Basic Recipe for Fried Rice

Basic fried rice

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
228 Calories
9g Fat
31g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 228
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 741mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 103mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fried rice is a takeout favorite, but it's also quick and easy to make at home. It's a great way to use up leftover rice (cooked, cold rice makes the best fried rice) and transform boring leftovers into an entirely new dish. The next time you're making rice, just make extra and stash it away. Then, you'll have a delicious, quick fried rice dinner in no time.

This is a basic recipe for fried rice that you can add to as desired. Medium- or long-grained white rice works best, but other types of rice can be used as well. Serve it as a side with leftover vegetables mixed in or as a main dish with barbecued pork, chicken, or shrimp. Once you have this basic recipe mastered, you can feel free to adjust it to suit your needs and taste.


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"Everybody loves fried rice—especially busy cooks on a budget. It’s quick to make and accommodates nearly any leftover protein and vegetable. This recipe is a great starting point and you can customize it your own palate. I followed it as-is and found it worked very well to produce a simple, comforting version of fried rice." —Danielle Centoni

Basic fried rice in a white bowl
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 to 2 green onions, chopped

  • 2 large eggs

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided

  • 4 cups cooked rice, cooled

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or oyster sauce)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make basic fried rice

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Lightly beat the eggs with the pepper and salt.

    A bowl of beaten eggs seasoned with salt and pepper

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan.

    A large pan with scrambled eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cooked and cooled leftover rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using a wooden spoon to break it apart. Stir in the soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired.

    A pan with rice and soy sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly, then stir in the green onions. Serve hot.

    A pan of fried rice with egg and green onions

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • If you add more ingredients to bulk up this dish, be sure to increase the number of eggs from two to three. This will keep the ratio of eggs to rice well balanced.

Recipe Variations

  • Traditionally, the Chinese do not add soy sauce to the rice. If you like, you can serve the dish plain without the soy or oyster sauce.
  • Another option is to add a small amount (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of XO sauce or thick soy sauce or use 2 to 3 teaspoons of dark soy sauce—these will give the rice a darker color.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups total of diced, cooked veggies, like carrots and peas, and/or meat like cooked dark-meat chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp.
  • For a tasty Thai version, try classic Thai chicken fried rice.
  • You can use brown rice for fried rice if desired. Cook brown rice faster using the Instant Pot.

Can You Freeze and Reheat Fried Rice?

Leftover fried rice can be kept in the fridge for a few days and reheated in a pan or microwave. If you made a big batch and would like to keep it for longer, then fried rice can be frozen. Let cool completely and transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. Press out the air, seal, and freeze for up to three months. When ready to eat, add the frozen fried rice to a pan and gently heat it until defrosted and hot.

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