This special fried rice is so easy to make that you can drop the takeout menu. The rice is loaded with chicken, ham, shrimp, onions, eggs and bean sprouts. We keep the spices simple, a little bit of ginger, some garlic and of course, soy sauce.
The best part about fried rice recipes, is that it’s a great way to use up leftovers. So, feel free to dice up that leftover pork chop and throw it in too. Enjoy!
Instead of a simple chicken fried rice or ham fried rice this recipe has all your favorites in one. With chicken, ham, shrimp and plenty of flavor it’s better than the house special fried rice at your favorite restaurant.
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- White rice – We use long grain white rice; you can use leftovers or make fresh. You’ll need about 4-5 cups cooked rice. For the best fried rice use cold rice. For step-by-step instructions and tips visit our article on how to make white rice.
- Shrimp – Medium shrimp work well because once they’re cooked and shrink down, they’ll still have a nice size. We usually buy frozen, easy-to-peel, deveined shrimp. Refrigerate overnight to defrost or place the shrimp in a large colander and defrost them under running cold water while peeling. Then, pat dry with a paper towel.
- Chicken – Use boneless, skinless chicken breast (chicken thighs will work too) trimmed of any fat.
- Ham – This is a great recipe for leftover ham or use ham steaks. I find them in the refrigerated packaged meat section, usually near the bacon.
- Eggs – Scrambled eggs are a must for fried rice. They add color, flavor and nutrients.
- Bean sprouts – Find these in the produce section with other pre-packaged Asian ingredients or look for them at specialty supermarkets. If you cannot find them, use frozen mixed vegetables.
- Soy Sauce – Use low sodium soy sauce to cut down on the salt.
- Herbs and spices – Garlic, ginger powder and green onions will add plenty of flavor to the fried rice.
- Don’t add too much salt to this fried rice. Ham, cooked rice and soy sauce all contain a good amount of salt already. Add a pinch of salt to the chicken and that’s it. You can always add salt at the end if needed.
- For best results use low-sodium soy sauce and if you are sensitive to salt, use low sodium ham and cut the salt for the white rice.
- Things move quickly in this recipe. Prepare all the components for the fried rice and have them ready to go. Once you start cooking, there will be no time to stop and chop something. Getting everything ready to go will ensure nothing burns and this meal goes smoothly.
- For the best special fried rice, use cold rice. Refrigerate it until completely cold and firm or use leftover rice. The grains of fresh, just made rice are soft. When it’s mixed and fried it will mush and ball up. Cold, refrigerator rice is firm, and the grains are nice and separated, so it’s best for our purposes.
If you’re making the white rice and not using leftovers: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1½ cups of white rice and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Lower the heat to medium and boil, uncovered, until most of the water has cooked out and you can see the rice on the surface (approximately 5-7 minutes). Stir, lower the heat to low and cover. Cook the rice on low for about 25 minutes until done. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Let it cool some, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until it’s chilled.
- Trim any fat off the chicken. Cut it into small cubes. Make the pieces small so that they cook fast.
- Peel and clean the shrimp.
- Dice the ham into roughly ½ inch cubes.
- Dice the white onion. We are only using about 2 tablespoons so wrap up the remaining piece and save it for another use (this fresh salsa is a good way to use it up).
- Slice the green onions. Use kitchen shears to make this easy. Just snip them right into a bowl.
- Mince the garlic or use a small grater.
- Add the eggs to a medium bowl and beat.
- Gather and measure the remaining ingredients.
Cook the scrambled eggs in a non-stick skillet until cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat and reserve for later.
- Cook the chicken and a pinch of salt in a large, deep, non-stick skillet to brown on both sides.
- Add the shrimp and the diced white onions.
- Add the cubed ham, garlic and ginger powder and cook until the shrimp is no longer translucent, curls and turns a nice pink color.
- Add the white rice, stir and cook until hot and steamy.
- Add the scrambled eggs and bean sprouts.
- Add in the soy sauce while stirring constantly to coat the ingredients completely.
- Finally, sprinkle in the green onions and cook on low to let the flavors come together.
If you rather not use bean sprouts substitute frozen vegetables instead; good choices include peas, carrots, green beans, and corn. During the prep work, cook the frozen vegetables to package directions but use only half the recommended time on the package. You basically just want to defrost them; they will finish cooking with the fried rice. Make sure to drain them well before adding.
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Special Fried Rice
- 3 Large Eggs scrambled
- 1½ tablespoon Oil plus 1 teaspoon divided (use a neutral/flavorless oil with a high smoke point – we use canola oil)
- 1 Chicken Breast boneless and skinless (about ½ pound), cut into small cubes
- Pinch Salt
- 8 ounces Shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons White Onion diced
- 6 ounces Cooked Ham cubed
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves finely minced
- ½ teaspoon Ginger Powder
- 4 – 5 cups Cooked White Rice OR 3 cups Water, 1½ cup Long Grain White Rice and 1 teaspoon Salt
- 8 ounces Bean Sprouts
- ¼ cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce plus 2 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons Green Onion sliced
Instructions to make white rice if not using leftovers
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling add 1½ cup of white rice and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir well. Lower the heat to medium and boil, uncovered, until most of the water has cooked out and you can see the rice on the surface (approximately 7 minutes). Stir the rice, lower the heat to low and cover. Cook the rice on low for about 25 minutes until done.
- Take the rice off the heat, uncover and fluff with a fork. Let the rice cool. Once it has cooled some, add it to a bowl and refrigerate until it’s chilled.
Make the fried rice
- Scramble the eggs
- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the eggs to the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the eggs are fully cooked, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and reserve for later.
- Heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Arrange it in one layer and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook the chicken for 1 – 1½ minutes. Flip the chicken in sections and arrange it in one layer again. Cook another 1 – 1½ minutes then stir well.
- Add the shrimp and the diced white onions to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
- Next, add the cubed ham, garlic and ginger powder and stir well. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring frequently until the shrimp is cooked through. You’ll know the shrimp is cooked when it is no longer translucent, curls and turns a nice pink color.
- Add the white rice to the skillet and stir well to combine. Continue cooking, while stirring constantly for 1 – 2 minutes until the rice is hot and starts to steam a little bit.
- Add the cooked eggs and bean sprouts. Stir to mix well.
- Add in the soy sauce while stirring constantly to coat the ingredients completely. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the rice is coated.
- Finally, sprinkle in the green onions and stir. Reduce the heat to low, cover the rice and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
- Taste the rice and add salt, if needed. As a reference we did not add extra salt to ours.
- The cook time included does not include making white rice (which will take about 30 minutes). Chilling the rice will be a couple of hours at least.
- For the best fried rice, use cold rice. Refrigerate the rice until completely cold and firm or use leftover rice.
- Don’t add salt to the fried rice. Use low-sodium soy sauce and, if you’re sensitive to salt, use low sodium bacon, low sodium ham and cut the salt on the white rice.
- Things move quickly in this recipe. Have all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.