Chicken Fried Rice – Restaurant Quality! (VIDEO)

5 from 46 votes
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Chicken Fried Rice might be your favorite Chinese Takeout dish but you won’t need to order it anymore once you start making it at home! This is going to be your go-to recipe because of my key tips that will help you make restaurant quality Chicken Fried Rice while keeping it quick, easy, and super customizable to your preferences!

Chicken Fried rice plated in a wooden bowl.

Watch the Chicken Fried Rice Recipe Video Below!

Ingredients for Chicken Fried Rice

You won’t need to order this anymore once you make my recipe at home – but don’t be fooled by all of the recipes claiming to be “better than takeout”. There are a few key steps and ingredients I recommend to make the best Chicken Fried Rice at home!

Raw vegetables, eggs, and rice in bowls
  • Chicken – I use thinly sliced chicken breast in this recipe but you can easily substitute with chicken thigh. If you are looking for a recipe with similar flavors without chicken, check out my Egg Fried Rice recipe. If you prefer shrimp, I have a recipe on how to make restaurant quality Shrimp Fried Rice.
  • Soy Sauce – You will need “light” (not “low sodium”) or “all-purpose” soy sauce. Do NOT use dark soy sauce, as it is too intense for a fried rice recipe.
  • Shaoxing Wine – This is one of my favorite Chinese pantry staples. It adds a depth of flavor and complexity to the sauce and truly one of my “secret ingredients” for making restaurant quality Chinese food. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with mirin, sherry, or even chicken broth.
  • White Pepper – I love white pepper and it’s used very commonly in Chinese cooking (another “secret ingredient” for cooking restaurant quality Chinese food at home). It has an earthier, less spicy flavor than black pepper. I recommend having some in your pantry but if you can’t find it, you can always substitute with black pepper.
  • Sesame Oil – A little bit goes a long way but adds a nice toasted, sesame flavor to the chicken marinade. If you don’t have it, you can omit this.
  • Cornstarch – Using cornstarch in your chicken marinade will help give the chicken the texture you’re used to in takeout fried rice!
  • Rice – I prefer long grain white rice for this recipe due to the lower moisture content but you can substitute with another white rice, if needed.
    • PRO TIP: Do not use freshly steamed rice! The rice should be dried out in the fridge overnight to reduce moisture in the rice. Too much moisture in the rice will make your fried rice soggy and mushy – and we don’t want that!
  • Onion, Garlic, Scallions – These are your aromatics AKA your best friend in building flavor.
  • Carrots, Peas – Most takeout restaurants use carrots and peas; this is what I like to use, too! However, you can always customize this to your liking!
  • MSG – I like to use MSG in my cooking but this is always optional.
  • Neutral Oil – I use avocado oil as my go-to neutral oil. You can also use canola or vegetable oil. DO NOT use sesame oil or olive oil!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make the Best Chicken Fried Rice – Step by Step

1. Marinate Your Chicken

First step is to marinate your chicken! Take your chicken breast and slice into thin 1/2″ pieces. Place in a bowl. Marinate with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, sesame oil, salt, and cornstarch. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Chicken marinated in a bowl.

2. Prepare Your Vegetables, Eggs, and Sauce

Once you start cooking, Chicken Fried Rice will come together very quickly! Therefore, it’s crucial you have everything ready to go.

  1. Chop your vegetables and set aside.
  2. Beat your eggs and set aside.
  3. Prepare your soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper salt, and MSG and set aside.

PRO TIP: Just make sure to cut up the vegetables to similar shaped sizes so they cook evenly, and frozen vegetables work well!

3. Cook The Chicken

Over high heat, add 2 tbsp of oil; once the oil starts simmering, add your chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Cooked chicken in a wok.

4. Sauté The Aromatics

If needed, add more oil; add your garlic, onion, and scallion WHITES only and fry for 1 minute. After 1 minute, add your carrots and peas; cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Cook The Egg

Push your vegetables to the side and add 1/2 tbsp of oil. Add your beaten eggs and cook until about 80% done. Fold your eggs into the vegetables and mix well.

6. Add Rice and Seasonings

When eggs are scrambled and mixed with the vegetables, add the rice. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar, MSG, and salt (to taste). Incorporate rice into the eggs and vegetables as you fry over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Everything should be well incorporated and rice grains should be dry and separated.

Add back the cooked chicken and the chopped scallion greens. Cook for 1 minute then drizzle with sesame oil and enjoy!

