The House Special – a fully loaded, fabulous Chicken Fried Rice!! With seasoned chicken, vegetables, fluffy egg and pops of salty bacon, this fried rice recipe is one that’s worthy of serving as a meal.
Don’t be fooled by recipes claiming to be “better than take out” that call for nothing more than soy sauce for flavour. It takes more than that for an authentic chicken fried rice – just ask your friendly local Chinese restaurant!!
Chicken Fried Rice
After Monday’s simple yet-myth-busting How To Cook Rice post, I thought I’d follow up with a quick ‘n easy recipe today. Using rice of course. My “House Special” chicken fried rice!!
I know going with fried rice is an obvious option, and not the first I’ve shared at that. But I wanted to share a Chicken Fried Rice recipe which I haven’t done before specifically because while it’s very easy to say to people “oh, just cook up some chook before you toss in everything else!” in the notes of my everyday Fried Rice recipe, it’s just cleaner to have a recipe dedicated to Chicken Fried Rice.
And actually, the steps are a little different.
So that’s what I’m sharing today!
What you need
Here’s what you need for Chicken Fried Rice.
For the Fried Rice Sauce:
- Soy sauce – either light or all purposes is fine here. DO NOT use dark soy sauce, it’s too intense. Maggie seasoning would also work but reduce the quantity a bit (it’s saltier!).
- Oyster sauce can be substituted with either fish sauce + hoisin sauce (best!) or just hoisin sauce (though you will get a slight Chinese Five Spice Flavour which is lovely!)
- Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing Wine) (or Mirin or dry sherry) is the “secret ingredient” in fried rice. I really encourage you to get your hands on it if you can (or Mirin or dry sherry) because it really makes all the difference, adding complexity and depth to the sauce to make it stack up to Chinese restaurant fried rice! No alcoholic sub – see recipe notes, use chicken or vegetable stock powder / granulated bouillon.
And for the Add-Ins:
- Day old cooked rice that’s been refrigerated – because the rice dries out and becomes crumbly which is what you need so your fried rice isn’t clumpy and mushy
- Bacon – because it adds a load of flavour into fried rice and is the next best option to Chinese sausage (bit pricey in non Asian stores) or Chinese BBQ Pork (never have leftovers!) which is what restaurants typically use. Ham is also ideal!
- Diced veg – go with what you want here, anything that’s dice-able and stir-fry-able. I typically use diced carrot, frozen corn and frozen peas (easy, quick, classic Chinese).
- Egg – because we all love the fluffy egg bits in fried rice!
- Green onion – for a bit of freshness and colour;
- Chicken – oh yes, because this is a Chicken Fried Rice after all! (Feel free to sub with other proteins)
- Onion and garlic – essential flavour base.
How to make it
As with all stir fries, once you start cooking, Chicken Fried Rice comes together very quickly so have everything chopped and ready to throw into the wok – or skillet!
The only thing worth noting is that I cook the egg first, then take it out and add it back in later. In my classic side-dish Fried Rice recipe, I cook the egg without taking it out – which you can get away with doing because there’s less “stuff” in the fried rice so it’s easy enough to handle.
With Chicken Fried Rice, there’s more “stuff” in it and if you try to cook it all up in one go, it gets a little much.
What to serve with Chicken Fried Rice
I happily serve this as a meal because while one ordinarily assumes fried rice is carb heavy, in actual fact this recipe only calls for 2 cups of cooked rice compared to almost 4 cups of other “stuff” (chicken, veg, bacon).
It sounds out of whack, but you can see from the photos that it looks just as it should – like a fully loaded Chicken Fried Rice!
And it is of course suitable for serving as a side with anything Chinese or Asian for that matter, but I’d avoid things with very strong kapow flavours, like Thai Red Curry or Kung Pao Chicken because this Fried Rice has decent flavour in itself.
