Whenever we have a lot over leftover white rice, I like to put Chicken Fried Rice on the menu. This recipe also works with chicken, pork, shrimp, or even without protein and as veggie fried rice. It’s a filling dish that allows you to use just about whatever you want or have on hand.
Although I am not a trained Chinese cook, I have made quite a few dishes (and perfected them to our tastes!) over the years. For this fried rice recipe, I started by reading the tips laid out in Jaden’s Shrimp Fried Rice post on Steamy Kitchen. I definitely suggest that you read through her helpful tips!
Start by cooking your vegetables, if they aren’t already cooked. If they are pre-cooked, just heat them up in a tiny bit of oil.
Set those aside. Next, add the chicken. If you want, you can add raw chicken to the pan and cook it in this step. However, it will take a little longer to put together. After that’s cooked, set it aside with the veggies.
Here’s my “set aside” dish so far: chicken & veggies.
Next, you can make a little sauce to flavor your fried rice. This step is completely optional. Some people just like to add a little soy sauce, and call it good. If that is the way you like it, then proceed! I have found that we like just a little more flavor in our fried rice, so I whip up a little sauce to go with it.
I have to frequently check the flavor of the sauce, because it never seems to taste the same. A little more of this, a little more of that… until it’s just right. I usually let it simmer a little bit just to make sure all of the flavors are combining nicely. It also thickens the sauce slightly.
Once the sauce has been crafted, pour it over your chicken and veggies in your “set aside” dish.
Next is the eggs. You can omit this step, or add more than two eggs if you like.
Poke the yolks and stir a little bit. You want to cook the eggs like you would scrambled eggs. Since they will be going back in the pan later, cook them until just before done.
Add them to the “set aside” dish.
The last thing to cook is the rice. You will get the best results when you use rice that’s at least a day old. The rice needs to be somewhat dried out. If you use fresh rice, your dish will probably be a soggy mess.
When you cook the rice, be sure to let it sit for a few minutes in between stirs. Give it time to really cook and give color to the rice. Constant stirring won’t help this go any faster; in fact, it will probably slow you down.
After your rice is cooked, add back the contents of the “set aside” dish. Give it a good stir and cook for a few minutes longer.
After everything is hot and well combined, you’re ready to serve!
Heat a wok or large skillet with a small amount of oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook until almost done (a few minutes). Remove vegetables from pan and keep warm. If needed, add a small amount of oil. Add chicken to pan to heat. After heated, add to dish with vegetables to keep warm.
Next, make the sauce. If needed, add a small amount of oil to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and whites of green onion, and cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and lime juice. If necessary, balance seasoning by adding more of one ingredient, or watering down (about 1 tablespoon at a time) to dilute if too strong. Once desired taste is achieved, pour sauce over chicken and vegetables.
After making the sauce, add a small amount of oil to the pan. Add eggs and quickly break the yolks. Cook eggs until almost done. Eggs will look slightly wet. Remove from pan and add to chicken and vegetables. If necessary, add a small amount of oil to the pan. Add the rice and break up all of the grains. Let the rice cook for at least 2 or 3 minutes before stirring. Let rice cook against the hot pan for several minutes between stirrings.
Once the rice has been fried to your liking, add the rest of the ingredients back to the pan. Cook and stir over the heat for a few minutes, to bring everything back up to temperature. Serve at once.