People often say that fried rice is a great dinner for using up lingering veggies in the fridge.  To me it’s not exactly a spur of the moment solution since it does require leftover rice, and that’s not something we tend to have on a regular basis.  It needs a teensy bit of forethought, but either way, I do love fried rice.  It has long been a favorite of mine, ever since I was ordering it weekly from the super-cheap-but-still-fabulous Chinese place down the street from my freshman dorm.  Most of the time I add shrimp and make it a main dish, but sometimes I like to throw in a bunch of different veggies.  It makes a great side dish for Asian-inspired entrees.  This version is simple and delicious, and our whole family loved it.  Even Caroline gobbled it up!


3 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup bean sprouts
3 green onions, chopped
4 cups cold cooked rice*
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 01

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the eggs.  Cook, stirring until they are lightly scrambled but not dry.  Transfer the eggs to a plate and set aside.  Wipe out the pan and return to the heat.

  • 02

    Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Add the carrots and onion to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the peas, bean sprouts, and green onions.  Cook briefly, about 1 minute.  Add the rice to the pan and stir, breaking up the clumps.  Stir in the soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until completely warmed through.  Stir in the eggs.  Serve immediately.

  • 03

    *Do not be tempted to try and use freshly cooked rice.  You’ll end up with a gloppy mess, or so I’ve been told (and read many times).  I tend to cook the rice in the morning while I’m eating breakfast and making my lunch so that it’s ready to go for dinner that night.


  • I tried using newly cooked rice too, it’s really a mess. Vegetables add flavor to the fried rice and makes it yummy and delicious =)

  • Sara{wherethecookiesare}

    Fried rice is always a winner in our house. I like the chance to see how other people prepare it too! We like it so much, in fact, that usually I just cook the rice right before I cook the veggies, because we also rarely have leftover rice.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Gotta love a good fried rice recipe! Yum!

  • jb

    hmm, I’ve always used freshly cooked rice and never had a gloppy mess. but I’ve never added bean sprouts, I’ll add them the next time.

  • Anonymous

    What a great way to use leftovers! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Someone mentioned using hot rice, if the wok is super duper hot. I have yet to try it. Looks great! Sprouts of all varieties have been my favorite lately.

  • Oh, I wish I’d read this a week ago! I make fried rice using fresh cooked rice and it was terrible. I never would have guessed that the secret is in cold rice!

  • AmareVincere

    I learned from my ex boyfriend’s (Asian) family the secret to fried rice, and they never used leftover rice. They would always use fresh rice cooked in a rice cooker, but the key was to COMPLETELY rinse it in cold water to remove all of the starch, then to add it to the pan to cook everything together. It was and still is the most amazing fried rice.

    Even today, when I make fried rice, I use the same method, except I use brown rice. Still comes out fantastic and I don’t have to worry about planning ahead.

  • This looks delicious! I always use fresh rice when I make fried rice, though admittedly, it is a different recipe. In my recipe the eggs are cooked with the rice, so a bit of clumpiness is desirable :)

  • Perfect side dish for a weeknight meal… It looks delicious, and so flavorful. Thanks for sharing, Annie!

  • I used to live in China so I LOVE fried rice! This recipe seems pretty spot-on for authentic fried rice…may have to try it!

  • I love fried rice, this looks so good!

  • Jessamyn Peace

    I made a recipe a couple months ago that included hoisin sauce and I thought it really took it to the next level…I was preparing it for lots of Asian people and they loved it so I figured it must be authentic! You should try it. :) thanks for all your great recipes!

  • annieseats

    I really don’t like hoisin sauce myself, and use it sparingly. Glad yours turned out well.

  • I love healthy, veggie-loaded side dishes! Starring this one to try! :)

  • Thanks for that last tip not to try to use freshly cooked rice. Definitely was going to do that before I read your note. Anyhoo, this looks great!

  • Sheila Thoburn

    I have tried to make fried rice a few times and only succeeded once I used cold, ‘old’ rice. The little things really make all the difference.

  • Sarah

    I agree with the gloppy rice comment. I started using basmati rice and the problem was solved, though I don’t know how authentic basmatic rice is for Chinese food! My Indian neighbor introduced me to it. Through trial and error, I have found that the best varieties of basmati come either from the Indian market or Trader Joe’s. The grocery store kind isn’t much different than regular white rice.

  • I like to use up that leftover carton of white rice from takeout Chinese (we always seem to have extra white rice) to make fried rice. It’s such a great lunch!

