How To Make Pork Fried Rice


It’s taken me several tries, but I finally got the fried rice down pat. I was making two mistakes, either one of which would make it not-quite-right. But together? Completely wrong, like it was a whole different, completely forgettable dish.

Here, finally, is how it’s supposed to work.


cooking oil
soy sauce (see below for amounts)
cooked pork (leftover from last night’s crock pot pork roast is good)
eggs (optional)
green onions (optional)
peas (optional)
carrots (optional)


You may have guessed from the giant bag that I plan on doing a lot of rice. Yup, good guess, you’re pretty smart. It’s cheap, easy to make, and I like it. Why wouldn’t I make a lot of it?

Don’t use instant or fast-cooking rice for this. The grains are usually not whole, and they won’t stand up to the oil or the frying. It’s not like you can do fried rice from scratch in 10 minutes anyway, as you’ll see shortly.

Mix the rice and water in a pot, two cups of water per cup of rice. I’m doing three cups of rice here. I plan on having plenty of leftovers.

Bring to a rolling boil, then turn the heat down very low and put a tight-fitting lid on. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

Don’t check it or mix it while it cooks. You’ll let the steam out, and steam is what gets inside the rice when it cooks. Let the steam out of the pot and there will be none for inside the rice. And mixing will just mash up the grains that are hydrated and soft against the ones that are still dry and hard. So don’t.

When the rice is done there won’t be any standing water left, the rice will have absorbed it all. Let it stand for 5 minutes off the burner for the heat and steam to even out, then fluff it with a fork.


Now I’ve got to take a little detour down memory lane.

I remember almost nothing about the cafeteria food when I was in grade school. Just two things have stuck with me. One is the big milk machine they loaded with boxes of white and chocolate milk. Remember these things?

I’ll bet you could never have those in a school today. Liability issues. Everybody uses the little cartons now.

The other thing I remember is the rice. They served rice with an absolutely ridiculous amount of butter in it. Of course it was probably margarine, but I didn’t know any better at the time. And it was gooood.

So now every time I make rice I make a little extra, add too much butter, and have that while I finish making the rest of the meal.

And I’ve got the girls totally hooked on it.

Big important tip #1

This is the first thing I kept doing wrong that always ruined my rice. You can’t fry it right away. You have to refrigerate it overnight first, and start the frying with cold cooked rice.

Freshly cooked rice is still very sticky. It needs a night of refrigeration for the surface of the grains to dry out a little bit. Fried rice shouldn’t be a clumpy mess, it should be a bunch of individual grains, each one nicely fried all the way around.

I cheated a little bit — I’m a big fan of cheating in the kitchen — and set the pot out on the back porch. Cleveland in December is a huge walk-out freezer. My rice was ready to go in three hours.


Once your rice is cooled, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil — I like olive pomace oil — over high heat in a non-stick, or a well-seasoned cast iron wok. It doesn’t have to be a wok, but don’t go with uncoated stainless steel or aluminum or the rice will stick like crazy. And don’t skimp on the oil. The rice will absorb quite a bit at first.

Pour the rice into the wok and break up the clumps.

Keep tossing and breaking up the clumps until the rice is all loose and evenly coated with oil.

Add the soy sauce. Depending on what brand you’re using, and how salty you like your rice, the amount will vary widely. I just do it by sight, doing a quick zig-zag over the top then stir it all in.

Don’t go too heavy at first. It takes surprisingly little soy sauce to season even a large pile of rice. That’s probably between one and two tablespoons in the pan above. You can always add more if you need it, but once you’ve added too much you’re out of luck.

Big important tip #2

Every time I watch them make the fried rice at the local Chinese take-out place, they push the rice to the side and crack the eggs right into the wok. Every time I tried to scramble the egg in the same wok I ended up turning it into a quiche. Yummy, but not what I meant to make.

What I never considered is that their wok is about two-and-a-half feet across, and the burner under it is up so high the flames wrap all the way around when they pick up the pan. Okay, so I’ll need to do it a little differently.

Melt some bacon fat in a separate pan and crack a couple of eggs into it. One egg per one cup uncooked rice.

Scramble the eggs until they’re holding together pretty well, but not completely cooked, then add to the rice.

Into the same pan you just used for the eggs, toss the diced pork with some more bacon fat. This is great for the leftover pork tenderloin.

Cook the pork with a little salt and pepper until it’s browned all around, add it to the rice and stir everything together.

I’ve had diced carrots, peas, corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and green onions in fried rice. I like just the green onions myself. If you’re using any of the other vegetables, add them to the rice and toss together over heat for a few more minutes to heat them up. With the green onion, slice it thin and toss it through when everything else is done.

We usually think of rice as a side dish in the U.S., but this is fine as the main course.

Just add some egg rolls and wonton or egg-drop soup, and that’s it.

While was making this, my wife was getting us ready for a Christmas party. She had already set out the platter for the appetizer we were going to bring. (Bruschetta pizza, by the way. Everybody keeps asking me to make it. I think I’ve done it for three parties already this month.)

