Making great fried rice is an art.
It looks easy, sure. Just dump rice, eggs, vegetables, and meat into hot pan and start stirring.
Before you know, you have a clumpy ball of starch for dinner.
Truly great fried rice is about timing. It's about adding the ingredients in a certain order. It's about how you sprinkle the rice into the hot pan.
In this episode of Hunger Pangs, we reveal every secret we know about making exceptional Chinese fried rice at home.
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Fried Rice with Shrimp, Pork, and Shiitake Mushroom
- ½ ounce dried shitake mushrooms (5 to 6 medium)
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 ½ tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 8 ounces small shrimp, peeled and devined
- 1 cup frozen peas, preferably baby peas, thawed
- 8 ounces smoked ham, sliced and cut in 1/2-inch pieces (In the video, we use Cantonese char siu. You can also use lap cheong, or Chinese sausage)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 5 cups cooked white rice, cold, large clumps broken up with fingers
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 5 medium scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
- Cover dried shiitakes with 1 cup hot tap water in small microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents with paring knife, and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms from liquid with fork, trim stems, and slice into 1/4-inch strips; set mushrooms aside.
- Combine oyster sauce and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside.
- Heat wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add eggs and cook without stirring, until they just begin to set, about 20 seconds, then scramble and break into small pieces with wooden spoon; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are cooked through but not browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer eggs to small bowl and set aside.
- Return skillet to medium heat and heat until hot; add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until opaque and just cooked through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with eggs and set aside.
- Return skillet to burner, increase heat to high, and heat skillet until hot; add remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add peas, mushrooms, and ham (or whichever meat you're using). Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and oyster sauce mixture; cook, stirring constantly and breaking up rice clumps, until mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, shrimp, bean sprouts, and scallions; cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.