Egg Fried Rice is a staple of Chinese cuisine. This version keeps things super simple and plain so you can serve it as is on the side or add any proteins or vegetables to make it the star of the show!
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Every now and again I create a recipe and I truly wonder if it is too simple to publish. Should I add more, amp it up, make it unique? But then I look at how many of you guys come and look at my Basic Scones, my super simple Sausage Rolls, ultra easy Eggy Bread and importantly, my Plain Chow Mein recipe. And then I know, that these basic recipes are where its at.
Because whilst I’ve called this recipe “Plain” Egg Fried Rice, it really has two purposes. Its first and foremost an easy side dish. Even in the most fancy of feasts, we need some easy, and simple sides which complement the stronger flavours of the hero dishes like Sweet Chilli Salmon or Satay Sprouts.
The second purpose is as a base recipe. You can add nearly anything to this fried rice such as leftover chicken, quick cooked prawns, stir fried vegetables or even chopped up sausage and bacon (don’t judge me).
And I will take this opportunity to admit that this isn’t 100% “plain” as I have added peas. But egg fried rice without peas is like risotto without onion or macaroni without cheese. So I’m sorry, not at all sorry. But if you don’t want/have/like peas, then simply don’t add them.
How to Serve Egg Fried Rice
As I’ve mentioned, you can serve this as is on the side (or underneath) of other main dishes. It doesn’t matter whether you are plating up or serving family style.
The only real thing that I would suggest it to cook and serve it hot. Or at least reheat just before serving. I find that rice cools quite quickly and it is better eaten hot.
Make Plain Egg Fried Rice into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Fried rice makes an excellent substitution to the sticky rice in any of my Asian Feasts. Its vegetarian so will work especially perfectly with my Vegetarian Asian Feast. It is also an ideal side with my veggie Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry, Satay Sprouts or Chilli Ginger Courgettes.
Or for a meatier feast, fried rice is terrific served with dishes like my Sweet Chilli Chicken Thighs or Salmon, Satay Chicken Skewers or Korean Belly Pork. Or even with leftover Roast Chicken or Roast Beef thrown in during the stir fry process.
Don’t forget to head over to the Big Asian Feast post for all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my other feast collections and all my Asian inspired recipes.
Ingredients for Simple Egg Fried Rice
The rice must be precooked and must be cold before being fried. You really should not cook and then fry rice because it will turn to mush. It is therefore an ideal dish for using up leftover boiled rice.
As for the type of rice, I would always err towards a long grain rice. Ideally white but brown would be fine too. Brown will add a nuttiness to the finished dish. You could use basmati but I would steer clear from using sticky rice.
Because I like to eat Egg Fried Rice much more often than I cook straight long grain rice, I always keep some microwaveable sachets of rice in the pantry. Make sure to buy one without any flavourings and they’re endlessly versatile.
This recipe is super forgiving. Use any egg you like. Old or young. Use duck eggs if you please. If you are using something that is a super different size from a standard large hen’s egg, you might want to adjust the quantities. You will want more than 2 quails eggs for example. But seriously, who is making fried rice with quails eggs?!
I always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. Usually just garden peas but sometimes I buy petite pois (small peas). No idea wht we go french for small ones but not for regular!
Frozen peas cook in moments and they can’t be thrown straight into the pan with the rice without needing to be thawed. You could use tinned instead or even fresh. If you have large fresh peas, you might want to give them a quick boil first in case the end up a little hard.
I am obsessed with garlic salt. It is a really easy way of adding garlic flavour without using fresh garlic which is so easy to burn, especially in a hot wok without much moisture. Look for the varieties that don’t include onion powder as that adds an extra flavour we’re not looking for.
You could add a little fresh garlic puree and sea salt if you don’t have garlic salt. Just watch that it doesn’t catch.
You can not add the peas or indeed not add the egg to make truly plain fried rice. But he flexibility of this recipe really lies in what you can add to it, rather than what you can change.