Groucho decided the platter was just the right size.

I asked him what he thought he was doing on the table. He looked at me like he was considering what I’d said.

Apparently not.

Yes, I cleaned the platter thoroughly before using it. But not until I’d reminded Groucho that in some cultures a platter of cat would go just fine with the rice.

(I know I’m going to hear it in the comments about that last line.)

Pork Fried Rice

Pork Fried Rice


  • rice
  • cooking oil
  • soy sauce (see below for amounts)
  • cooked pork
  • eggs (optional)
  • green onions (optional)
  • peas (optional)
  • carrots (optional)


Mix the rice and water in a pot, two cups of water and a teaspoon of salt per cup of rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and cool overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the rice and toss to coat with oil. Cook until warm. Push the rice to the side of the wok and crack the egg into the middle. Scramble it and cook until not-quite set. Push the egg to the side and add the pork. Toss until browned around the edges.

Stir rice, egg and pork together and add any vegetables. If adding green onion, save them for last. Toss everything together until the vegetables are warm. Add green onions just before serving.


  1. FoodRenegade says:

    I’ve always loved fried rice. I always do trick #2, but I circumvent trick #1 with a trick of my own that enables me to cook it without planning a night ahead.

    I fry the rice in butter BEFORE I steam it. Have you ever done that? You have to be very careful to not burn it, but if you keep stirring constantly you’ll be okay. I cook the rice kernels just until golden, then I steam the rice like normal. When it comes time to turn it into fried rice, it’s not sticky at all and the rice has a gorgeous color to it.

    I’d be interested to know how the two methods compare.

  2. I love fried rice. We make chopped fresh tomatoes to sprinkle on top, some people like a little tabasco added to the tomato—I prefer the tomato without

  3. LOL @ a platter of cat and rice :-p I bet that’d be tasty. And I also fry rice before cooking it. That’s how Mexican rice is prepare and that way you don’t have to refrigerate it before frying it. Hmmm refried rice anyone?

  4. Renegade, I’ve heard of that method. It’s pretty much what Rice-a-Roni does, plus they add some vermicelli. I might give it a shot.

    Shebrews, that sounds more like a Mexican style. I’ve got plenty of rice to do that version too.

    Ben, I know people who could tell you first-hand how tasty it is. I try not to be a hypocrite about it, because I know a large part of the world’s population revers cows. But cat … eww.

  5. Tina @ Mommy's Kitchen says:

    I love fried rice but have problems when i attempt it. I am going to give your recipe a try. That cat is to adorable.

  6. Tina, don’t let him hear you say that. He’s already cocky enough.

  7. Fried rice rules. Looks good, makes me want to make it again.

    When I make it I spread the cooked rice in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and let it sit for an hour or so, tossing it periodically. That dries it out pretty quick. Course, if I had a porch, I would probably put it out there. Love the cat pics. :)

  8. What a hoot. Cat on a platter. lol My cat loved the brand new clean tableclothes when they were placed on the tables. She never got on tables unless there was a linen anything involved.

    I was going to mention that mexican fried rice was friend first, but I wonder if it gives the same results. It’s been so many years since I’ve made Mexican Friend Rice, I can’t really remember what it’s like.

    I like being able to use leftover rice – I never think of it. Maybe I will now!

    Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Great tips for the rice!
    I usually make fried rice with leftover white rice that comes with Chinese takeout, so I’ve never noticed the problem before. But now I know!

    As for the eggs, I do something just a little different. I beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork first. Then, I pour out the contents onto the big flat metal thing on the stove (I don’t know what they call it!) Then you get really thin, flat egg, which you can slice into narrow strips for a nice effect.

    Also: it may interest you to know that those milk dispensers are still in existence! Indeed, the dining commons at my university uses them!

  10. The rice looks good, but the cat is the best part of this post.

  11. Drew, my mom [and now me] has that same pot that you’re cooking the rice in! Love Fried Rice… It used to be intimidating but I conquered it last year [beat you to it!] with Shrimp Fried Rice.

  12. Bob, next time I do a single-meal batch I’ll give that a shot. There was way too much in this one for one pan.

    Kirby, our cats will lay on anything you set down. Newspaper? Yup. Book? Sure. Wallet … keys … coat … platter … grill topper, they don’t care. If you lay it down they will lay on it.

    Chase, you mean a griddle?

    Kristin, I figured you’d say that.

    Barb, I get it. No tips when I need them but drop in to brag about your mad skillz now that I’ve done all the work myself. :-)

    • My cat always tries to lie on top of me while im sleeping.. gets rather annoying, but I know it’s just because she loves me lol.

      Thanks for the recipe, I hadn’t figured out to cook the egg separate…untill now đŸ˜›

      I like to replace half of the water you use to first cook the rice, with chicken broth. Gives the rice a good flavor before you add anything else.

