This is the best Chicken Fried Rice! Savory and fluffy fried rice with juicy tender chicken, eggs, peas, carrots with garlic and shallots.
What is Chicken Fried Rice?
My easy chicken fried rice recipe features fluffy jasmine rice stir fried with tender chicken, mixed veggies, eggs in a savory soy sauce mixture. This classic Chicken fried rice is the perfect as a main course, side dish, meal prep or as leftovers (if there are any left)! It's an easy recipe ready as the cook time is only 30 minutes with leftover rice from last night or the day(s) before. One of the best weeknight dinners.
I’m a huge fan of Asian fried rice. It’s such a comforting dish that brings a lot of childhood nostalgia for me. Whenever my parents didn’t know what to cook for us, it would be fried rice. Why? Because if we had any leftover ingredients which would include cold rice, we could toss everything together in a wok to create a delicious and easy meal that would feed the whole family! My mom would make us many variations of fried rice but the most common was fried rice with hearty chicken or with leftover char siu. A great way to clean up the fridge of any leftovers on busy weeknights!
Better than Take Out Chicken Fried Rice
This is a strong claim, but I genuinely believe this is the best chicken fried rice recipe you will make at home! Like the restaurant fried rice, they use remarkably similar ingredients with the power of a carbon steel or steel wok. The smokiness that you get from this type of wok is a game changer when it comes to making Asian food at home. If you don’t own a wok, you can also make it in a large frying pan or non-stick skillet. You just won’t get that smoky flavor but overall, this dish is delicious without it!
Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
- Cooked leftover Jasmine rice: The best rice to use for a good fried rice recipe is Thai jasmine white rice or any white long grain rice. If you use day old cooked rice, it's even better because the rice becomes dried out and this prevents the rice from sticking together as it cooks in your large skillet.
- Day-old rice is one of the most important things in making fried rice. You may also use same day fresh rice and lay it out on a baking sheet, pop it into the freezer exposed for 60 minutes for the cool air to dry it out. Then using clean hands with a bit of neutral oil on them, break up the rice.
- You may also substitute with brown rice. A great option for a healthier alternative, you may use cauliflower rice.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: Chicken thigh meat is a great choice for fried rice as it's juicier and tender even if you by chance overcook it. However, you may substitute with boneless skinless chicken breast but please only cook until 50% cooked as chicken breasts tends to dry out fast. The chicken pieces shouldn't be dry.
- If you have leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, you may sub with that but please skip the marinating process as it's already cooked. I would also suggest tossing the cooked chicken at the very end to simply reheat it.
- Shallot: In Asian cuisine, shallots are often used for fried rice as it's more fragrant. If you can't find shallots, substitute with finely chopped white onion, yellow onion or a sweet onion. You may also substitute with the white part of green onions and save the green part as a garnish.
- Garlic: This aromatic is the secret ingredient for a very tasty fried rice! Though it's small, it adds a very aromatic taste to any rice dishes. It's commonly used in Chinese cuisine and most of Asian cuisine.
Vegetables & Other Ingredients
- Carrot: Carrots add color and fiber to this chicken fried rice. It's common to see carrot in fried rice. Feel free to use the fresh or frozen kind.
- Peas: Feel free to use frozen peas or fresh peas. The different veggies help to loosen the rice making it taste lighter in texture.
- Eggs: Beaten eggs are the second ingredient to making the best fried rice. The eggs help to coat the rice. The rice tastes different when it's coated in the best way possible as the eggs add flavor.
- Neutral oil: any neutral tasting oil such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil will work. I would avoid using olive oil as it contains a slight taste and scent, it also does not have a high smoke point as we cook this over medium-high heat.
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- Shaoxing Cooking Wine: or sub with Dry Sherry Wine if you can't find Chinese cooking wine. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic version, feel free to omit completely.
- Cornstarch: This creates juicy chicken as it helps to lock in any moisture by sealing it. The usage of cornstarch in marinating meat is a common technique used at any Chinese restaurant.
- Neutral oil: This adds moisture to your chicken and also makes them slippery so when they fall into your hot pan, they won't stick together.
- Regular soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce: different than regular soy sauce as it's thicker and darker.
- Toasted sesame oil: a nutty oil that gives your fried rice or any stir fries that delicious sesame aroma. If you don't have sesame oil, you may substitute with toasted sesame seeds.
- Chicken bouillon powder: This gives your fried rice that extra depth of flavor as it contains some msg.
- White pepper: or sub with black pepper
How to make Chicken Fried Rice
Marinate your sliced chicken with Chicken Marinate ingredients as listed above for 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, pre-mix sauce ingredients as listed. Set aside.
