Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice
5 from 1 vote
Chicken fried rice is a quick and easy dinner option that is delicious and satisfying. This classic Chinese dish is made with fluffy rice, tender chicken, and a variety of vegetables that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken fried rice is a staple dish in many cuisines, particularly in Asian cooking, where its versatility and simplicity have made it a beloved meal across generations. Originating from China, this dish has evolved and adapted, taking on unique flavours and ingredients in different parts of the world.

At its core, chicken fried rice is about balance and harmony in cooking. Its preparation isn’t complicated, making it a great option for those starting their culinary journey.

The process involves stir-frying rice with a mix of chicken, vegetables, and a variety of seasonings to create a meal that is both nutritious and full of flavour.

There are numerous variations of this recipe, each reflecting the culinary traditions of the region it comes from.

Some versions include the addition of different meats like shrimp, while others focus on a vegetarian approach, incorporating a wider array of vegetables. The beauty of chicken fried rice lies in its adaptability; it’s a dish that encourages experimentation and personalisation.

The recipe’s history is as rich as its flavour profile. It’s believed to have originated in China as a way to avoid wasting leftover rice. Over time, it transformed from a simple, economical meal into a canvas for culinary artistry, showcasing the creativity and skill of the cook.

In this version of chicken fried rice, we’re using ingredients that are commonly found and easy to work with.

Basmati rice brings a unique aroma and light texture to the dish, while the chicken adds a rich source of protein. Vegetables like carrots, onions, and peas not only provide essential nutrients but also contribute to the vibrant colours and textures of the meal.

A key aspect of making perfect chicken fried rice is getting the rice right. It should be cooked until just tender, avoiding overcooking which can lead to mushy fried rice.

The lightly beaten eggs are scrambled and mixed with the rice, offering a creamy texture and richness.

This dish is also an excellent way to incorporate leftover rice and chicken, making it a practical and economical choice for a meal. The final touch of soy sauce brings everything together, adding a depth of flavour that is quintessentially Asian.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, this recipe offers a delightful experience that’s sure to become a regular in your cooking repertoire.

Expert Tip: When cooking chicken fried rice, use high heat to get that authentic stir-fry flavour. High heat cooks the ingredients quickly and helps them retain their texture and nutrients.

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Basmati rice: Basmati rice is a fantastic choice for chicken fried rice due to its long, slender grains that cook up light and fluffy. This type of rice doesn’t clump together as much as shorter grains, making it ideal for stir-frying. It absorbs the flavours of the soy sauce and other ingredients beautifully, providing a perfect base for the dish.

If you don’t have basmati rice, jasmine rice is a great alternative, offering a similar texture and a slightly different, but equally delightful, aroma.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast: Chicken breast is lean, cooks quickly, and pairs wonderfully with the various flavours in this recipe.

Its mild taste allows the other ingredients, like the garlic and soy sauce, to shine through, while providing a satisfying source of protein. If you prefer, you can substitute the chicken breast with thigh meat for a juicier texture, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.

Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for its high smoke point, making it suitable for the high-heat stir-frying required in this recipe. It doesn’t overpower the other flavours, ensuring a balanced taste. For a healthier option, you can use olive oil, though it may slightly alter the flavour profile.

Onion: Onion adds a depth of flavour and a subtle sweetness when cooked. It’s a key aromatic that forms the base flavour of many dishes, including chicken fried rice. If onions aren’t your favourite, you can use shallots for a milder taste.

Garlic cloves: Garlic is essential for its pungent, earthy flavour, which enhances the overall taste of the dish. It brings a warmth and complexity that’s hard to replicate with other ingredients. If fresh garlic isn’t available, garlic powder can be used as a substitute, although the taste might be slightly different.

Carrots: Carrots add a pop of colour, a hint of sweetness, and a crunchy texture to the fried rice. They also contribute beneficial nutrients and fibre. If you’re not a fan of carrots, consider using bell peppers or broccoli for a similar crunch.

