You may have prepared egg fried rice at home many times, but with this simple recipe of mine, your home-style fried rice will become best ever restaurant style Chinese egg fried rice which everyone will keep craving for more!
Fried rice is my go-to dish whenever I have to pack my lunch to work. With RTO (Return to Office) back in action, I do have to get my lunch box packed at least twice a week and since I avoid eating out, especially at work, I make it a point to have something filling as well as nutritious as my working lunch.
This Chinese egg fried rice is a frequent item that I carry often. You may debate that rice might make you sleepy and I don’t deny that, but rice with eggs and aromatics is a balanced lunch for me with right amount of carb and protein.
With the right portion, you should be able to manage afternoon sleepiness even after eating this simple egg fried rice.
Why this is the best egg fried rice
I was trying to imitate the authentic flavor of Chinese fried rice that we get in any authentic Chinese restaurant since ages. Whenever I used to make my version of egg fried rice, that deep umami flavor was missing.
Hence after going through multiple authentic Chinese food blogs and watching many YouTube videos, I finally realized what I was missing. I was just making it too complicated whereas this is a very simple recipe with common ingredients; it just needs some time while stir-frying to let the deep umami flavor develop during cooking.
This one turned out to be so flavorful that I didn’t need any vegetables or extras to make it special. After recreating this Chinese egg fried rice multiple times, I finally arrived at the version that I like the most and I’m sure you will like it too as much as I did.
Ingredients for Chinese egg fried rice
Below are the bare minimum ingredients you will need to make a restaurant style egg fried rice at home. If you want to make it fancy, you can add any other vegetables of your choice. But I wanted to keep it simple and hence I majorly focused on the aromatics which bring that deep umami flavor that we all are attracted to.
Rice: To make best Chinese egg fried rice, you must use cold rice which is prepared a day ahead. You can use any type of rice – short grain or long grain; just ensure to cook it until it’s soft but not mushy. Rice will continue to cook while stir frying, so mushy rise will become soggy.
Egg: You can use any egg of your choice, white or brown. For 2 servings you can use 2 to 3 eggs.
Garlic: Garlic is the most important aromatic for making restaurant style flavorful egg fried rice. Hence be generous with garlic; you will need at least 3 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic for 2 servings of fried rice.
Ginger: Ginger is the second most important aromatic which lends a deep earthy flavor. You will need one tablespoon of finely chopped ginger.
Green/Red chilli: Fresh chillies are must in egg fried rice to give it that right amount of heat without making it too spicy. You can use green chilli or fresh red chilli whichever you have handy, but traditionally fresh red chillies are used.
Spring onion/Scallion: No Chinese dish is complete without spring onion. You will need at least 5 to 6 spring onions stalks with white and green parts separately chopped. Use the white part during stir frying and green for garnishing.
Soy sauce: Finally comes the quintessential ingredient of Chinese cooking that is soy sauce. You may use light or dark soy sauce or even a low sodium version. Try to use a naturally brewed soy sauce which gives much more authentic umami flavor.
Vinegar: To give your fried rice a tangy kick, you will need a dash of vinegar. Traditionally Chinese rice wine vinegar is used in any Chinese dish, but if you have only white vinegar handy, feel free to use that as without the tartness, your fried rice will not have the complete flavor.
Sugar: Use brown or white sugar to round up all the savory flavors from aromatics, soy sauce and vinegar.
Vegetable oil: Any flavorless vegetable oil will be ideal for fried rice – Canola, sunflower or peanut oil are popular choices.
Salt & Pepper: Finally use salt and paper as per your taste.
How to make Chinese egg fried rice
I can break down this process into two parts – making the rice and then assembling everything to convert it to the best ever Chinese egg fried rice!
Step 1: First step is to make rice. Wash the rise in running cold water. Cook washed rice in boiling water until soft but not mushy. Once the rice is cooked and cold, store in refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not use freshly cooked rice for making fried rice. Cold refrigerated rice has very less moisture and hence the fried rice comes out fluffy.
Step 2: Prepare all the aromatics. Finely chop garlic, ginger and chillies. Separate whites and greens of spring onions and finely chop each part.
Step 3: First make the scrambled egg. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in your wok and pour the salted beaten eggs to it. Swirl the wok to make a large omelette, then cut it into small pieces using metal spatula. Once the eggs are fully cooked, transfer to a small bowl and set it aside.
Step 4: It is time to make the egg fried rice. Keep all the ingredients within reach because the stir frying happens really fast. Heat about 4 tablespoon of oil in your wok. Once the oil is smoking hot, reduce the heat to medium and add all the aromatics – chopped garlic, ginger, chillies. Stir fry them until aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the spring onion whites and keep frying for another 2 minutes.
Step 6: Now add the cold rice and keep stirring on medium high heat. Refrigerated rice tends to clump; so break them using the spatula and mix with all the aromatics.
Step 7: Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and keep stir frying on medium high heat for at least 6 to 8 minutes. The rise will gradually change color and become deep brown which is exactly what you want. This will build and enhance the flavor of your Chinese egg fried rice.
Step 8: Finally add the scrambled eggs & spring onion greens and give a final mix. Your restaurant style Chinese egg fried rice is ready to serve.
If you are fond of Asian fried rice, my blog has ample recipes that you will like. You can check out my favorite ones below:
- Thai chili basil fried rice
- Shrimp fried rice
- Special chicken fried rice
- Mushroom fried rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Cooked rice - 4 cups
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp + 1 tsp for eggs
- Egg – 2
- Garlic – 15 to 16 cloves, about 3 tbsp of chopped garlic
- Ginger – 1 inch piece, about 1 tbsp of chopped ginger
- Fresh chillies (red or green) - 4 to 5, finely chopped
- Spring onion - 6 stalks, white and greens separated and finely chopped
- Soy sauce – 1 tbsp if dark soy and 2 tbsp if light
- Vinegar – 1tbsp
- Sugar – 2 tsp (preferably brown sugar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the scrambled eggs by heating one teaspoon of oil in your wok and pouring the salted beaten eggs to it. Scramble the egg using a metal spatula. Once eggs are cooked take it out in a small bowl and set it aside.
- Heat remaining oil in the wok. Once the oil is smoking hot, add all the aromatics – ginger, garlic & fresh chillies and stir fry them on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are fragrant.
- Next add spring onion whites and stir fry for 2 more minutes. Now add the cold rice and using the metal spatula break any lumps that you may have in refrigerated rice. Mix the rice well with the aromatics.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and continue to stir fry on medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes until the rice turns deep brown. This is when the deep umami flavor will build converting it to a restaurant style Chinese egg fried rice.
- Finally add the scrambled eggs & spring onion greens and give a final mix. Check and adjust for seasoning if needed.
- Switch off the heat and your best ever Chinese egg fried rice is ready to serve! Enjoy!