Cooking With a Wok (Alternatives)

By now, you know that I LOVE cooking with my carbon steel wok! It is my #1 most recommended kitchen tool, as I believe it is perfect for high-heat cooking and results in restaurant quality Chinese food!

If it is your first time cooking with a wok, make sure to read my “How To Season a Wok” post. There is a video included that shows exactly how to season your brand new wok and how to maintain it so it lasts for years.

If you cannot or do not want to use a wok, you can use a large pan, cast iron, or even a Dutch oven.

My KEY TIP would be to avoid crowding your pan – crowding can lead to your Chicken Fried Rice not cooking thoroughly and becoming mushy. If you think your dish will be crowded, use a larger pan, cast iron, or Dutch oven, OR cook in batches.

EXPERT TIPS

Expert Tips For Chicken Fried Rice

  • Do not use freshly steamed rice! Freshly steamed rice has too much moisture, which will make your fried rice soggy and mushy. If you need to dry out your rice quickly, I like to lay the rice in a thin layer on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator uncovered (at least overnight is best).
  • What vegetables can I use? The best part about this dish is that you can use any vegetables you like! The key tip is to chop them up in similar sizes to ensure they cook evenly. I will mix up the vegetables based on what is in my refrigerator – here are some vegetables I’ve used in the past:
    • corn
    • mushrooms
    • broccoli
    • asparagus
    • zucchini
    • cabbage
  • Can I use chicken thigh instead? YES! The beauty of this recipe is how customizable it is!
  • Can I use shrimp instead? If you are looking to make fried rice with shrimp, I recommend you make my Shrimp Fried Rice recipe instead!
  • I don’t have chicken / Do you have a vegetarian fried rice recipe I can make? Yes! Check out my Egg Fried Rice recipe or my Mushroom Fried Rice for some great vegetarian options!

What Can I Serve With Chicken Fried Rice?

The answer is what can you NOT serve with! This dish is so versatile, you can eat it as a main dish or serve alongside other takeout classics – I personally love it with the classic Beef and Broccoli. If you’re looking for other Chinese takeout chicken dishes to make alongside it, I would go for Sesame Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, or Black Pepper Chicken. If you want some vegetables to go with dish, I would make my viral Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad or Din Tai Fung Garlic Green Beans!

Storage

You can store this in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days!

If you tried this Chicken Fried Rice or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 46 votes

Chicken Fried Rice (Video)

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chicken Fried Rice plated in a wooden bowl
Chicken Fried Rice is a takeout classic that never disappoints – and you're going to LOVE how easy it is to make at home. I have a couple key tips to make a restaurant quality fried rice, while still keeping it quick, delicious and easily adjustable to your preferences!

Equipment

Ingredients 

Chicken

Rice & Vegetables

  • 2 cups white rice, at least one day old
  • 1 onion, small, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 carrots, medium, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 4 scallions, chopped, with greens & white separated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp msg, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • neutral oil, avocado, canola, or vegetable

Instructions 

  • Slice chicken breast into thin 1/2" pieces and place in a bowl. Marinate with soy sauce, shaoxing wine, white pepper, sesame oil, salt and cornstarch for 15-20 minutes.
  • Chop your vegetables and beat eggs and set aside. Prepare soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, salt, and msg next to your pan for easy access.
  • Over high heat, add 2 tbsp of oil until shimmering and cook your chicken breast for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  • Add more oil if needed, then fry garlic, onion, and scallion whites for 1 minute, followed by your carrots and peas for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Push the vegetables to the side, then add 1/2 tbsp of oil and fry your eggs until 80% cooked through. Fold the eggs into the vegetables.
  • Immediately add your day-old rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar, msg, and salt to taste. Fry over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until everything is well incorporated and the rice is relatively dry.
  • Add back the chicken and scallion greens and cook for another minute. Finish with sesame oil and enjoy!

Notes

KEY TIPS:
    • Do not use freshly steamed rice! Freshly steamed rice has too much moisture, which will make your fried rice soggy and mushy. If you need to dry out your rice quickly, I like to lay the rice in a thin layer on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator uncovered (at least overnight is best).
    • What other vegetables can I use? The best part about this dish is that you can use any vegetables you like! The key tip is to chop them up in similar sizes to ensure they cook evenly. Corn, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and cabbage all work well!
    • Can I use chicken thigh instead? YES! The beauty of this recipe is how customizable it is!
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Storage

You can store this in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days!

Nutrition

Calories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 25gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1172mgPotassium: 604mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5490IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating




42 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The easiest and literally best tasting fried rice. I normally add a little oyster sauce to my fried rice but this doesn’t need it at all!