The Best Egg Fried Rice Recipe

5 from 16 votes
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This easy egg fried rice recipe is a budget-friendly, no-fuss meal. Ready in 15 minutes, with just 5 base ingredients and almost endless flavor variations!

A serving of egg fried rice topped with scallions and sesame sees

Not only is egg-fried rice a super popular Chinese restaurant and takeout staple, but it’s really simple to make at home with just a handful of simple ingredients, including leftover cooked rice. For anyone who isn’t a fan of plain rice, learning how to make this quick egg fried rice is the perfect way to enjoy a ton of flavor with little time or effort.

When prepared correctly, homemade Chinese egg fried rice is light and delicious, with tender, chewy rice and fluffy eggs made aromatic with subtle soy sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds. Unlike takeout places, it also uses minimal oil for a healthier treat that doesn’t taste greasy.

 Even better, this already comforting, super-simple, restaurant-quality side is easily modifiable to turn into a complete meal with whatever veggies, proteins, and aromatics you have to hand!

A serving of egg fried rice topped with scallions and sesame sees

Looking for more fried rice inspiration? You might enjoy Thai pineapple fried rice, Korean kimchi fried rice, Filipino garlic sinangag, and Indian nasi goreng (among MANY others!).

Egg Fried Rice Ingredients

The few simple ingredients for egg fried rice are:

  • Rice: the best rice for egg fried rice is pre-cooked and cooled (I prefer day-old) medium or long-grain rice like white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, etc., for the best texture (short-grain can become sticky). Pre-cooked frozen and thawed rice also works.
  • Eggs: add protein and flavor.
  • Green onions: (or scallions) are a popular fresh garnish for fried rice with eggs. For extra flavor, cook the white parts with the rice. Spring onions will also work.
  • Soy sauce: To season the scrambled eggs and rice. Dark soy adds the most flavor/depth, but use low-sodium soy sauce if preferred (or a bit of both for the best of both worlds). Use tamari or coconut aminos if gluten-free.
  • Salt: (and white pepper, if preferred) You may not need it because of the soy.
  • Oil: Use a neutral-flavored, high-heat cooking oil (not olive oil!), like vegetable oil or avocado oil. Peanut oil also works.
  • Sesame seeds: As an optional garnish, raw or toasted.
Ingredients for egg fried rice

How to Make Egg Fried Rice

First, slice the green onion, then whisk the eggs in a small bowl.

You can whisk the eggs directly in the pan, but I find it easier to fully scramble them this way (and avoid shells in the pan).

Then, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until shimmery.

Add the rice and stir-fry fry for just a couple of minutes to warm it up, tossing it regularly and pressing with the back of a spatula to break up any large clumps into individual grains of rice.

If it’s browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-high heat.

Scoop the rice to one side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the other, stirring constantly to scramble them into tiny pieces as they cook.

Steps for making egg fried rice

When about ¾ cooked, mix them into the rice, add the soy sauce, and mix once more, continuing to cook just until well mixed.

If using a wok, add the soy sauce around the edges so it reduces quickly and creates the smoky “wok hei” flavor.

Taste and season with salt (and white pepper) if needed. Then serve topped with the sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Adding soy sauce to stir fried rice with eggs

Why Use Cold Rice or Day-Old Rice?

As the rice cools, it will become drier and firmer. This helps keep it from becoming mushy and breaking into tiny pieces while cooking. Day-old is best as it’s dried out further than simply cooling it for 30-40 minutes after cooking.

Using freshly-cooked rice: If you plan to cook and cool it just before making this recipe, then I recommend using a little less water when cooking, spreading the cooked rice over a large tray, and placing it uncovered in the freezer for an hour (or fridge for 90-120 mins).

When to Add Eggs to Fried Rice?

There are three different methods (none of which are the definitive “right” one), depending on your preferred results.

  1. Add the eggs directly to the rice to coat it throughout the dish. However, this can yield mushier end results.
  2. Pour the egg mixture into one side of the pan to scramble until almost/fully cooked, then combine with the rice for distinct pieces of egg throughout the dish.
  3. Pre-cook the eggs first, then stir them into the right at the end, using a spatula to break them into pieces. It has similar results to the above but requires an extra step (and time).

Top Tips For The Best Egg-Fried Rice

  • Use cold or day-old rice: The fresher the rice, the mushier your results. So pre-cooked and cooled is great, but day-old is even better!
  • Don’t overcook the eggs: Or they’ll become rubbery.
  • Use high heat: Ensure the wok/pan is HOT before adding the rice. This prevents the rice from steaming instead of frying and cooks everything quickly.
  • If the rice is clumping: Adding a little extra oil can help separate the grains.
  • For crispy egg fried rice: After adding it to the pan, press down and cook for about a minute, then flip and repeat before stir-frying. This chars the rice without burning it.

What to Serve with Egg Fried Rice?

Enjoy this simple recipe alone, with add-ins, or with side dishes like:

Egg fried rice topped with scallions and sesame seeds

Storage Instructions

Make ahead: Remember to cook the rice a day in advance for the best texture. You can also prepare the fried rice a day earlier and only add the egg (and garnishes) when reheating.

Store: I prefer to enjoy it immediately (since it already uses pre-cooked, reheated rice), but leftovers will store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

For food safety, transfer it to the fridge within 2 hours of cooking (the sooner, the better!).

Can You Freeze Egg Fried Rice?

Yes, though the texture may change slightly upon thawing. Freeze in an airtight container/Ziplock within 2 hours of cooking for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it.

How To Reheat Egg Fried Rice?

You can use the stovetop or microwave to reheat this egg-fried rice. You may need a splash of water or vegetable broth to soften the rice again. To safely reheat rice, ensure it reaches 165ºF/74ºC.