  • Jody

    Did you know that leftover cooked rice freezes very well? If you microwave it for a minute or two, it can be used like fresh-cooked. And it is perfect for fried rice; just let it thaw out a little.

  • Jessica

    My favorite thing to do with leftover rice! I’ve only made veggie fried rice before, but I’m now looking forward to trying shrimp fried rice as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • annieseats

    Good call! Most things freeze fine but I’d never thought to bother freezing rice before.

  • I just added this to the menu in a couple of weeks, it looks great! Thanks for the tip on the cold rice!

  • This looks delicious, and you taught me something new. I had no idea that I was supposed to be using leftover rice for Fried Rice. I cannot wait to try this.

  • bigfeet4me

    I am enjoying your blog! This looks so good. :-)

  • Sydney Jones

    This looks so nourishing and delicious!

  • This looks great. I love fried rice. It’s such an easy and satisfying meal to make any night of the week!

  • Justice

    I just made this for dinner. It was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Yum, fried rice! I could easily make a meal out of it. Must make soon!!

  • I get so spoiled with Chinese fried rice in my lab because our Chinese lab tech brings it in for us whenever she makes it. I keep trying to get her to tell me how to make it, but she doesn’t keep track of measurements. So until I can pay a visit to her kitchen to learn, I will try this one!

  • Lauren

    My boyfriend makes vegetable egg fried rice all the time, and always uses freshly cooked rice. It nevers goes gloopy or sticky – I think it actually depends on the rice you use rather than how old it is. (I think the rice he uses is basmati, not sure) It does help to rinse it with some cold water as well. He also does it in a different order – he fries the veg, then adds unbeaten eggs to the side of the wok with the veg, mixes it until scrambled then adds the rice. Guess it’s down to preference :)

  • Coby

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was great! My husband tasted it and said, “This actually tastes GOOD!” (His surprise was due to the fact that I’ve had a lot of failures in the kitchen lately – but in my defense, all of them were from the same recipe source! Blame the book, not the cook!)

    In any case, this one is a keeper!

  • Steff

    If you have a moment, could you recommend a variety of rice and cooking method. No matter if its uncle bens parboiled or mahatama I ruin it every.single.time. Thank you. Appreciate the work you put into this site, as a result my family has had many great things to eat!!

  • annieseats

    You know, I just buy the store brand of rice and follow the package directions. I know a lot of people have difficulty cooking rice but I’ve always just followed the directions and never had a problem. I wish I had some better advice for you!

  • Coby

    I have a friend who swears by a rice cooker. I’ve never used one, but I started having trouble with rice for some inexplicable reason. I started adding about 1/4 – 1/2 c. of extra water, and that seemed to help. Good luck!

  • Ashley

    I tried using freshly cooked rice rinsed with cold water like someone suggested in the comments. I think next time I will try to put it in the freezer for several hours as this was a little mushier than we prefer. Overall pretty good flavor though. We added chicken. Thanks for the recipe!

  • annieseats

    It definitely doesn’t need to be frozen, just refrigerated is fine. That’s why I don’t even attempt using fresh rice. Just easier that way!

  • Alicia

    This is a FABULOUS dish! We just had it for dinner and we loved it. I almost skipped out on the sprouts because I didn’t have them on hand, but I am so so glad I sent my hubby to the produce store. They were the perfect addition. Thanks again for all your great recipes!

  • Mary

    I made this last night- so easy & so delicious!

  • Krista

    If I forget, or don’t plan ahead to make the rice the day before or morning of, I cook it, then spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry out for a few (2 or 3) hours. It works just fine!

  • Shintalmo

    For white rice; I always bake it. Heat oven to 350. Spray 2qt. casserole dish wish non-stick spray. Put in 1 cup rice, salt to taste, and about 1T butter. Boil 2 cups water and pour over. Bake for 30 minutes ~ perfect every time.

    I’ve just recently started baking my brown rice, too. I usually use the same measurements as above, but bake it 45 minutes to an hour.

  • Colleen

    Love your site. I have tried many of your dishes and they are the best! Thanks

  • Carol F.

    I served this with some teriyaki chicken, and my husband and 3 year old loved it (and so did I). The leftovers were still great as well. No need for take out Chinese when you can make delicious recipes like this at home!

  • Farmgirl

    Loved it! Will make it again!

  • This is such a great recipe, thanks for sharing

  • AB

    I just made this for the second time and really enjoyed it. Thank you, Annie, for the recipe!