Frozen peas: Peas bring a fresh, sweet contrast to the savoury elements of the dish. They cook quickly and are a convenient way to add vegetables to your meal. Green beans or corn can be used as an alternative if peas aren’t available or preferred.

Eggs: Eggs add richness and a creamy texture to the fried rice. They blend seamlessly with the other ingredients, offering a contrast in texture and flavour. For those who don’t eat eggs, scrambled tofu can be a good substitute.

Soy sauce: Soy sauce is key for its salty, umami flavour. It ties all the components of the dish together and creates that distinctive Asian taste. If you need a gluten-free option, tamari is a good substitute.

Salt and pepper: These seasonings are used to enhance the natural flavours of the other ingredients. They’re staples in most kitchens and can be adjusted according to personal taste.

Fresh coriander: Coriander adds a fresh, citrusy note to the dish. It’s an optional garnish that brings a burst of colour and a hint of freshness. If you’re not a fan of coriander, you can leave it out or replace it with parsley or green onions for a similar effect.

Expert Tip: Don’t shy away from experimenting with seasonings in your chicken fried rice. A dash of sesame oil or a sprinkle of chilli flakes can add an extra layer of flavour to elevate the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make chicken fried rice with leftover rice?

Absolutely! In fact, using leftover rice can often yield better results in fried rice recipes. Leftover rice is drier, which helps it fry better and not turn mushy. Just make sure the rice was stored properly in the fridge.

How can I prevent the rice from sticking to the pan?

The key is to use a well-seasoned wok or non-stick pan and to ensure the oil is hot before adding your rice. Stirring constantly and not overcrowding the pan also helps prevent sticking.

Can chicken fried rice be made vegetarian?

Yes, it’s easy to turn this dish into a vegetarian delight. Replace the chicken with tofu or just increase the quantity of vegetables. You can also add different kinds of veggies like bell peppers, baby corn, or mushrooms for variety.

Is chicken fried rice healthy?

Chicken fried rice can be a balanced meal with protein from the chicken, carbs from the rice, and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. Using less oil and sodium-rich sauces can make it healthier.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover chicken fried rice?

The best way to reheat chicken fried rice is in a pan over medium heat. Add a little water or chicken broth to keep the rice moist. Microwaving is also an option, though the texture might change slightly.

Expert Tip: To keep your fried rice from getting soggy, make sure the rice is cooked and completely cooled before using it. Chilled rice fries better and keeps its texture.

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Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

by Nabeela Kauser
Chicken fried rice is a quick and easy dinner option that is delicious and satisfying. This classic Chinese dish is made with fluffy rice, tender chicken, and a variety of vegetables that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 577 kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 g Rice Basmati
  • 500 g Chicken Breast Boneless, skinless
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 2 Carrots Peeled, diced
  • 100 g Peas Frozen
  • 2 Eggs Lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • Salt To taste
  • Black Pepper To taste
  • Coriander Optional, garnish

Instructions

  • Begin by rinsing the rice in a sieve and placing it in a saucepan with 600ml of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer.
  • Cover the saucepan and let it cook for 10-12 minutes or until the rice becomes tender and the water is fully absorbed.
  • Afterward, take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. Set it aside.
  • While the rice is cooking, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill each side for approximately 5-6 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • Once it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes before using a fork to shred it.
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until soft and aromatic.
  • Next, add the carrots and stir-fry for an additional 3-4 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  • Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and pour the beaten eggs into the other side.
  • Scramble them for around 30 seconds until they are fully cooked, then mix them in with the vegetables.
  • Add the shredded chicken and frozen peas to the pan and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the peas are heated through.
  • Finally, add the cooked rice and soy sauce to the pan and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes or until the rice is fully coated and heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Serve the dish hot, garnished with fresh coriander if desired.

Notes

If you don’t have a wok, you can use a large non-stick frying pan instead.
You can substitute the chicken with prawns, beef or tofu if preferred.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 577kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 34gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 2352mgPotassium: 810mgFibre: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5417IUVitamin C: 14mgVitamin D: 1µgCalcium: 76mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken, Dinner, Food, Fried Rice, Healthy, Meat, Recipe, Rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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