  13. George Erdosh says:

    OK< I'll check out your if you'll check out mine (this one is by grandfather):

    Tried and True Recipes from a CatererĂ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kitchen–Secrets of Making Great Foods

  14. A little sesame oil (a teaspoon or two depending on how much rice you’re using) adds a lot of flavor to homemade fried rice.

  15. Brian, I’m pretty light on the Asian spices once you get past soy sauce. Could be why I can’t quite get them right. I’ll look for sesame oil next time I’m at World Market, see if they have a reasonably-priced bottle.

  16. I grew up eating homemade fried rice, so I knew about needing to use cold rice. I was able to scramble the eggs in my flat-bottomed wok, though.

    I’m really commenting about that rice and butter. I had some leftover rice today (which already had 1/3 stick of butter in it) and put another 1/4 in. Oh my god. That was my dessert it was so good.

  17. Laura, anything you can’t improve with butter, you can probably improve it with bacon.

  18. Larry Gist says:

    Oh MAN this looks good – I think I am going to try this with some bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and white onion slivers.

  19. Larry, the bamboo shoots I can go with. But bean sprouts have always reminded me of dandelion stems.

  20. Larry Gist says:

    I shared this on the Cook Book give away but I thought I would post it here as well. After I got inspired by reading this recipe – I went to my local Kroger, and started gathering the ingredients – I got a bag of “asian style” veggies (broccoli, pea pods, and carrots)and a bag of bean sprouts from the produce aisle. Then I went and got some sesame oil ($5.00!) and oyster sauce from the Asian aisle, on the opposite side is where all the rice is. So I was thinking, “Do I really want to make rice the old fashioned way and ruin as usual, OR do I get two bags of Uncle Bens white rice?” You know, the ones that take 90 seconds to cook in the bag. The beauty of those is that the rice is ALREADY the perfect consitency, and all you have to do is break it up with your fingers so there are no BIG chunks of rice in your fried rice – just wanted to pass along my little discovery.

  21. Larry, that’s good to know. But unless they start carrying Uncle Ben’s in 25-pound sacks I’m probably not going to be getting it. :-)

  22. socaltransplant says:

    I'm surprised you didn't get any flack for that. It immediatly made me think of this.
    The rice looks yummy, by the way.

  23. Well I want to thank you for the recipe and advice. My husband has been sick and rice seems to agree with him, so i’m trying this so far looks great.
    Thanks Cindy
    Gants pass,Oregon

  24. I make my rice along simmilar lines, but vegetarian. To add more protein, I use edamame, not peas, and broccoli, not carrots. I also make a soysauce mixture before hand that tastes really good, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 T sesame oil, and approx. 1 T grated fresh ginger. I find it gives the rice a bit more of a flavor, because soem fried rice can be bland.

  25. I don’t know how I found this blog, but I think it’s going to be one of my favorites!!

  26. I have found Mecca/Valhalla/Heaven. Fried rice is my favorite! I’ve never known how to do it. I’ve burnt it to cinders (fire extinguisher neer by thankfully), cooked it to mush, had it ball up and be chunky and everything in between. Tomorrow I will let you know how it goes!

  27. Well, a cast iron pan works great, a couple dashes of sessame oil and AWESOMENESS! Thankyou for putting this up. We dont have a cat but DO have a min-pin. Next time he gets on the table may, unfortunatly, be his last because he’s not as cute :(

  28. Oh come on, I’ll bet when he curls up and puts his head on his paws he’s just adorable.

  29. Hmmmm… didn’t go that well for me..but ill just have to try again.

    Best not skip the cooling over night thing it didn’t end up looking good.

    anyways thank your for this though.

  30. Andrew, I remember what it looked like the first time I tried it … before I knew about cooling it overnight first. Sticky, mushy, all-around icky. I’m a believer.

  31. I just have one question on this? Why does the rice look so white when making this. Unless I have been deceived all this time, shouldn’t the rice be a brownish color? Is there anything you would suggest to turn this around? I want to try this as I got a regular wok for Christmas this year. Not sure how this will end up. I heard someone mention sesame oil? I have cooked with sesame oil for sesame chicken. Also I plan on making this for at least 10 people. How much is enough? lol! Thank you!

    • Rick, it gets just a little color from the frying. Most of the brown comes from the soy sauce.

      For 10 people? If it’s a main part of the dish go for about a cup uncooked per person. For a smaller side dish, do at least a half-cup uncooked per person. Just to be sure, make a cup for yourself first and see how much you like.

  32. Trying ur crockpot pork loin recipe tomorrow & will be trying this fried rice recipe also!

  33. Two questions, first can u use something other than bacon grease like maybe fatback? Ive never cooked with fatback but wondering. Also, can I add already cooked pork to it? Like leftovers from ur crockpot recipe?

    • Fatback would be great. And yes, I’ve added leftover cooked pork loin to this. Fried rice is how they use up leftovers in China.

  34. I have a few good recipes for Dog,in defense of Cats,I have two Kitties. PS. I,m a Nam Vet, and also a dog lover. LOL


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