There are some dishes that have been around forever. So long that many of us don’t even think about them as a delicious weeknight option — even when we have all the ingredients on hand. Even though it’s something we love, and is super simple to make. I think we should give those classic standbys some love and this Easy Chicken Fried Rice is one that deserves some attention.
Fried rice is a favorite here because it uses common, everyday ingredients and comes together lickety-split. I generally start mine with ingredients like bell peppers, onions and carrots, then I scavenge for whatever other veg I have on hand. In this case, I was using up some frozen peas, but you could use mushrooms or broccoli — and certainly water chestnuts if you’ve got a can hanging out in the pantry.
The key to flavorful fried rice is the aromatics and sauce. Ginger and garlic are a must, as is soy sauce and sesame oil. Garlic-chili paste adds flavor and heat!
Start by stir-frying the onions, bell pepper and carrots.
Then add the rice and cook for several minutes before adding the chicken (or pork, shrimp, beef etc.) and the sauce mixture. Finally add the egg and the last of the vegetables, green onion and cilantro.
This whole dish takes about 15 minutes to put together and it’s a great way to use up leftovers. So next time you make rice — make a little extra with this quick and easy dinner in mind for later in the week.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 cups leftover white rice chilled overnight - do not use freshly cooked rice -- it will be too sticky
- 1 1/2 cups chicken diced (can substitute pork, beef or shrimp)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Chop the vegetables and chicken before you begin cooking and have them ready to go
- In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce, stir to combine and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. When the oil starts to slick across the pan, add the onion, pepper and carrot, stir, cooking until the vegetables become tender 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, stirring occasionally to break up clumps and heat through 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken (or other protein) and soy sauce mixture, stirring until well combined. Add the egg and toss well to combine with the rice mixture. Add the peas, scallions and cilantro, cooking just until the peas are thawed. Serve.
More Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals: