago, who was Chinese, taught me to add the egg last, so it coats the rice. I find otherwise you just have bits of scrambled egg in the rice, or is this the effect you are after?
You could add egg after to coat the rice, but if you don’t have a super hot stove top, your rice will end up soggy. It works in restaurants because the high heat immediately cooks the egg upon contact. At home, if you try this, you are likely to have mushy rice. ~Jaden
We love oriental food and the rice dish looked wonderful. I happened to have leftover rice from the night before, so gave it a try…..it was perfect. Husband loved it! I used a fresh carrot diced small, & microwaved about 1 min., and some petite whole frozen green beans sliced about the size of the diced carrot (didn’t have peas on hand). Fortunately, I had the raw frozen shrimp on hand, even though they were medium size. I think chicken would also work well.
Jaden, these rules you have given today are also rules I read on your blog and I must tell you that since I have followed your rules; My food is ten times more delicious. I wait until my pan is very hot; i put my food in and do not start stirring like i used to – i let it sit and get color and then i stir once and do the same- hence I do not ‘stir fry’ constantly and finally I do each food separately while continuing the heat on my wok…..then i stick it all together for the final few minutes and my stir fries are now exactly that and not stir-steamed….
i personally prefer dark colored fried rice… does that mean we should just add more soy sauce during cooking?
Matt, use Dark Soy…it gives rice that lovely color. Using more soy will make it too salty! ~Jaden
I tried this recipe last night it was the best fried rice i ever made.My family Ate all of it. This is one of my favorite receipes!!!
Great Jillian! Thanks for trying the recipe. ~Jaden
Do the same directions apply for brown rice as well? I always make too much of that, and I’m wondering because it does have a bit of a different texture. Thanks!
Yes! You can use brown rice to replace the white rice…same directions apply. ~Jaden
looks delish… my problem is that I’d allergic to soy and cannot eat food made with soy sauce. (it’s not a gluten issue, it’s a soy issue) I miss yummy foods like fried rice and wonder what I could do to substitute soy sauce, any ideas? (other than taking the soy sauce out which might be my only option)
Use fish sauce! Many of my fried rice recipes include fish sauce to replace soy. If you like Vietnamese or Thai cooking, the majority of their dishes have fish sauce in them.You could also just replace the soy with regular salt.~Jaden
I’m Chinese Singaporean so I cook Chinese fried rice when I’m lazy to whip up something more complicated. It’s tasty and nutritious with a myriad of veggies, isn’t it?
Thanks for the tips because I never knew frying the ingredients separately would make it more flavourful. Though I totally agree with letting the rice sit in the fridge overnight — that’s how you achieve that “separate” grain look, instead of fresh mushy rice. I kinda like it moist, too, if I don’t have leftover rice.
hey Jaden! I can’t wait to try the recipe. Do you know how to make a sauce that is like a black bean type sauce? A lady I used to work with made this delicious sauce from scratch and used it on top of green beans, but also would use it with meat. Is this something I just buy and don’t need a recipe?
Also, I would love to know a recipe for wontons or potstickers :)
Hi Meg, Hey Meg,
here’s a recipe for Potstickers and Wontons
And yes, the black bean sauce is found in a jar at the market. It’s quite salty, so I’d use it sparingly. I’ll post a recipe using it in a stirfry soon! ~Jaden
Curious, what brand has the heavy soy sauce? Do they make this heavy soy with a lower salt content? Also, what size diameter wok would you recommend for an electric stove. The largest burner on the stove just about works for a 12″ pan.
Thanks. Right now don’t own a wok. Until I get one, will this receipe work as well with the All Clad 12″ teflon coated pan?
Lee Kum Kee makes a good dark soy sauce (sometimes people call it heavy soy, but the labels should say dark soy).
The dark soy is less saltier than regular soy – it’s been fermented longer and it’s just a more mellow sauce. It’s used in a lot of braising and will definitely color whatever you are cooking with that lovely soy color.
I use my All Clad all the time. This is the one I have: All Clad Chef’s Pan
LOVE IT. It does take a while to heat up on electric stoves, but once it does, it retains the heat beautifully.
I like a 14″ wok – it’s a good size that works well for cooking for 4. My All Clad (above) is 12″ and I use that for smaller stir fries.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was great! Thank you for the recipe.