You can make a simple chicken fried rice by throwing in leftover chicken along with the peas. Simply ensure that the chicken is piping hot before serving. The exact same deal applies to make pork fried rice, lamb fried rice or beef fried rice. All of these are fab dishes and can be served on their own as a one pan dish.
You can also do exactly the same to make a seafood or vegetable fried rice.
If you don’t have leftovers but you still want to turn this recipe into a main course, you should fry up your protein or vegetables of choice first then add the rice and continue with the recipe as normal. Add a little simple seasoning like extra garlic salt and maybe some extra soy as you’re cooking.
I especially love to do this with king prawns. They take moments to cook so you can have a main meal ready in less than 15 minutes.,
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
My Plain Egg Fried Rice recipe is suitable for vegetarians.
The only ingredient that is not suitable for vegans in this recipe is the egg. You can easily omit it or replace it with a vegan egg substitute liquid product.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from dairy and nuts.
Gluten Free: To make this recipe gluten free, simply use a gluten free soy sauce. Tamari is naturally gluten free or you can use a total substitute like Coconut Aminos.
Egg Free: Just like with the vegan option, you can either omit the egg or replace it with an liquid egg free substitute.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Plain Egg Fried Rice
The piece of equipment that is almost but not quite essential to great stir frying is a good wok. I highly recommend investing in a thin, carbon steel wok rather than a tefal type non stick number.
The carbon steel woks conduct the heat up the sides of the pan much better. This gives you much more even cooking at a higher temperature. The pan will become well seasoned and naturally non stick in no time.
I also make sure to have a good spatula with a flat bottom so I can make sure that I am scraping the food from around the sides of the pan effectively. It is traditional to cook with chopsticks but that is a skill level that I simply do not possess.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The only thing you really need to get ahead with is ensuring that you have pre-cooked and cooled rice. If you are not using packet rice, then you want to be cooking your rice no less than 8 or so hours before you start to cook.
You can totally cook the dish and then reheat it just before serving. Or even take it to the egg adding stage and do that bit last minute. But the whole dish is so quick to prepare, there aren’t whole heaps of benefit to making it in advance.
Leftover Chinese Fried Rice
Like many foods, egg fried rice is often considered to be better then next day. I tend to simply microwave it covered. I may add a little water if it is looking a tad on the dry side.
You can also re-wok it. Again, you might want to add a little water to ensure it isn’t dry.
Any further leftovers can be frozen, thawed and reheated.
Perfect Fried Rice Tips
Use cold rice. Have I said this enough yet?!
Have everything ready to go next to the stove. You do not want to be handing around and doing other things while stir frying. You need the wok handle in one hand and your spatula in the other at nearly all times. Stir stir stir.
If you think things are looking too dry, never add oil to the pan. You can however add a little water if you wish. This tip applies to basically all stir frying.
Turn your hob to high and leave it there. This is not low and slow cooking. Don’t be afraid of heat.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Veggie Recipes
Plain Egg Fried Rice (Chinese Fakeaway)
- 2 Spring Onions (Scallions)
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 250 g Ready Cooked Long Grain Rice
- 70 g Frozen Peas
- ¼ tsp Garlic Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
- Gather all the ingredients near to the stovetop.
- Put a wok onto a high heat.
- Thinly chop thin rounds from 2 Spring Onions while the wok heats. Reserve a little of the green slices for a garnish.
- Add 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil to the smoking wok and swirl it around the pan.
- Fry the chopped spring onion for 30 second constantly moving it around the wok.
- Add 250g Ready Cooked Long Grain Rice to the wok and use your spatula to break up the rice as you stir it around the pan. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add 70g Frozen Peas and ¼ tsp Garlic Salt. Fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Make a well in the centre of the rice.
- Quickly crack in 2 Eggs and add 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce.
- Immediately stir them around within the well until nearly cooked through.
- Incorporate the egg into the rice until everything is all mixed together.
- Serve. Garnish with some reserved spring onion.