Easy Fried Rice (Gluten Free) 基本のチャーハン

Introducing a New Feature
In our ongoing efforts to keep an increasingly isolated community engaged and stimulated, the Nichi Bei Weekly is excited to announce a new collaboration with the popular Just One Cookbook (www.justonecookbook.com), which was created by Namiko Hirasawa Chen (Nami) in 2011 as a blog to keep track of her recipes and to share them with her friends who wanted to learn Japanese cooking. Over the next several months, we will publish recipes from Just One Cookbook’s “26 Stay-at-Home Japanese Recipes” collection. We hope that you can take advantage of these wonderful recipes, and look forward to many culinary collaborations to come.


This classic fried rice recipe with ham, egg and green onion is a delicious one-pan meal that you can whip up in under 20 minutes. It’s bursting with flavor and perfect for a weeknight meal.

EASY FRIED RICE — This classic fried rice recipe with ham, egg, and green onion is a delicious one-pan meal that you can whip up under 20 minutes. It’s bursting with flavor and perfect for a weeknight meal.
photo by Namiko Chen

Whenever I need to get lunch or dinner on the table fast, fried rice often comes to mind. With just a few well-chosen ingredients in the pantry and some leftover rice, I can be ready to cook up a satisfying bowl or meal in less than 20 minutes. It’s so fulfilling that it can carry me throughout the day.

So, when you are thinking of Chinese takeout to solve your dinner problem, remind yourself that it’s always a better idea to make fried rice at home. With my Easy Fried Rice (基本のチャーハン) recipe, you are guaranteed a delicious dinner and less waiting time.

3 Tips for Making the Best Fried Rice

  1. Use leftover steamed rice from the previous day.

    Fried rice in Japan is made with short grain rice. It’s plump and sticky, and it has a chewy texture and more moisture. Therefore, the day-old rice that has been dried out slightly in the refrigerator is the perfect vehicle for making fried rice.

    Just make sure to bring the leftover, cold rice to room temperature so it takes less time for the rice to heat up in the wok.
  2. Do not put in too many ingredients.

    A good bowl of fried rice is about simplicity. When I first made fried rice in college, I tossed in way too many ingredients that my fried rice was more like a fried plate of mishmash. The rice had no space to move around and the dish ended up with big chunks of rice with overloaded vegetables and proteins.

    So less is best for fried rice. Rice is the key ingredient and the rest should be kept in minimal. Use a big wok or a pan with sufficient space to toss and turn the ingredients, giving each grain of rice enough contact with the heat. If you have too much food, your fried rice will be stuck together like a giant mess.

    Also, keep the veggies and meat/protein in smaller sizes so they will get nicely cooked together with the rice.
  3. Make the fluffy egg first.

    Everyone has a different method to cook fried rice. Mine always starts with making the fluffy egg.

    Pour the beaten egg in a pool of hot oil, and let the oil cook the egg first. Take it out while it’s still somewhat runny. This way, your egg is never overcooked while waiting for its turn to be added to the rest of fried rice.

    You can cook the other ingredients and rice, then add the fluffy egg back into the wok or pan. It’s a fail-proof method for everyone.

To read the recipe, visit the Just One Cookbook post here.

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