I never order chicken fried rice from restaurants because I know how easy it is to make at home. As I type this sentence, I am realizing how much I am turning into Mama Lin. But it’s true—anyone can cook this dish! All you need is rice, chicken, vegetables, eggs, and a few seasonings.
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN FRIED RICE
USING DAY-OLD RICE
One of the keys to cooking a good fried rice is making sure that the rice is the right consistency. You don’t want to use freshly cooked rice because there is still too much moisture the rice. Typically, you want to use day-old jasmine rice.
If you forget to make the rice ahead, I have a trick for you. Spread freshly cooked rice onto plates or a baking sheet and let it cool at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. The rice should dry out a bit during this time.
For those of you looking for a guide on how to cook rice, here are my tips on how to cook perfect jasmine rice.
PREPARING VEGETABLES AND CHICKEN
If possible, try to chop everything into small, bite-sized pieces. Generally, I chop the vegetables into 1/4-inch pieces and the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.
COOK INGREDIENTS SEPARATELY
When I’m making this fried rice, I first cook the eggs and chicken separately. Then, I add them to the vegetables and rice at the end. This prevents overcrowding in the wok when I’m cooking the ingredients.
I typically season my fried rice at the end with soy sauce, sesame oil, five-spice powder, and white pepper. If you are looking for variations, try flavoring the chicken fried rice with my teriyaki sauce or sweet chili sauce.
MORE FRIED RICE RECIPES
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN FRIED RICE
- Chinese Garlic Cucumber Salad
- Kung Pao Tofu Stir Fry
- 10-Minute Chilled Tofu Appetizer
- Green Papaya Salad
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or any high heat oil), divided
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 2/3 cup diced yellow onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed (see note)
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, optional
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and season it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set the chicken aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Heat a wok (or large sauté pan) over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl it around. Add the whisked eggs and scramble them quickly with a spatula. Cook the eggs for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until they’re no longer runny. Turn off the heat and transfer the eggs to a plate. Wipe down the wok or sauté pan.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and let them cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken to another plate.
- Drizzle the last tablespoon of oil into the wok over high heat. Add the onions and cook them for about 1 minute, until they start to soften. Mix in the minced garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the carrots and red bell pepper and sauté for about 2 minutes. Next, add the peas, rice, five-spice powder, and white pepper. Toss the ingredients together. Use the back of a spatula to break up any large clumps of rice.
- Once the rice has heated through, about a few minutes, add the cooked eggs and chicken and toss everything together. Finally, add the scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or soy sauce if necessary. Serve the chicken fried rice immediately.
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