Fried rice is a staple at any Asian restaurant but it’s just as easy to make at home. With these amazing sides you can prepare a feast that beats any takeout menu!
Fried rice is a staple dish among Asian cuisine and makes the perfect main course for an easy weeknight meal. It’s full of veggies and protein (like chicken), can be thrown together quickly, and can be personalized to any taste. If you’re in a rush, you can even make this simple recipe in the Instant Pot.
Though fried rice is traditionally a Chinese dish, and popular on most Chinese food takeout menus, variations are found throughout Asian countries (like this one from Indonesia).
Fried rice is one of my favorite recipes to make when the craving for takeout hits. While it’s great on its own, homemade fried rice doesn’t begin to feel like takeout until you add all the other popular Chinese dishes with it. Check out my list below for my favorite Asian cuisine to serve with fried rice.
FAQs About Fried Rice
The most popular rice used for fried rice is Jasmine rice but any long-grain or medium-grain white rice will do. Shorter grained rice like arborio will end up sticky and may make it more difficult to get your seasoning to reach each grain.
You can use brown rice in your favorite recipe if you want to make it slightly healthier and more filling.
Making the fried rice at home rather than ordering from a restaurant will already make your rice healthier. The majority of the calories and fat in fried rice come from the white rice and the oil it is cooked in.
You can make it slightly healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice, and watching the amount of oil or butter you use in your pan. You can also use less rice and more fresh veggies to make it more of a stir fry.
Fried rice is also cooked with soy sauce which has a lot of sodium. There are healthier substitutes to soy sauce that are just as flavorful, such as coconut aminos.
If you are using a traditional recipe that calls for pre-cooked, cold rice, try breaking it up a bit before adding it to your pan. This will help your oil and soy sauce to reach more of the grains and may help you use less of both in the long run.
Soy sauce is traditionally the main source of flavor in fried rice but if you don’t have any or don’t like it, there are plenty of substitutions. The most common replacement is Coconut Aminos, which you can usually find in your local grocery store next to the soy sauce or spices.
You could also try substituting Tamari sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce or Worcestershire sauce. If your main concern is your sodium intake, try a low-sodium soy sauce. You can also add rice vinegar, chicken broth, chili sauce, or sesame oil to add some extra flavor.
No matter the sauce you use, go easy on it. Using too much will steam your rice and take away the crunchy texture.
You can keep leftover fried rice in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days!
To reheat leftover fried rice, you can simply microwave it until warm for the easiest route. I would recommend, instead, adding some oil to a frying pan and frying the rice until it is warmed through.
Favorite Fried Rice Recipes
- The easiest recipe I’ve found for fried rice is my own Instant Pot Fried Rice. Everything cooks together in the Instant Pot in less than 12 minutes and comes out perfectly!
- If you’re looking for a more traditional Fried Rice, this one from Gimme Some Oven comes together quickly with pre-cooked rice.
- This Pineapple Fried Rice from Wok and Skillet is a delicious Thai twist on classic fried rice.
- Yummy Medley offers a unique Seafood Coconut Fried Rice recipe for using leftover seafood. It’s not your typical fried rice!
Expert Tips for Making Fried Rice
- Use cold rice. Fried rice is a great recipe to make with leftover rice that has been in the fridge overnight. Fresh rice will overcook and become mushy. If you’re in a rush, you can put freshly-cooked rice on a cookie sheet and put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before cooking–or just use uncooked rice in your Instant Pot.
- Use high heat. If you’re cooking your fried rice in a wok or large skillet, you should be doing so on high heat. This ensures everything is getting crisp and delicious and not just warm and soft.
- Break up the rice. Breaking up your rice before you begin frying will help the oil and soy sauce spread to each grain and make mixing it much easier.
What to Serve with Fried Rice
Fried rice is a great meal because there are so many variations. If you don’t like one protein or vegetable, switch it out for another. It’s also a delicious side dish with just about any Chinese or Asian dish.
- Protein: Chicken, beef, shrimp, bacon, scallops, pork, spare ribs
- Vegetables: Peas, carrots, green beans, edamame, broccoli, mushrooms, red bell pepper, green onions, bok choy, brussels sprouts, water chestnuts, snow peas
- Sides: Crab rangoons, spring rolls, chow mein noodles, Ramen noodle salad, Chinese dumplings, egg drop soup
- Main dish: Chicken teriyaki, sweet and sour pork, pork ribs, lemon chicken
Best Recipes to Serve with Fried Rice
Yum Yum Sauce
Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
Dim Sum Chicken Feet
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns
Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chinese Egg Rolls
Chinese Peking Duck
Chicken with Cashew Nuts
Thai Peanut Noodles
Szechuan Pork Stir Fry
Szechuan Pork stir fry (from What A Girl Eats) is a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner. With tender pork loin, crispy vegetables, and a spicy sauce, it just might be one of your new favorite meals!
Honey Sriracha Shrimp
These tender shrimp are topped with a sweet honey and spicy sriracha sauce (from Kaleena’s Kitchen) to make the perfect honey sriracha glaze.
Vegetable Spring Rolls
These vegetable spring rolls (from Cilantro and Citronella) are a delicious vegan appetizer and not as difficult to make as they appear! Ultra crispy on the outside and packed with veggies, these Chinese-style spring rolls are sure to hit the spot!
