This tempting homemade Chicken Fried Rice will get you to stop spending money on takeout once and for all! It's easy to make and fun to customize with your favorite fixings.
Nothing makes my mouth water more than a steaming plate of fried rice. The rich, savory, umami goodness just pulls me in. I used to get this beloved take out dish delivered to my doorstep, but now I always whip it up myself!
Once you try chicken fried rice made from scratch, you too will leave those last-minute takeout orders behind you. It's so nice to be able to control exactly what goes into the food we eat! Whether you want to reduce the sodium level or make your fried rice with something other than chicken, you can do so with ease.
What You'll Need
Let's scan through the ingredients that go into classic chicken fried rice. See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full amounts.
- Sesame Oil: Some will contribute to the chicken marinade and the rest will be used to cook the rice.
- Soy Sauce: Opt for low-sodium soy sauce if you'd like.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: Slice this into thin strips instead of dicing it up. This helps the meat cook more quickly.
- Yellow Onion: Or white onion, chopped.
- Finely Minced Garlic: It's best to mince it yourself instead of reaching for a bottled version.
- Fresh Ginger Root: Finely minced.
- Frozen Peas and Carrot Mixture
- Whisked Egg
- White Jasmine Rice: You can either use leftover rice or microwaveable rice, which is what we use.
- Crushed Red Pepper (Optional): To spice things up. Use black pepper or omit this if you're sensitive to heat.
- Chopped Green Onion (Optional): For the garnish.
What Kind of Rice Should I Use?
This recipe was tested with Seeds of Change microwaveable white jasmine rice. Day-old white jasmine rice is another option, but freshly cooked rice is a no-go. It's too wet to work for this dish.
If you don't have jasmine white rice on hand, you could get away with using regular long-grain white rice. Brown rice, however, should be avoided. It requires more cooking and a totally different amount of liquid.
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
With the 9 ingredients we just went over and 30 minutes on the clock, you can make the dreamiest fried rice ever! Here's how it's done:
Marinate Chicken: Add half of the sesame oil and half of the soy sauce to a large bowl, then toss in the chicken. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the chicken and discard the excess marinade.
Brown Chicken: Add the remaining sesame oil to a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken and stir occasionally until it's browned. This will take about 2-4 minutes.
Add Onion, Garlic & Ginger: Add the onion, garlic and ginger, cooking until they're slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add Veggies: Add the frozen peas and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are warmed through.
Make Space in Pan: Push all of the ingredients to one side of the pan. Pour a bit of oil into the empty side if the pan has gone dry.
Add Egg: Add the whisked egg and fold it every few seconds until it begins to firm and set. Break it into small pieces with your cooking utensil, then mix it in with the other ingredients.
Add Rice & Soy Sauce: Add the rice, soy sauce and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
Finish Cooking: Cook the mixture for 3-5 more minutes, or until the rice becomes slightly golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Enjoy! Garnish your fried rice with chopped green onion if desired and serve it immediately.
There are a few important things to keep in mind while you're preparing chicken fried rice. Let's get cooking!
- Don't Skip the Marinade: Even though you're only supposed to marinate your chicken for 10 minutes, this step is anything but pointless. It helps you achieve that flavorful takeout-style fried rice.
- Stop Sticking Before it Starts: If too much oil evaporates out of your pan, things can get sticky. Prevent your ingredients from getting stuck to the pan by adding an extra splash of oil whenever necessary.
- Remember to Stir Occasionally: Another culprit of sticking is stagnant ingredients. Give your fried rice a good stir every now and then to promote even cooking and prevent unnecessary scrubbing when it's time to clean up.
Not fully sold on every detail of this recipe? Make adjustments as you see fit!
- Veggie Alternatives: Corn, green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers—so many vegetables taste amazing in fried rice. You could even add pineapple chunks for a tropical twist (stir them in at the end).
- Other Protein Options: Feel free to ditch the chicken in favor of another protein you're craving. Pork, beef and shrimp are all fail-proof options.
- Gluten-Free Switch-Up: Don't let your gluten allergy stop you from enjoying fried rice. Simply substitute the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari and you'll be good to go.
Chicken fried rice makes an excellent side dish for basically every entree in existence! If you want to remain in the realm of Chinese food, pair it with a classic main dish like Beef and Broccoli. Bang Bang Shrimp is another Asian-style pairing option that couldn't possibly fail. When in doubt, serve your fried rice alongside a fresh, veggie-packed dish like these Buddha Bowls.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Cooled leftovers should be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat individual servings of fried rice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time. Larger portions can be warmed up over a low-heat stove. Before you reheat the rice, add a splash of sesame oil to make up for lost moisture.
Does Fried Rice Freeze Well?
Yes – but you have to wait for it to cool and freeze it within 1 hour of cooking it, which doesn't leave you with a huge window of time. If you do end up freezing your fried rice, make sure it's in a freezer-safe container and remember to enjoy it within 1 month. Thaw it out in the fridge before you reheat it.
More Savory Chicken Recipes
In the mood to enjoy more chicken? I can't say I blame you.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Chicken Fried Rice
- 4 tbsp sesame oil divided
- ½ cup soy sauce divided
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast thinly sliced into strips
- ½ medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger root finely minced
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrot mixture
- 1 large egg whisked
- 2 pkgs microwaveable jasmine rice 8.5 oz each. Day-old jasmine white rice works too
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper or black pepper, optional
- chopped green onion optional
- Mix half of the sesame oil and soy sauce in a large bowl and toss in the chicken. Cover and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the chicken and discard the excess marinade.
- In a large pan or wok over medium-high heat, add the remaining sesame oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken and stir occasionally until the chicken is browned, about 2-4 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the frozen peas and carrot mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are warmed through.
- Push ingredients to one side of the pan. Pour a bit of oil into the empty side if the pan has gone dry. Add the egg and fold it every few seconds until it begins to firm and set. Break it into small pieces with your cooking utensil and mix it in with the other ingredients.
- Add the rice, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rice has turned a slight golden brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve immediately.
- Makes 4-6 servings.
- To Store & Reheat: Transfer cooled leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time. Larger portions can be warmed up over a low-heat stove. Add a splash of sesame oil before reheating to make up for lost moisture.
- To Freeze: Wait for leftovers to cool and freeze within 1 hour of cooking. Be sure to use a freezer-safe container and enjoy within 1 month. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.