Even when there’s "not much" in the fridge, I can usually scrounge together enough ingredients to make a fried rice happen! This fried rice recipe requires a tiny bit more planning because of the pork, but otherwise, it calls for ingredients you most likely already have on hand, like frozen peas and frozen carrots. (You can even use frozen rice, if you have it!)
Fried Rice Made With Frozen Peas and Carrots
Frozen peas and carrots makes it easy to make this fried rice any time of the year – just add the vegetables straight from the freezer to your skillet when you get to that step. I still recommend chopping an onion and a little garlic and ginger and adding that as well; it really adds to the flavor of the fried rice!
Use Frozen Rice!
Using frozen peas and carrots is a no-brainer for this recipe, but you can also use frozen rice if you have it! You'll just need to thaw the rice before adding it to the skillet—not steaming hot, but thawed just enough so the grains can separate.
You can also use leftover cooked rice or fresh rice. If you are using fresh rice, spread it out on a baking sheet before frying and make sure it is completely cool. This ensures the grains separate and the rice won’t clump together.
Tips for Cooking Fried Rice
There are two keys for great fried rice:
- Make sure the rice is chilled and dry. This keeps the grains from clumping together. When you add the rice to the skillet, stir it into the oil to separate the grains, then let it sit without stirring for a minute or two to develop some browning color. Great fried rice will have no clumped rice; individual grains mixed with the add-ins is what you're going for!
- Make sure to cook the ingredients in the right order. Cook the pork first, remove from the skillet, then cook the onions, garlic, ginger, and frozen peas and carrots. Once those have cooked, remove them from the skillet, cook the rice and eggs, and then stir everything back together! Cooking in phases ensures you don’t burn any single ingredient.
How to Store and Freeze Fried Rice
Fried rice will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Frozen fried rice will keep in the freezer for three months. Reheat fried rice in the microwave with a splash of water so the rice rehydrates.
The Dad Add: Chili Sesame Oil
This fun little condiment is really good on fried rice. Stir together toasted sesame oil, chili oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Then, if you have the time, very gently heat this combination over low heat to open the flavor. Drizzle it lightly on any stir-fry or fried rice dish!
The Kid Report Card
If you round up from 50%, then 100% of my kids ate this dinner! I’m joking, of course. My older kid absolutely loved this fried rice, even if he insisted on finishing his coloring while he ate it. He does have a thing against cooked carrots right now which I haven’t quite figured out. He piled those up separately, but in general ate a good portion of the fried rice.
My three year old danced in the background while we ate dinner and legend has it that she hasn’t eaten a full meal to this day.
More Fried Rice Recipes
Easy Pork Fried Rice
3 cups cooked rice, fresh or frozen
10 ounces lean pork loin, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 cup frozen carrots and peas
3 large eggs, scrambled
1 tablespoon soy sauce
For the Chili Sesame Oil (Dad Add):
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pinch sesame seeds
Prepare the rice:
If using freshly-cooked rice, spread onto a baking sheet and let cool for 10-15 minutes. You can also stick the rice in the fridge to cool it quickly.
If using frozen rice, thaw the rice just enough so the grains can be separated.
Cook the pork:
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Season the pork cubes with the salt and pepper. Add the pork cubes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
Cook the vegetables:
Pour another tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a minute until fragrant and then add the frozen carrots and peas. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions have softened and the frozen vegetables are warmed through. Remove from the skillet.
Make the Chili Sesame Oil (optional):
While the vegetables cook, in a small bowl stir together the toasted sesame oil, chili oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. If you have the time, very gently warm this oil mixture in a small pan over low heat for a few minutes. Be careful not to make it so hot that the spices burn.
Finish the fried rice:
Add the remaining two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the empty skillet. Turn your heat to medium (your skillet or wok should still be hot), add rice and spread it out in an even layer. Let the rice fry for 1-2 minutes or until it has some color. Then stir the rice, push it to the edges, and form a well in the center of the skillet.
Pour the eggs into the well. Let sit for a minute until they begin to cook, then stir just the eggs until they are 90% cooked. Once they are mostly cooked, stir the rice and eggs together to combine, then immediately stir in the cooked pork, vegetables, and soy sauce.
Toss or stir to combine well. Garnish with scallions and Chili Sesame Oil if using. Serve immediately.
LEFTOVERS! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days and can be reheated in the microwave on high heat until steaming hot. I recommend adding a tablespoon of water to each serving when you microwave it to rehydrate the rice a bit.
Once the pork fried rice is cool, you can scoop it into freezer-safe storage bags and store for up to three months.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 25g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||23%|
|Total Carbohydrate 41g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||23%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|