Instant Pot Asian Pork Spare Ribs
The easiest, and extremely delicious recipe for Asian Pork Spare Ribs (from Tasty Galaxy) is here! They are tasty, sticky sweet and delicious! And, because you are using Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, they will be ready fast!
Veg Manchurian (from Dassana’s Veg Recipes) is a tasty Indo Chinese dish of fried veggie balls in a spicy, sweet and tangy sauce. There are 2 popular variations of making veg manchurian.
Air Fryer Frozen Potstickers
For an easy foolproof method for cooking frozen potstickers in the air fryer (from The Short Order Cook), try this recipe. They will be hot on the inside and crispy on the outside with just the right amount of time to cook in the air fryer. You will never want to cook potstickers any other way after air-frying them. This is healthier than pan-frying in oil and then steaming at the end which is a two-step cooking process.
Furikake is a Japanese seasoning blend typically made with toasted sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), salt and sugar. Furikake Salmon (from Two Cloves Kitchen) is a baked salmon coated in furikake with origins in Hawaii.
This scallop curry (from West Coast Kitchen Garden) is creamy, fragrant, sweet, savory and a little bit spicy. With less than 10 ingredients and 30 minutes, this dinner is easy to make any night of the week. Coconut milk and spicy Thai red curry paste pair up to take your taste buds to Thailand.
Crispy, seasoned fried chicken coated in a tangy homemade Asian inspired orange glaze! This Crispy Orange Chicken recipe (from Grandbaby Cakes) is easy to make at home and better than takeout!
Avocado Maki Roll
These are healthy and simple avocado maki rolls (from A Peachy Plate) made of seasoned short grain rice, filled with creamy avocado, and wrapped in a seaweed sheet. These easy to make and flavorful bit sized rolls are great for picnics, lunch bento boxes, and at home sushi nights!
Wonton Noodle Soup
Mì Hoành Thánh is Vietnamese for wonton egg noodle soup (from A Peachy Plate). It’s a savory and comforting bowl of pork broth, with delicate shrimp and pork wontons served with delicious chewy egg noodles.
Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe
Moo Goo Gai Pan (from The Forked Spoon) is made with tender slices of chicken, white button mushrooms, and other classic stir-fry vegetables all bathed in a delicious stir fry sauce. Learn how to make this better-than-takeout Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe right at home and have dinner ready and on the table in 40 minutes or less!
20 Minute Crunchy Asian Chopped Salad
20 Minute crunchy Asian Chopped Salad (from ifoodreal) with colorful red cabbage, lettuce, edamame beans, cilantro and easy Asian salad dressing. A crunchy, fresh, and flavorful salad recipe ready so fast!
Korean Chicken Wings
Korean Chicken Wings (from Budget Delicious) are coated in a flavorful sweet and spicy gochujang sauce that’s totally addictive! These flavorful Korean wings make a great appetizer, party food, or serve as a main course.
Crispy Chilli Beef
Perfect crispy strips of beef in a tangy spicy sauce (from Kitchen Sanctuary). This is my favourite dish from the Chinese takeaway, so it has a lot to live up to. I’m going to show you how to get that lovely craggly exterior and even better, we don’t need to use the deep fryer!
Sesame Chicken Recipe
Sesame Chicken Recipe (from Binky’s Culinary Carnival) is a traditional Chinese – American Take Out dish. This Sesame Chicken recipe has orange and hot peppers added to resemble Orange Chicken!
Asian Tri-Tip Steak Marinade
asian tri-tip steak recipe (from Mae’s Menu): an easy marinade recipe that produces the juiciest grilled steak! great for grilling or the stovetop.
Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken
Super Easy Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken (from Chef Savvy). Cooked in a slightly sweet and tangy Chinese-inspired sauce. Way better (and healthier) than takeout!
Chinese Spicy Eggplant
Chinese Spicy Eggplant (from Profusion Curry) is easy to make recipe that is full of aromatic flavors and excellent taste. Learn how to cook this simple Chinese Food recipe that is gluten free, vegan, soy free and uses just a few ingredients.
Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
This slow cooker Mongolian beef (from Dinner at the Zoo) is flank steak cooked with garlic, ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce. This crock pot recipe tastes just like a meal you would get at a Chinese restaurant!
San Choy Bau
San choy bau (from A Tasty Kitchen), Chinese lettuce wraps is a tasty, quick week day meal everyone will love. This dish is a delicious mix of crisp lettuce and salad fillings, with the sweet, savoury flavours of the sauce and pork mince, creating a match made in heaven.
Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
This quick and easy recipe for healthy sweet and sour chicken (from Killing Thyme) skips the batter and deep fryer, and it’s better than takeout!
General Tso’s Tofu
Put some flavor into your weeknight rotation with this General Tso’s Tofu (from Vegan Huggs)! It’s crispy, spicy and sweet with an orange kick! It’ll be on your table in 35 minutes and it’s SO easy to prepare.
Easy Kung Pao Chicken
Make this classic Chinese take-out dish at home! This Easy Kung Pao Chicken recipe (from Urban Bliss Life) is gluten-free, dairy-free, and fast enough for busy weeknight dinners.