Chicken fried rice recipe with step by step photos. Easy, flavorful & restaurant style chicken fried rice with soft, tender & succulent pieces of chicken. This recipe is one of the best you can make at home under 15 minutes if you have the precooked rice ready.
Most of us love the chicken fried rice from Chinese restaurants & take outs. This detailed post will help you make the best chicken fried rice that is full of flavors & deliciousness.
It is highly impossible to replicate the flavors of Chinese foods made in restaurants as they use a Chinese wok. Using a carbon steel wok on a large burner would typically emit a smoky aroma to the fried rice.
A regular pan can never bring in such flavors. Over the years I have found that using a carbon steel wok or cast iron pan can bring similar flavors to some extent but not the same. So if you have a carbon steel wok, cast iron skillet or a pan do use it.
Chicken fried rice is made differently in each place and region. Here are some tips to help you choose your ingredients.
Tips to make chicken fried rice
- Always use al dente cooked non sticky & non mushy rice to make fried rice.
- You can choose medium to long grain rice that suit your taste. I personally prefer basmati rice.
- Ensure the rice is cooled completely before using it in the recipe. We do not eat leftover, stale or refrigerated rice at home so I cook the rice one hour ahead of making the fried rice. Cool it completely and use.
- You can cook the rice in a cooker, pot or instant pot. I personally prefer cooking it in a large pot with surplus water.
- When the rice is cooked al dente I drain the rice to a colander and cover it quickly. This helps the rice to fluff up well and prevent drying up.
- Some restaurants use broth to cook the rice as it flavors up the fried rice. If you have it then cook the rice in broth.
- Chop the chicken to small cubes or pieces. This helps it to get cooked well while frying it. Large chunks of chicken usually turn harder and rubbery as they need to be cooked for longer.
- I use raw chicken to make the fried rice. However you can also use precooked or boiled chicken.
Egg or corn starch
- Usually restaurants coat the chicken either with egg or corn starch before frying. Both these ingredients help the chicken to remain moist & juicy preventing it from turning rubbery or chewy.
- I personally do not prefer both so I brine the chicken in buttermilk for 4 hours to overnight before making the fried rice. But my family loves the egg coated chicken as it flavors up the fried rice. In this post I have used egg but given the substitutions.
- Soya sauce is the key ingredient to make a flavorful fried rice. To spice up the chicken fried rice, I sometimes use schezwan sauce or sriracha. So you can throw in your favorite sauces to add flavor and taste.
- Sometimes I skip all the sauces and use egg to flavor up the dish. For the heat I use green chilies and pepper.
- Scallions or spring onions: We love our chicken fried rice with lots of green onions as they add nutrition, flavor & taste. You can also skip and just use regular onions if you do not have spring onions.
- Bell peppers is another veggie you can use generously.
For more nutrition you can also add carrots, peas, corn & mushrooms if you like. These are the veggies I do not use in a chicken fried rice.
Preparation for Chicken fried rice
1. Wash rice in lot of water and soak for 20 mins. Drain off and cook in 3 to 4 cups water. When the rice is cooked al dente, drain it to a colander.
The rice must be firm and almost cooked but not mushy. Cover and rest for a while. Fluff up with a fork and cool completely.
2. Meanwhile prepare the veggies and garlic. You can also use green chilies for extra heat.
3. Ensure your chicken is cut to bite sized pieces. Add pepper, salt and 2 tbsps egg white. Instead of egg you can also add ¾ tbsp corn starch or corn flour. Mix this up well.
How to make chicken fried rice
4. Pour 1.5 tbsps oil to a hot wok or pan. When the oil turns hot, add the chicken. Stir fry for 3 to 4 mins stirring often. If the egg sticks to your pan, just scrape off with the spatula.
5. You can check if the chicken is cooked at this stage. Mine gets done under 4 mins. Push the chicken to one side of the pan. Then beat the rest of the egg and pour it.
6. Scramble it and fry until the egg is cooked through yet soft. Do not overcook. Remove it to a plate.
7. Pour another half tbsp oil and fry the garlic on the highest flame.
8. Then add spring onion whites, chilles (optional) and bell peppers. Stir fry for 1 to 2 mins.
9. Add the rice, soya sauce and pepper. You can also add your favorite sauces. Stir fry for a minute.
10. Add the chicken and the egg. Taste and add more salt or sauce at this stage.
11. Fry until the rice turns hot. Add spring onion greens.
Serve chicken fried rice hot.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 3 cups cooked rice (or ½ cup uncooked rice)
- salt as needed
- 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce organic (adjust to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed pepper (or pepper)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 to 2 green chilies (optional) or any hot sauce as desired
- 2 sprigs scallions or spring onions or 1 small onion (greens & whites separated)
- ¼ to ½ cup bell peppers chopped
For the chicken
- 150 grams chicken chopped to bite size
- 1 egg or ¾ tbsp corn starch or brine (refer notes)
- ½ teaspoon soya sauce
- 1 large pinch salt
- 1 large pinch crushed pepper (or powder)
- Wash rice at least twice and cook it al dente (firm & not mushy).
- Drain to a colander and cool it completely.
- Do not add hot rice to the wok while making chicken fried rice, it makes the rice mushy.
- Add chicken, a pinch of salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of egg white to a bowl.
- You can also simply replace the egg with corn starch. Mix together and set aside.
How to make chicken fried rice
- Pour 1½ tablespoon oil to a hot wok or pan.
- When the oil turns hot, transfer the chicken to the pan.
- Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked through.
- Move the chicken aside in the pan. Then beat the remaining egg and pour it.
- Scramble & cook the egg completely until it is firm but still soft.
- Remove the chicken & egg to a plate.
- Wipe off the wok or pan with a kitchen tissue.
- Pour another half tbsp oil to the same pan.
- Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
- Then add spring onion whites or scallions, chilies (optional) bell peppers and toss on a highest heat just for 2 mins.
- The bell peppers must be crunchy and not soft.
- Transfer the rice, pepper powder and pour soya sauce along with any other sauce you desire.
- Mix and fry on the highest flame for a minute.
- Then add the chicken and egg.
- Continue to fry until the rice turns hot. This takes just a minute or two.
- Check salt and add more if needed. Over frying will make the chicken fried rice hard.
- Serve chicken fried rice hot.
- Please use salt with caution. Most sauces are already salted.
- For best results I cook my rice with very little salt, then add a bit to the chicken. Lastly adjust while frying the rice.
- You can add any hot sauce for the extra heat. Adding 1 to 2 green chilies along with onions will add heat to your chicken fried rice.
- You can skip egg & corn starch from the recipe and just brine the chicken at least for 4 hours in ¾ cup of buttermilk. Drain and use it here. This keeps the chicken tender.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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