Egg Fried Rice

Restaurant-grade egg fried rice uses rice that was cooked the day before because it fries better, meaning that at its core this is a leftover dish. No wonder then it’s the dish best suited to disposing of the lingering ingredients in our fridge that are at risk of expiring.

Seriously though, you’ll want day-old rice that’s been sitting in the fridge for this to be like a restaurant.

This is another infinitely customisable meal. Feel free to use whatever you want. I’ve indicated what I think is a staple and what’s more optional in the notes.

In a perfect world, I would always use the following four sauces: soy sauce + oyster sauce + mirin (a kind of Japanese cooking wine) + Chinese rice vinegar (Chinkiang Black Rice Vinegar, specifically). But not everyone has these ingredients to hand all the time. The soy sauce is the only essential one, but the other two add lots more flavour.

Egg fried rice

Dicko’s Egg Fried Rice

The best leftover, ingredient gobbling dish there is. Perfect for lunches the day after you've cooked too much rice. Customise as your heart desires — there's no such thing as a gospel egg fried rice.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese, Thai
Servings 2


  • Large Wok (or a frying pan, but a wok is preferable | also, woks don't work as well on electric stoves)
  • Chef's Knife
  • Wooden Spoon x2 (or another spatula to break up the rice)
  • Microplane (optional)


  • A healthy amount of leftover refrigerated cooked rice (about 230g/1.5 cups)
  • 3-4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3-5 mushrooms, sliced (shitake ideally, but any will do)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper (cayenne, jalapeño, habanero, etc.), (seeded and diced)
  • A handful of sugar snap peas
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed and finely minced
  • 1.5 in knob ginger root, peeled and grated over a microplane (or finely minced)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (most to be cooked but leave some for garnish)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp Chinese rice vinegar
  • cooking oil Something with a high smoke point, so veggie or sunflower oil, or leftover grease from the night before
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • sriracha To taste once served
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds optional


  • Crack the eggs and beat with a whisk or fork until decently mixed. Sprinkle the chili flakes if you're using them.
  • Add the oil in your wok and put it over high heat. When hot, dump the battered eggs into the wok.
    You must stir constantly and stalwartly unless you want burnt eggs. At this high heat, the eggs will fluff up a bit more. Keep stirring for 2-3 mins; stop only when there is no more liquid egg. At which point, take the wok off the flame and scoop out the jostled eggs into a bowl and set aside.
  • Add more oil if you need to (I always do) and heat back up over high. When it's hot, throw in the mushrooms and onions. Cook until onions become translucent, maybe even with a little browning, about 3-4 mins.
    (Now's the time to practice your wok-flipping. Work the wok back and forth over the flame to keep the ingredients moving).
  • Add the peppers, chilis, and snap peas (and any other veggie you're using like carrots or zucchini ["courgettes" as the English and French call them], frozen peas, i.a.) now. And cook for 3-5 mins, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients for 1 min.
  • Now add the rice. I dump it directly in from the container into the wok then proceed to attack it with a wooden spoon (right hand) and wide spatula (left hand). It's a fitful process, as you're stirring and breaking up rice clumps at the same time. Do it quickly.
    Once the rice is de-clumped, add soy sauce, mirin, oyster sauce, and Chinese rice vinegar, and some of the green onions.
  • Keep stirring, mixing, and moving the wok. You'll need to have some sort of stirring device to ensure the rice isn't sticking to the wok and burning. Do this for another 3-5 mins.
    Once everything is hot and all the ingredients are well acquainted, remove wok from the hob and serve immediately. Garnish with remaining green onions and add srirracha and soy sauce to taste.


You’ll want to cook the eggs first and remove them before starting with the onions, etc.. I’ve tried adding eggs at different points throughout the cooking process and this works the best. If you add them after other ingredients are cooking, the eggs sort of dissipate over everything and you don’t get discrete bits of egg, just a film of egginess diffused throughout. 
Keyword Fried Rice, Leftovers

Thoughts on Egg Fried Rice

The ingredients I’ve suggested are the ones that I’d prefer to have in an ideal world. That said, I think egg fried rice needs to have, at a bare minimum, the following five ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Rice, which really should be refrigerated and of the basmati or jasmine sort
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Soy Sauce

Refrigerating rice overnight dries it out so that you aren’t left with soggy rice. It’s not essential that you do this, but it will make your egg fried rice more convincing.

The garlic and ginger are the things that elevate the dish from a lazy meal cooked at home to restaurant/take-away quality. The proportions I suggested are, if anything, conservative. If you know you love garlic and ginger (which are among the most important anchoring ingredients for a lot of Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine) then add more.

Anything else is optional and can be adjusted to what you have in your fridge on any given day. Diced zucchini, carrots (baby or mature), frozen peas, water chestnuts, broccoli florets or the tenderstem variety, other kinds of peppers and chillis, cabbage or bok choi, eggplant (aka “aubergine” if you prefer the Francophonic version)… it’s all about what you have to hand.

For us, it’s usually about what we get in our Oddbox every week or what we’re trying to save in our fridge (more tips here). In this case, snap peas were calling for an egg fried rice so we couldn’t really say no. However, don’t think of egg fried rice as a leftovers dish only: while it does help taking care of leftovers, it is an amazing and simple dish to choose to have on any given day.

You can also add some meat if you’d like: bacon is an easy choice, but you could also do minced pork (or beef), or even shredded chicken. Tofu and all those other veggie proteins would work as well if you don’t do meat but need some proteins.

Garnishes can be expanded beyond simple sriracha and soy sauce to taste: cilantro will give it more of a Vietnamese or Thai flavour. Bean sprouts will give you a nice crunch. Toasted sesame seeds are an obvious option, and toasted cashews will further enhance the SE Asian quality. Egg fried rice is extremely versatile, so the choice is really yours. You can customise the dish in hundreds of different ways – no egg fried rice is the same as the previous one you made. Our advice is to write down what you’re putting and the exact measurements every time: this will allow you to recreate the most similar version if you had a very good day.