The Pretend Chef

Basic Chinese Fried Rice

Recipes, Rice | October 22, 2016 | By

The basic Chinese fried rice is a perfect way to repurpose leftover rice, meat and vegetables. It is fast and easy to throw together and always delightfully yummy. It is not the regular amazing Nigerian fried rice, but will stand up to it Nigerian fried in both taste and beauty.

There are so many methods of making fried rice, like the easy one pot Nigerian fried rice, Nigerian Stir fried rice and the Nigerian fried rice, but they all agree on one thing and that is frying the rice. This basic chinese fried rice can be eaten as a complete dish or as a side.


The basic chinese fried rice should not clump together and usually it has some texture because of the high heat used in frying it.

In most homes, it is prepared with day old white rice, but we don’t always have this at hand, so you can cook your rice as usual till it is done but still firm, spread it out in a thin layer on a tray and leave to cool very well and dry out. This will take a couple of hours depending on the quantity of rice. You can also place the freshly cooked rice  in front of a fan or in the refrigerator to speed things up the drying process, you really don’t need that surface moisture. Using freshly cooked rice that is still moist will produce sticky clumped up rice, and the rice grains will break into bits when being moved around. 

This method is fast paced so make sure you have all your ingredients measured, prepped and ready to go.


It is best to use a wok as it is easier to move your rice and ingredients around for even heat distribution and browning, but a saucepan or frying pan will do just fine. 

The wok needs to be brutally hot when you add the rice so as to brown the rice without drying it out and to give it that slightly chewy texture.


This recipe is a basic one, here are a few suggestions of other ingredients you can add.

Other optional ingredients

  1. Vegetables: green beans (french beans), shredded cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, sweet corn, mixed frozen vegetables.
  2. Proteins: shredded chicken, beef, turkey, roasted pork, shrimps, diced liver/kidney*, scallops, ground meat, diced hotdog, diced sausage, chopped bacon.
  3. Sauce/oil: soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, fish sauce or any other asian sauce.

I have other fried rice recipes in the blog like the Nigerian fried rice and easy one pot Nigerian fried rice and will add some more.

To prepare the Basic chinese fried rice:

2 cups rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup fresh peas
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
100g raw shrimps
2 cups rice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce +2 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
1/4 cup sliced spring onions (scallions)

Rinse rice in several changes of water to remove surface starch. place in a pot with enough water to cover it, add salt or one seasoning cube and bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook till rice is done but still firm. Spread in a thin layer on a tray to cool and dry out completely or place in a refrigerator. (The rice can also be cooked in meat or vegetable stock).


Add a pinch of salt to the egg and beat, set aside.

Shell and devein shrimps, set aside.

Place wok or saucepan on high heat, (if your saucepan is not big enough to contain all the ingredients, cook in batches), when hot, add vegetable oil, spread it out and add onions, carrot and fresh peas.


Fry till onions is transparent, add garlic, ginger and shrimps.


Stir around for about 1 minute till the shrimps are pink and cooked.


Make a well in the middle or push vegetables to the side and pour in the eggs.



Leave to form, then mix in the vegetables. Cook till egg is almost cooked but still damp.


Break up the clumps of the cold rice. Increase the heat to very high heat, and add the rice and stir and fry for 5 minutes till it has a brownish colour. Stir and toss up the rice so it will fry evenly.


Pour in the soy sauce and sesame seed oil mix and stir to coat every grain of rice.


Taste for salt and correct seasoning. Take off the heat and enjoy.



*To use frozen vegetables, do not thaw fry as usual though for a shorter time, but make sure the oil is very, very hot, so the water released evaporates immediately without cooking the vegetables further. You are only trying to heat the vegetables through.

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