This healthy fried rice recipe combines simple ingredients with leftover rice to create a well-balanced, Asian-themed dinner. Not only is it loaded with authentic flavor, but cooking time is minimal too!
Don’t feel like cooking, but don’t fancy a quick and easy stir fry?
I love to cook this anytime I have some leftover rice, and it’s a lifesaver!
This easy fried rice recipe is ready in minutes and rivals the finest Chinese takeout in town (I swear!).
All you need is a large wok or frying pan, some day-old rice, a handful of nutritious veggies, and some hot oil!
Also check out more Healthy Rice Recipes You’ll Love!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cooked brown rice: You can use white rice if it’s all you have to hand, but brown rice is packed with fiber, is a whole grain, and digests more slowly. In short, it’s more nutritious! Jasmine rice or cauliflower rice are also delicious, BTW!
- Eggs: I recommend using ethically sourced eggs for several reasons. Hens are allowed to roam freely, providing them with more space and a better life. And this helps the eggs be more nutritious for us, with more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Win-win!
- Extra virgin olive oil: The base that allows you to fry those glorious aromatics! Olive is the best oil to use as it’s smooth and packed with antioxidants. But sesame or avocado oil can work equally well.
- Onion: Crucial for getting that traditional savory flavor and a bunch of aromatic goodness with virtually no effort. I suggest using yellow onion or white onion for this recipe.
- Garlic: Instantly lifts the flavor of the rice and contains vitamins C and B6. It even contains the antioxidant allicin!
- Ginger: For a signature spicy flavor that adds warmth to this healthy fried rice.
- Carrot: It adds sweetness and light crunch.
- Shredded cabbage: Here I used a standard green cabbage, but napa cabbage is also a reliable option. You can use bok choy for a heartier taste.
- Red bell pepper: For crunch and a serious hit of sweetness.
- Frozen peas: You can use greens like mange tout or snap peas here, but classic frozen peas are sweet enough to balance the umami flavor of the rice!
- Green onions: For topping and adding a burst of color.
- Low-sodium soy sauce: If you’re allergic to soy, coconut aminos are a great alternative!
- Toasted sesame oil: For an effortless hit of nuttiness.
- Salt and pepper.
How to Make Healthy Fried Rice
- Prepare the eggs: In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Then, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until fully cooked. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
- Get frying: Fry the aromatics (AKA: the diced onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger) along with the shredded carrot. You’ll want to cook it for around 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the carrot is tender.
- Add the rest of the veggies: Throw the shredded cabbage and diced bell pepper into the large skillet. Just make sure that you leave plenty of space to avoid overcrowding and get everything evenly heated! You’ll want to make sure the veggies are tender.
- Throw in the final ingredients: Put the frozen peas into the pan and then add the cooked rice. You can use warm rice or cold rice. Just make sure it’s properly heated through, which will take around 2-3 minutes. You can then add the cooked eggs back into the skillet before stirring everything to combine.
- Make things saucy: Now’s the time to add the low-sodium soy sauce and sesame oil to the skillet. Stir everything together until the ingredients are well-coated. Give the dish a taste and season with salt and black pepper to your liking. If you like things spicy, now it’s the time to add a bit of fresh or dry chili!
- Garnish and serve: Top your rice with chopped green onions just before serving and enjoy!
How to Store Fried Rice
Allow your rice to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container in the fridge. It should hold up for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can either reheat it in a pan over medium heat or pop it in the microwave!
Can you freeze fried rice?
You can freeze fried rice, but you’ll want to transfer it to freezer bags after it has cooled completely. To extend its life (and save space!), squeeze as much air out of each bag as possible. Then, you can label the bags with today’s date and consume them within three months.
And honestly, you can’t beat spring rolls, Chinese dumplings, or even a plate of garlic sesame noodles if you’re creating a spread for an Asian-inspired dinner party!
If you’re looking for lunch on the go, you can even add it to a chicken teriyaki bento box!
Make sure you use day-old rice: It may sound counter-intuitive, but leftover rice (even if it’s only been chilled for a few hours!) will give the best results here. It has less moisture and offers that perfect fried rice texture that soaks up that delicious soy sauce!
Use medium-high heat: As fried rice needs to be cooked quickly at high heat to get its unique smoky flavor, you don’t want to keep the heat too low.
Season to your liking: You can easily add more (or less!) sesame oil, soy sauce, some oyster sauce, salt, and pepper, depending on your preference.
Dial things up with spice: If you’re a fan of spicier dishes, you can add chili and red pepper flakes or a dash of sriracha!
Let the rice brown slightly on the bottom: If you’re a fan of slightly crispy fried rice, let the rice brown on the bottom before quickly stirring your ingredients. Just make sure you use a non-stick skillet for this!
The typical brown in fried rice comes from soy sauce, which adds both color and a rich umami flavor.
If your fried rice isn’t brown, it could be because you haven’t used enough soy sauce.
Try adding a bit more, but use a low-sodium version, or your rice could become too salty.
No, it’s not mandatory to use a wok for making fried rice.
You can still create a delicious fried rice dish using a large non-stick skillet or frying pan.
The most important thing is to have enough space in your pan to stir and toss your ingredients properly.
Absolutely, as long as it’s been stored correctly.
After cooking, you need to cool your rice quickly and store it in the refrigerator to minimize the risk of bacterial growth.
In fact, using day-old rice is much better as it tends to be drier, helping to make a crispier and not soggy texture.
Yes, you can definitely make fried rice without using soy sauce.
Alternatives include tamari, coconut aminos, fish sauce, or simply season with salt and spices, although, with this last option, you’ll lose out on some umami flavors.
More Rice Recipes
- Salmon Poke Bowl
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Japanese Bento Box
- Mexican Rice Bowl
- Vegan Asparagus Risotto
- Vegetarian Paella
More Dinner Ideas
If you try this healthy fried rice recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Healthy Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked brown rice - see note 1
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - or sesame oil
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 carrot - shredded
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper - diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 3 green onions - sliced
- 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce - or tamari for a gluten-free option
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a little bit of the olive oil. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until fully cooked. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, and shredded carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the carrot is tender.
- Add the shredded cabbage and diced bell pepper to the skillet (see note 2). Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the frozen peas to the pan, then add the cooked brown rice. Stir everything together and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the rice is heated through.
- Add the cooked scrambled eggs back into the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Add the low-sodium soy sauce and sesame oil to the skillet. Stir everything together until all the ingredients are well-coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with the chopped green onions just before serving.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!