A bowl with eggs fried rice

FAQs

What rice is best for making egg fried rice?

Use medium or long-grain pre-cooked and cooled (day-old is best) rice, like jasmine rice or basmati. Avoid shorter grains as they’re often starchier, so yield mushier results.

Is a wok necessary for egg-fried rice?

Absolutely not, though it helps to cook the ingredients quickly and evenly. Feel free to use a large skillet – it will work wonderfully, too. Just make sure to pre-heat it with oil if it has a non-stick coating.

How long does egg fried rice last in the fridge?

Consume it within 2-3 days maximum.

Why does my fried rice turn out mushy?

If you haven’t left the cooked rice cool for long enough, have added too much sauce, or have too many “wet” add-ins like vegetables, this can all yield mushy homemade egg fried rice.

What is the best oil for fried rice?

This depends on how much flavor you want to infuse into the rice. Regardless, use oil with a high smoke point. I.e., canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, or toasted sesame oil.

Can I use minute rice?

Yes! Minute rice is only par-cooked, so it’s not mushy and will still be ready in just a couple of minutes of stir-frying. However, I recommend adding a splash of water to the pan to help hydrate the rice slightly.

More Rice Recipes

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Best Egg Fried Rice Recipe

5 from 16 votes
By: Samira
This easy egg fried rice recipe is a budget-friendly, no-fuss meal. Ready in 15 minutes, with just 5 base ingredients and almost endless flavor variations!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 21 oz cooked and cooled rice 4 cups, cold; jasmine rice or any medium or long-grain rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 oz green onions or scallions, 3 stalks
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil or another high-heat cooking oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce use tamari or coconut aminos if gluten-free
  • salt to taste – it might be already salty enough from the soy sauce
  • white pepper optional, to taste

Instructions 

  • Slice the green onion. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl.
    You can whisk the eggs directly in the pan, but I find it easier to fully scramble them this way (and avoid shells in the pan).
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until shimmery.
  • Add the rice and stir-fry fry for just a couple of minutes to warm it up, tossing it regularly and pressing with the back of a spatula to break up any large clumps into individual grains of rice.
    If it's browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-high heat. 
  • Scoop the rice to one side of the pan and add the eggs to the other, stirring constantly to scramble them into tiny pieces as they cook.
  • Whenabout ¾ cooked, mix the eggs into the rice, add the soy sauce, and mix once more, continuing to cook just until well mixed.
    If using a wok, add the soy sauce around the edges so it reduces quickly and creates the smoky "wok hei" flavor.
  • Taste and season with salt (and white pepper) if needed. Then serve topped with the sliced green onions and optional sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Storage

  • Make ahead: Remember to cook the rice a day in advance for the best texture. You can also prepare the fried rice a day earlier and only add the egg (and garnishes) when reheating it. 
    Store: leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 
    For food safety, transfer it to the fridge within 2 hours of cooking (the sooner, the better!).
    Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container/Ziplock for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it. 
    Reheat: You can use the stovetop or microwave to reheat the rice. You may need a splash of water or vegetable broth to soften the rice again. To safely reheat rice, ensure it reaches 165ºF/74ºC.

Notes

  • Use cold or day-old rice: The fresher the rice, the mushier your results. So pre-cooked and cooled is great, but day-old is even better!
  • Don’t overcook the eggs: Or they’ll become rubbery.
  • Use high heat: ensure the wok/pan is HOT before adding the rice. This prevents the rice from steaming instead of frying and cooks everything quickly.
  • If the rice is clumping, adding a little extra oil can help separate the grains.
  • For crispy rice: After adding it to the pan, press down and cook for about a minute, then flip and repeat before stir-frying. This chars the rice without burning it.
  • For flavor, you can add:
    • Minced garlic or ginger: For extra aromatic flavor. Use one or both and sauté for 30 seconds before adding the rice.
    • Toasted sesame oil: To add nutty, toasty flavor depth.
    • Chili oil: To add spice. Alternatively, add hot sauce or red pepper flakes to garnish.
    • Vinegar: Rice vinegar or white vinegar adds a bright, delicious depth. Just a splash.
    • Oyster sauce or fish sauce: Replace a small amount of the soy sauce with either for extra savory, complex flavors.
    • Butter: Add a small amount towards the end for a rich, buttery flavor.
    • Nori: Finely shredded nori to garnish.
    • Crispy onions: To garnish.
  • Mix-ins: No matter what you add in, I recommend only adding up to ½ cup, especially veggies, as they can lead to mushy fried rice. Make sure they’re all finely chopped into similar-sized pieces, too.
    • Vegetable egg fried rice: add peas, corn, carrot, shredded cabbage, onion, mushroom, bell pepper, bean sprouts, broccoli, leek, zucchini, etc. Fresh, frozen (and thawed), or steam bags to cook separately. If fresh/frozen, cook until tender before adding the rice to the pan.
    • Water chestnuts/Bamboo shoots: Both are popular additions.
    • Meat: Finely chopped spam, bacon/pork, Chinese sausage, ham, or pre-cooked shredded beef or chicken.
    • Shrimp: Sauté them separately, then add them back at the end.
    • Plant-based protein: Tofu/puffed tofu, tempeh, or seitan chicken would all work.
    • Cashews: Lightly toasted raw, unsalted cashews add flavor and texture.
    • Vegan version: use scrambled tofu instead of eggs. 
Check the blog post for serving recommendations and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Main, Side
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Freezer friendly: 1 Month
Shelf life: 2-3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 123mg, Sodium: 432mg, Potassium: 132mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin A: 249IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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