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This Chinese restaurant takeout-style Pork Fried Rice recipe is a quick, easy, and delicious one-pot meal. It’s also the best way to use up leftover cooked rice.
Tossing leftover rice into a skillet with eggs, carrots, peas, and cooked pork is one of my favorite quick and easy meals. I especially love to make it using leftover Air Fryer Pork Belly or Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork, either homemade or purchased pre-cooked at my local Chinese market.
Easy fried rice without a recipe
Fried rice has always been one of my favorite dishes to eat, but these days it is also a favorite dish to cook.
I love this Pork Fried Rice recipe because it is quick, easy, and incredibly versatile. I throw in whatever vegetables and meat I happen to have in the house.
You can adapt this fried rice recipe to use any protein you like. Char Siu, ground pork, sliced pork, diced ham, bacon, or pork belly are all great pork options. You can also use chicken, duck, shrimp, fish, or tofu.
The keys to making a great fried rice are adding just the right amount of sesame oil and soy sauce (the right amount is probably more than you think). I also think fried rice has to have scrambled egg, diced carrots, and peas.
What kind of rice is best?
Fried rice is best made with the same kind of steamed white rice as you find served in Chinese restaurants. This is usually long-grain white rice.
Cooked rice that has been refrigerated overnight is ideal for making fried rice. The rice grains have had a chance to dry out a bit, which keeps them from getting mushy or overcooked when frying. The grains will also stick together less.
Trust me, I’ve tried using still warm cooked rice and it just doesn’t work as well. You can cook a fresh batch of rice using a bit less water than usual and then transfer it to a wide, shallow bowl or baking sheet, spread it out, and stick it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill it down quickly.
Alternatively, you can purchase cooked rice at just about any Asian restaurant, bring it home, transfer it to a wide, shallow bowl or spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it in the fridge or freezer to chill.
If your supermarket has a hot foods counter, you may be able to buy cooked rice there. Steamed rice is inexpensive and there is no shame in going this route. I do it all the time.
If the rice sticks together in clumps when you are ready to add it to the skillet for your fried rice, just wet your hands. Break the rice clumps up with your wet hands directly into the skillet.
Use up your leftovers
This pork fried rice recipe is great for using up leftovers. In addition to using leftover rice, you can fill your fried rice skillet with leftover cooked veggies or meat.
Whenever we have leftover Chinese food—homemade or takeout—I toss them into a skillet with the leftover rice and turn it into a meal.
I’ve used Mongolian beef or lamb, stir-fried fish fillets, Szechuan Shrimp, Kung Pao Chicken, and Ma Po tofu to flavor my fried rice and stretch it into a second meal.
You can also add cooked or even frozen vegetables. I often add chopped broccoli, green beans, or green onions.
Feel free to add other ingredients to suit your taste. Oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili oil or chili crisp are great additions to add a flavor boost, particularly if you are starting with plain, uncooked meat.
What kind of pork should you use?
When I make pork fried rice, I love using sweet-savory Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork. I like to use pre-cooked Char Siu pork because the flavor is amazing. You can make it yourself or buy it from a local Chinese restaurant or Chinese market.
If you don’t have Char Siu, you can also use thinly sliced pork loin or ground pork. Saute it first along with the garlic and ginger. Remove it from the skillet before cooking the rest and then add it back at the end.
What is the best oil to use?
To make the best takeout style pork fried rice, use a neutral-flavored, high-smoke-point oil.
My favorite cooking oil to use in Chinese cooking is peanut oil. Other great choices are safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or grape seed oil
What is pork fried rice made of?
- Vegetable oil (or any neutral flavored cooking oil)
- Toasted sesame oil
- Minced garlic
- Minced fresh ginger
- Cold, cooked rice
- Frozen peas
- Soy sauce
How do you make pork fried rice from scratch?
Making fried rice takes a few steps, but it is super easy and can be done in minutes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet and cook the beaten eggs. Remove them from the pan and chop up into small pieces.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and then add the garlic, ginger, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender.
- Add a bit more cooking oil to the pan, if needed, and then sear the meat. If you are using precooked char siu or other cooked meat, this step will take just 2 or 3 minutes. You can also cook raw pork (ground or sliced) during this step. Remove the meat and veg from the pan.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and add the rice. Cook, tossing regularly, until the rice is heated through and beginning to brown in some spots. Add the cooked egg, carrots, meat, any leftover cooked vegetables you have available, and the frozen peas and cook, stirring, until well combined and heated through.
