Budget-friendly and big on taste, Garlic Fried Rice is a tasty, easy, Asian-inspired side dish. It's packed with aromatic garlic, scrambled eggs and vibrant veggies, all sautéed to perfection and ready in under 15 minutes.
This Garlic Fried Rice is a glorious symphony of flavors, combining the earthy richness of garlic with the subtle sweetness of peas and carrots, all bound together by rice.
It's quick, easy, and affordable—a winning trifecta for any home cook.
Garlic Fried Rice is a recipe that's both easy on the wallet and a joy for your taste buds.
Whether you're in a hurry, want to get creative in the kitchen, or just need a comforting meal, this dish has got you covered.
It's a dish that never disappoints, and once you've tried it, you'll find yourself making it time and time again.
We make it often at our house! It's so tasty, the garlic adds a punch, and it's a great way to use up leftover rice.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Speedy Satisfaction: Garlic Fried Rice can be whipped up in under 20 minutes, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknights or whenever you're in a hurry.
- Budget-Friendly: With simple ingredients like garlic, eggs, and leftover rice, this recipe won't break the bank. It's proof that gourmet doesn't have to mean expensive.
- Versatile: You can customize this dish to your liking. Add your favorite protein, like chicken, shrimp, or tofu, to make it a hearty main course, or enjoy it as a delightful side dish.
- Reducing Food Waste: Got some leftover rice and veggies in the fridge? Garlic Fried Rice is a fantastic way to use them up and reduce food waste.
- Cooked and Cooled Rice: Day-old rice is perfect for this recipe, and you can use basmati, long-grain, or jasmine rice. Just ensure it's cooled safely to prevent stickiness.
- Garlic: Mince it for that rich, aromatic flavor.
- Onion: Finely dice it to add a hint of sweetness and texture.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing and imparting a light, savory taste.
- Eggs: Scrambled eggs create delightful pockets of creaminess.
- Frozen Peas and Carrots: Thawed to add color, nutrition, and a touch of sweetness.
- Soy Sauce: For that essential umami kick.
- Sesame Oil (Optional): Enhances the dish with a hint of nuttiness and depth.
- Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.
- Green Onions: For a fresh, vibrant garnish.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Ingredient Substitutions: Feel free to get creative! Swap out the peas and carrots for other veggies like bell peppers or broccoli. You can also use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for a slightly different flavor profile.
How to Make Garlic Fried Rice
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Leftover rice is best, but if making it fresh, ensure it is completely cold.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the cooled rice. Break up any rice clumps and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the beaten eggs, and cook, stirring, until scrambled.
Drizzle soy sauce evenly over the rice and continue stir-frying for 2-3 minutes. Optionally, add sesame oil for extra flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the peas and keep frying until the rice gets nice and crispy.
Remove from heat and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.
- Protein-Packed: Add your choice of protein—chicken, shrimp, tofu, or even leftover roast pork. Just cook it before adding it to the rice.
- Spicy Kick: If you like a little heat, toss in some crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of sriracha.
- Vegan Twist: Skip the eggs and use a plant-based substitute like silken tofu.
- Pineapple Paradise: Add diced pineapple for a sweet and tangy twist.
- On the Side: Serve it alongside your favorite Asian-inspired dishes, such as stir-fries or spring rolls.
- As a Main Course: Enjoy a generous portion of Garlic Fried Rice as a standalone meal.
- With Proteins: Pair it with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for a complete and filling dish.
Garlic Fried Rice is best enjoyed fresh off the stove, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan with a touch of oil to restore its delightful crispiness.
Ensuring rice safety is crucial to prevent foodborne illnesses. One of the primary concerns with rice is bacterial contamination. Specifically the presence of bacteria that can produce toxins when rice is stored or handled improperly. To keep your rice dishes safe, it's essential to follow a few simple guidelines.
- Store cooked rice in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.
- Facilitate even cooling by spreading rice in shallow containers or on a baking sheet.
- Reheat rice dishes to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to eliminate bacteria.
- Exercise caution when using leftover rice in recipes, ensuring thorough reheating.
- Avoid leaving rice dishes at room temperature for extended periods to prevent bacterial growth.
- Follow proper food handling and hygiene practices when preparing and serving rice to minimize the risk of contamination.
- Chilled Rice Is Key: Using day-old, chilled rice ensures that it won't turn mushy when you stir-fry it. Freshly cooked rice tends to clump together and lose its individual grains.
- High Heat for Fluffiness: To achieve that classic fried rice texture, cook everything on high heat. This allows the rice to get crispy without becoming overly greasy.
- Don't Skip the Eggs: Scrambled eggs are a crucial component of this dish, providing a creamy contrast to the rice's texture and adding a rich, savory flavor.
- Uniform Stir-Frying: When stir-frying, make sure to evenly distribute the ingredients in the pan. This ensures that everything cooks consistently, and each bite is bursting with flavor.
The best rice for fried rice is usually long-grain varieties like jasmine, basmati, or standard long-grain white rice. However, you can experiment with short-grain rice for a stickier texture or brown rice for a healthier twist.
After cooking, spread the rice out on a baking sheet or in a shallow container to cool it quickly. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate it in an airtight container. Avoid leaving cooked rice at room temperature for extended periods to prevent bacterial growth.
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Garlic Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked and cooled rice preferably day-old rice basmati, long grain or jasmine
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ small onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green onions thinly sliced (for garnish)
- Leftover rice is best, but if making it fresh, ensure it is completely cold.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the cooled rice. Break up any rice clumps and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in the beaten eggs, and cook, stirring, until scrambled.
- Add in the soy sauce and continue stir-frying for 2-3 minutes. Optionally, add sesame oil for extra flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.