Also, some more ideas for how to serve Chicken Fried Rice:
MAKE A MEAL OUT OF STARTERS
Make a meal out of dishes ordinarily served as starters by adding a side of Fried Rice. Things such Hot and Sour Soup, Chinese Corn Soup, Spring Rolls, Chinese Lettuce Wraps (San Choy Bau) or Egg Foo Young.
Indulge in a homemade Yum Cha (Dim Sum) style banquet with dishes such as Potstickers, Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork), Chinese Steamed Pork Buns, or Crispy Chinese Pork Belly with a side of Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce.
– Nagi x
Watch how to make it
More fried rice recipes
- Classic Chinese Fried Rice – to serve as a side
- Thai Fried Rice
- Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
- Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp / Prawns
Chicken Fried Rice
Recipe video above. A fully loaded, completely delicious Chicken Fried Rice! Serve it as a side – or have it as a main!
- 2 tbsp oil (, peanut, vegetable or canola)
- 2 eggs (, lightly whisked)
- 150g / 5oz chicken breast (, finely sliced into small pieces)
- 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1/2 onion (, finely chopped)
- 120g/4 oz bacon (, excess fat trimmed, chopped (Note 1))
- 1 small carrot* (, peeled and diced 0.75cm / 1/3″)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn* ((or can or fresh))
- 1/2 cup frozen peas*
- 2 cups (packed) cooked white rice (, day old (Note 2))
- 3/4 cup green onions (, finely sliced)
- 2.5 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or Mirin ((Note 3))
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce ((Note 4))
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce ((Note 5))
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil (, optional)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (, optional)
Sauce & chicken: Mix Sauce in a bowl. Pour 2 tsp over chicken, toss to coat, then set aside for 10 minutes.
Egg: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add egg and scramble until just cooked (still a touch wet) then remove.
Fried Rice: Turn heat up to high, add remaining 1/2 tbsp oil and bacon into same skillet. Cook for 1 minute or so until fat starts to melt, then add onion and garlic.
Cook until bacon is light golden – about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add vegetables (still frozen is fine). Cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken and cook until it changes from pink to white – about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add rice and Sauce ingredients. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring consantly.
Add egg and green onion, toss through to disperse then remove from heat.
* Substitute items marked with * with any dice-able, stir-fry-able vegetables of choice!
1. Bacon – adds terrific flavour to fried rice, it’s a sub for Chinese sausages and Chinese BBQ Pork which restaurants usually use. Sub with ham.
Sounds criminal to trim excess fat if you have really fatty bacon, it will make fried rice taste too bacony!
2. Best rice for fried rice – long grain white rice or other white rice, cooked, then refrigerated overnight or frozen then thawed. Rice should be dry and crumbly, not sticky.
3. Chinese cooking wine or Mirin (or cooking sake or dry sherry) is an essential ingredient for making a truly “restaurant standard” fried rice. Though many recipes suggest using liquid chicken broth, please do not do this – it makes your fried rice wet and gluey!
If you can’t consume alcohol, adjust recipe as follows: Reduce oyster and soy sauce to 2 tsp each, and add 1 tbsp water to the Sauce. Proceed with recipe. When you add the rice, add 1/2 tsp chicken or vegetable stock powder (or bouillon cube crumbled). Stir through, then add remaining Sauce ingredients exc the Cooking wine. Proceed with recipe, add tiny sprinkle of salt at end if you want it saltier.
4. Oyster sauce can be substituted with either fish sauce + hoisin sauce (best!) or just hoisin sauce (though you will get a slight Chinese Five Spice Flavour which is lovely!)
5. Soy sauce – use light or all purpose soy sauce. Do not use dark, flavour will be too intense. Maggie seasoning would also work but reduce the quantity a bit (it’s saltier!).
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings (about 1.5 cups per serving, a light meal or generous side!)
Life of Dozer
Pho, fried rice, salad….. doesn’t matter what I’m serving up, he always eyes it off like this!!