Pork Fried Rice is a quick, easy, and delicious one-pot meal. It’s also the best way to use up leftover cooked rice.
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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 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 it 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.
Use leftover rice for best results
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, 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
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 ingredients do you need?
- 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 it?
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.
Fried rice also makes a great side dish. Serve it as part of a multi-dish Chinese meal.
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- 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.
1. You can use pre-cooked meat (char siu, leftovers from your Chinese takeout, etc.) or raw thinly sliced or ground pork or diced pork belly or bacon.
2. Feel free to add any leftover cooked vegetables you have on hand.
Amount Per Serving Calories 627Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 291mgSodium 1565mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 48g
Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.