A quick recipe for takeaway-style chicken fried rice with loads of flavour. I've included lots of swaps so you can use up whatever you've got in your pantry.
This chicken fried rice is such a great recipe for using up leftover scraps of chicken from your roast chicken dinner.
We hate seeing food go to waste, and will always try to find ways to turn leftovers into further meals or freeze for another day.
One thing that's become a ritual after I make a roast dinner, is Chris slicing up any leftover meat into one parcel for sandwiches/salads, then wrapping up shreds of meat for fried rice or soup, and then boiling up the carcass for stock.
So I'm using leftover roast chicken for this recipe. You can use rotisserie chicken, cooked chicken breast or other cooked and sliced/shredded meat if you prefer.
What do we need?
How to make chicken fried rice
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Soften a chopped onion in the wok in a little oil. Then add chopped red pepper, garlic and peas and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add cooked shredded chicken, a splash of sesame oil and cold boiled rice. Turn up the heat to high and keep tossing everything together in the wok until the rice is hot.
- Once the rice is hot, push the rice over to the side of the pan and crack the two eggs in the space, then add a little splash of soy sauce. Stir the eggs, heating through until lightly scrambled, then stir the eggs into the rice.
- Add in more soy sauce, plus salt and a squirt of lemon juice and give everything a good stir.
Serve topped with spring onions (scallions).
I quite like a drizzle of sriracha on mine too.
You can serve the rice as a meal in its own right, or you can have serve it with a few sides, or even serve the rice as a side dish.
Why not serve as part of a Chinese banquet with some of these recipes
Homemade Crispy Duck with Spicy Plum Sauce (full masterclass recipe)
Sticky Sesame chicken
Crispy Sesame Prawn Toast
Spicy Ginger Beef
Sticky Chinese Pork Belly – melt-in-the-mouth tender
Baked Cauliflower Wings in a delicious Asian sauce
Oven-Baked Ribs with Crispy Onions
The boiled rice - getting it right every time
To make the best fried rice, it's really important to get the boiled rice bit right first.
It needs to be boiled (I've got a simple tutorial here for how to boil rice in a pan perfectly), then cooled, so the rice dries out a little.
This will help stop the rice from sticking together and will also help it to absorb more flavour.
Can I use ready-cooked rice sachets?
Yes! If you want a really quick meal, then ready-cooked rice is a pretty good option.
Personally I don't think the flavour is quite as good with ready-cooked rice. This is often made from easy-cook rice, which is is less starchy. In one way the less starchy rice is good, because it stops the rice sticking together. But less starchy rice absorbs less flavour.
I would still totally use ready-cooked rice if I needed dinner super-quick though.
Swaps for fried rice
- Swap out the chicken for cooked shredded/sliced pork or beef.
- You could also add ham, crispy bacon and/or cooked chorizo pieces.
- If you want more veggies, add in cooked carrots, sweetcorn, broccoli, mushrooms, sugarsnap peas, canned beansprouts or canned bamboo shoots.