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Kitchen Confidential: Secrets for BEST Chinese Fried Rice

Fresh is always best, right? Wrong!

When you're making Chinese Fried Rice, you might be shooting yourself in the foot if you're a fresh food fanatic! There's a secret to making that perfect, hot, fluffy fried rice... and mostly it's that dreaded "L" word.

How To Make Perfect Rice In The Microwave


Here are some tips to making Chinese Fried Rice just like you get in takeout.

  • Start with perfectly cooked rice. Then package it up and put it in the fridge and ignore it until tomorrow.
  • Don't skimp on the oil.
  • Make sure your pan is very hot. They use 20,000 BTU burners in the industry to make fried rice, so there's no such thing as too hot at home. 
  • Use either a nonstick or cast iron pan-- be forewarned, a cast iron will require more oil.
  • Your day old rice is better cold. 
  • Don't crowd the rice. 2-3 cups at a time, tops!
  • Don't skimp on the salt. Salt a bit at every step, because earlier is better than later.
  • Don't get all obsessive about measurements.
  • Hold delicate vegetables like bean sprouts until after the rice has gone into the pan.
  • Taste as you go to make sure it comes out awesome.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment and make it the way YOU like it!

Classic Chinese Fried Rice

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cold leftover rice, broken up and loose
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup other vegetables (snow peas, peas, carrots, sprouts, etc.) 
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • a handful cooked cubed chicken breast (or equivalent in shrimp or tofu), optional


 Begin with the eggs. Scramble the eggs in a little oil with a little salt over medium heat until cooked and fluffy. Remove from the pan and set aside, breaking up large clumps.

 Increase the heat to high and allow the pan to get very hot. Reserving the green onions and any delicate vegetables like sprouts, saute the hardier vegetables with a pinch of salt in about a tablespoon of oil until softened. Add the meat and saute a few minutes more, till hot.

 Add another tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and add the rice. Toss to coat and cook through - don't worry too much if a little bit sticks. Add your green onions and other delicate vegetables at the same time as the rice. 

 Just before done, add soy sauce to taste, tossing the rice to coat. Cover, remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two. This will help "unstick" the stuck rice, too.

 Fold in scrambled eggs and serve.

Feeling adventurous? Try it mixing it up with these things!

Oyster sauce in addition to / as a replacement for soy sauce.

A drizzle of sesame oil when sauteing the vegetables.

Add bacon! (Everything's better with...)

Add reconstituted dried scallops.

Green garlic.

What do you like in your fried rice?