- Season with soy sauce to taste and serve hot.
What to serve with pork fried rice?
If you’ve added meat and veggies to your fried rice, it makes a great one-pot meal. I usually serve it on its own as a main dish. If you want to add some fresh crunch on the side, serve it with a Smashed Cucumber Salad or Japanese Cucumber Salad. Or try it with Cucumber Kimchi.
Fried rice also makes a great side dish. Serve it as part of a multi-dish Chinese meal.
Fried rice recipe variations
I love how versatile a basic pork fried rice recipe is. The possible variations are endless. I often whip up a batch of fried rice when I have leftover rice or leftover Chinese dishes like Mongolian beef or Kung Pao Chicken, but also when I have assorted vegetables and other ingredients I need to use up.
Here are some simple variations:
- Shrimp Fried Rice: Marinate peeled, raw shrimp in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger and then saute it in the skillet until pink and cooked through. Remove it before cooking the eggs. Add it back after the rice and veggies have been tossed together.
- Chicken Fried Rice: Add cooked stir-fried, roasted, or grilled chicken instead of the pork. You can use leftover roast chicken or just about any leftover Chinese chicken dish.
- Beef Fried Rice: Use ground beef and saute it with ginger and garlic in the skillet, removing it before cooking the eggs. Add it back after the rice and veggies have been tossed together. Or add diced stir-fried, grilled, or pan-seared steak.
- Vegetable Fried Rice: Add just about any veggies you have on hand that would be good in a stir fry. Broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, and cabbage are all great additions. Cook these along with the carrots.
- Hawaiian Fried Rice: Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice is studded with delicious salty spam and juicy, sweet pineapple. It’s a flavorful and easy main dish that’s perfect for family weeknight dinners.
- Thai-Style Fried Rice: Fried rice made Thai style uses jasmine rice and fish sauce in place of soy sauce. Common additions are chicken or shrimp, pineapple, eggs, cashews, or tomatoes.
- Kimchi Fried Rice: Tangy, spicy kimchi brings tons of flavor to any fried rice recipe. Chop 1/2 to 1 cup and add it to your skillet after the rice and veggies have been together. Top each serving with a fried egg and a drizzle of spicy gochujang to make it a meal!
- Alternative Grains Fried Rice: Try this Couscous Fried Rice or this Quinoa Veggie Fried Rice!
- Fried Rice on the Blackstone Griddle: Try making Blackstone Fried Rice!
- Low-Carb Fried Rice: Make a low-carb version by substituting cauliflower rice for the white rice like this Keto Pork Fried Rice, Keto Shrimp Fried Rice, or Keto Chicken Fried Rice.
more chinese recipes you’ll love
- Mongolian Chicken
- Crispy Chilli Beef
- Char Siu
- Char Siu Bao
- Salt and Pepper Chicken
- Har Gow Chinese Shrimp Dumplings
- Singapore Noodles
- Sesame Noodles
- Pork Fried Rice
- Szechuan Shrimp
- Hoisin Spare Ribs
- Chinese Dry Fried Green Beans
- Vegetarian Dan Dan Noodles
- Sesame Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Fried Wontons
- Sweet and Sour Tofu
- Mantou Chinese Steamed Buns
Pork Fried Rice
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil divided
- 4 large eggs beaten
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 pound chopped Char Siu or substitute uncooked sliced pork loin or ground pork
- 2 cups cold cooked rice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 to 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring with a spatula, until set. Transfer the eggs from the pan to a large bowl and chop up into small pieces.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan and then add the garlic, ginger, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the carrots to the bowl with the eggs.
- Add the meat to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely seared. If you are using precooked char siu or other cooked meat, this step will take just 2 or 3 minutes. You can also cook raw pork (ground or sliced) during this step. Remove the meat from the pan, transferring it to the bowl with the eggs and carrots.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil and the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan and add the rice. Cook, tossing regularly, until the rice is heated through and beginning to brown in some spots. Add the cooked egg, carrots, and meat and the fozen peas and cook, stirring, until well mixed and heated through.
- Season generously with soy sauce to taste and serve hot.