Thanks for trying the recipe Tasha – I’m happy you enjoyed it ~Jaden
Thanks Elise and Jaden for recipe and tips. I am looking forward to your future collaborations. I recently found a Chinese cookbook that is as wonderful to read as it is to cook with. The Seventh Daughter by Cecelia Chang of the famous Mandarin restaurant in SF. Her tips for fried rice are very close to yours, especially when she writes “The variations for fried rice are endless, but one thing it should never become is a jumble of too many old or odd ingredients from your refrigerator”. Interestingly, she does not use soy sauce in her recipe.
You can use soy sauce or salt. I love soy sauce – it adds so much more complexity and depth of flavors than just salt! That being said, I looove Cecilia’s book, it’s one of my favorites. ~Jaden
Will definitely be making this recipe. You asked for future recipe suggestions, I recently bought a bamboo steamer and would love to see some recipes using this tool. Thanks and welcome, Jaden.
Great! I love my bamboo steamer and use it all the time. ~Jaden
Jaden; I think you’re right, my wok isn’t seasoned, and I have zero “wok hay” going on, any recommendations on a good wok? I shop at a local chinese market/mall in Quincy, MA…and even their woks seem to be focused around your “maybe i’ll attempt to cook chinese food” customers lol Non-stick etc..I have yet to find out without a teflon coating! ugh.
Your recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I had a friend tell me once that she used coca-cola in her fried rice. I wonder if this would have been in place of the soy?
I’ve never tried frying rice with coca-cola, it’s an interesting combination. The cola would be used in place of any sugar, not salt (soy). I’ll have to try it out and let you know! ~Jaden
Great recipe! My favorite version of this is a “combination” version, which might be overkill for some. It’s basically the same recipe with the addition of char sui (chinese roast pork, usually died a reddish color), and chicken breast or thighs cut into small pieces. I also like to add about 1/2 yellow onion diced and a touch of cayenne pepper. For a really neat twist, try adding a little yellow curry (powder or paste).
Hmmm… what good timing. We had Chinese take out last night and I was pondering attempting to make this. Now I know how!!!
My biggest frustration when attempting to cook any oriental dish is lack of knowledge of the ingredients which leads to lack of knowledge on how to make the various sauces. From observation and taste it always seemed to me that oriental cooking was always about the sauces and that you could pretty much mix and match core ingredients (protiens/vegetables) as you liked once you had the sauces down pat.
Can’t wait for more recipes!
Exactly. Sauces and technique are key, the ingredients are very flexible. With this recipe, you could substitute with chicken, tofu, bell peppers, zucchini, etc. The technique of cooking the chicken separately first and then removing is exactly the same, though timing will be different. Just add an additional 2 minutes when frying the chicken to make sure that it’s cooked through ~Jaden
It took me a long, long time to perfect fried rice..and pizza too, but that’s another story. LOL I agree, heat is definitely the key. It’s always on the highest setting, I wish I could figure out how to keep it from sticking though. My other tip is the rice cooking. I cook 3 cups of rice on Sunday and “dry” it out for 3-4 days in the fridge. I also don’t put the recommended ratio of water:rice, I skip on some of the water so that rice is cooked, but not *soft* I also pull it off the burner and let it sit to cook for almost an hour after it boils. I get perfect “frying” rice every time. To get it “brown” like the “American-Chinese” restaurants I use thick, thick soy sauce (which is really only for the colour) but people have this mental thing that fried rice must be brown and they ruin it by soaking their rice in soy (to make it brown) and making it way too salty. The thick stuff is the key :)
Hi Dania – undercooking your rice is a good tip, especially if you’re going to make the fried rice the same day. I love thick soy sauce, it’s sweeter, more mellow and wonderful for fried rice as well. As for your rice not sticking, it has to do with proper seasoning of your wok. Also, another tip is to have your ingredients (especially meat or seafood) at room temperature before adding to the wok. When your wok is super-hot with a thin layer of cooking oil, any protein that comes to contact with the wok surface should fry, sizzle and develop a nice caramelized sear – which will make the protein release from the wok. If you add protein (like chicken) that is cold, the wok’s heat will be wasted on un-chilling the chicken instead of searing it. ~Jaden
Thanks Jaden! I was wondering what kind of wok you prefer to use (i.e. cooking surface)?
Hi there. My wok was given to me by my Mom and it’s a iron wok. I love it – it’s sturdy and beautifully seasoned – but it does require care.I wash by hand, dry immediately with a cloth and occassionally rub with a bit of oil. But it’s a wok that will last a lifetime. Similar to the one here:
Look for something with a flat bottom and a lid. I also recommend nonstick if you like having a nonstick surface or are a beginner cook. You’ll want a sturdy wok – those super thin, flimsy ones are of horrible quality. Here’s a good one:
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