Fry & Remove Chicken
In a hot wok set over medium high heat, add 1 teaspoon oil. Once oil is hot, fry chicken until fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
Sauté Aromatics & Vegetables
Add 1 teaspoon of oil and stir fry garlic and shallots for 10 seconds or until softened. Quickly add peas and carrots and fry for another 10 seconds or until softened. Sweep everything to the side of the wok.
Cook & Scramble Eggs
Add 1 teaspoon of oil into empty space of wok. Pour in eggs and scramble them into bite-sized pieces before mixing with ingredients in wok. Push everything to the side of the pan.
Toss in Rice & Chicken
Add remaining oil along with rice into empty space. Then toss with ingredients. Toss back in chicken.
Add Sauce & Toss!
Pour sauce around your rice along the edges of the wok (the heat + sauce creates more flavor on the bottom of the pan vs. pouring on top of rice). Mix until all rice granules are colored brown. Remove off heat. Serve and enjoy!
Storage & Reheating
This authentic chicken fried rice will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, microwave for 2-3 minutes or reheat on the stovetop in a pan on medium heat until hot.
Can I use different vegetables?
Yes, feel free to substitute or add any fresh veggies that you desire. I would avoid using leafy greens. However, feel free to use bell peppers like red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, edamame and more!
What's the best way to cook rice?
There are different ways to cook rice, some make it in a pot over the stove top or in an instant pot. But in my own kitchen, using a rice cooker is the best way to make steamed rice.
It does it perfectly without any worry and the rice cooker pots are usually non-stick, so the rice slides right out with ease. I share a good rice cooker brand in the Recipe card below under "Equipment".
What is the secret to good fried rice?
Using a carbon steel wok that can withstand high flame to create “wok hei” or in Chinese “breathe of wok.” When the oil hits the heat of an extremely hot wok, this creates that smoky taste you enjoy in most Chinese cooked foods.
How do you dry out rice for fried rice?
I will usually make it the night before and after it cooks, I’ll lay it out in a single layer on a sheet pan covered lightly with aluminum foil. Then place it in the back of the refrigerator, where it’s the coldest. On the day of cooking, I will add a little oil to my hands and break up the rice with my hands until it's separated into granules. The oil prevents the rice from sticking to your hands. To urgently dry out rice: after the rice has cooked, lay it out on a tray and then pop it into the freezer (not fridge) UNCOVERED for 1 hour and this will help dry it out.
Can I cook my rice on a stovetop?
Yes! Follow these steps:
- Rinse uncooked rice under cold water a few times until water is clear.
- In a large saucepan, pour in your washed rice.
- Next fill the saucepan with cold water. To know how much water to add, place your palm on top of the rice and as you fill the pot with water, stop when the water reaches your knuckles (where your fingers end).
- Bring this to a boil and cover with a lid. Immediately reduce to the lowest heat possible and let this cook over low heat for 17-20 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the rice is fluffy.
Other Fried Rice recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this easy Chicken Fried Rice, you may like these other recipes:
- Egg Fried Rice
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Tomato Egg Fried Rice
- Thai Spicy Basil Fried Rice
- Vegan Mushroom Kimchi Fried Rice
- Thai Railway Fried Rice
Easy Chinese Chicken Fried Rice (30-min)
- Marinate your sliced chicken with Chicken Marinate ingredients as listed above for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, pre-mix Sauce ingredients as listed above. Set aside.
- In a hot wok set on medium high heat, add 1 teaspoon oil. Once oil is hot, fry chicken until fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil and fry garlic and shallots for 10 seconds or until softened. Quickly add peas and carrots and fry for another 10 seconds or until softened. Push everything to the side of the wok.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil into empty space of wok. Pour in eggs and scramble before mixing with ingredients in wok.
- Add remaining oil along with rice and toss with ingredients. Toss back in chicken.
- Pour sauce around your rice along the edges of the wok (the heat + sauce creates more flavour vs. pouring on top of rice). Mix until all rice granules are coloured brown. Remove off heat. Serve and enjoy!
How much uncooked rice should I use?This is 1 ½ measuring cups of UNCOOKED jasmine rice made the night before and refrigerated.
Can I cook my rice on a stovetop?Yes! Follow these steps: Rinse uncooked rice under cold water a few times until water is clear. In a large saucepan, pour in your washed rice. Next fill the saucepan with cold water. To know how much water to add, place your palm on top of the rice and as you fill the pot with water, stop when the water reaches your knuckles (where your fingers end). Bring this to a boil and cover with a lid. Immediately reduce to the lowest heat possible and let this cook over low heat for 17-20 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the rice is fluffy.
Suggested Equipment & Products
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