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healthy homemade chinese fried rice recipe

August 15, 2009

I often have extra cooked white rice lurking in the hidden back corner of the fridge.  For one, it’s pretty amazing how a mere cup or so of dried rice expands itself many times fold once cooked.  Secondly I no doubt have the ‘my eyes are bigger than my stomach’ syndrome.  No shame.  And lastly, as any semi-often reader of this very blog would know, most of my dishes are quite rice friendly.

Rather than toss stale, semi-hard white rice, why not take advantage of these frowned upon characteristics and make the least greasy, healthiest and tastiest Chinese fried rice you’ve ever had?  Buh-bye MSG and other unmentionables.  Exactly.  Of course, use brown rice for an even healthier dish.

NOTE:  Day+ rice is important here.  Very.  If you make this using freshly cooked rice you’ll be left with a starchy mess (albeit a tasty starchy mess).  Also, like most Chinese food, 90% of time spent will be in the preparation –actual cooking will take less than 5 minutes.  Moral of the boring story:  prepare everything first -then cook.

Using jalapenos and red chili flakes, of course.

Using jalapenos and red chili flakes, of course.


2 TBS vegetable oil

About 1.5 cups of day+ old cooked white rice

Don't get much more stale than this.

Don't get much more stale than this.

1 large onion, diced into half inch pieces

2 minced cloves of garlic

A half inch piece of fresh ginger, minced

1 finely diced jalapeno pepper (optional)

Soy sauce (naturally brewed, please)

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Red pepper flakes (optional)

.5 tsp Chinese five spice

Salt to taste

Green onion (scallion)


Heat a large skillet (make sure it’s not non-stick) over high heat until piping hot.  Hot as in its been on the range for five minutes and is literally smoking (I usually put my ginormous skillet over TWO burners).  Such high heat will help impart what the Chinese call Wok hei, a certain taste that’s created by almost instantaneous caramelization and other reactions.  Open your windows…

Add the oil and onion and mix every 10 seconds or so, cooking for about a minute.  You’ll see the onion blister, caramelize, and look exactly how it should.

Wok hei, why of course.

Wok hei, why of course.

Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute.

Add the rice (cool or room temperature), about 3 TBS of soy sauce and the sesame oil and five spice.  Mix to incorporate and break up any clumps of rice.  NOTE:  a bit of a crust will form on the bottom of the skillet –worry not.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt and additional soy sauce.

Remove from the skillet and top with green onions.

Serve with:

Chinese orange tofu and broccoli, any stir fry dish, or by itself.

Best fried rice you'd ever had.

Best fried rice you'd ever had.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michele permalink
    August 16, 2009 2:27 pm

    Your momma must have taught you well–never throw food away!!

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