You can make easy pork fried rice with leftovers and just 10 minutes of your time. You don’t need any ‘hard to find’ Asian ingredients either. If you have soy sauce and a few extra things in your pantry, you can make this dinner tonight. This is a fast and easy recipe that is especially great for a week-night dinner!
Fried rice is one of the best recipes for using leftovers. You don’t need very much of any of the ingredients to make an amazingly flavorful and filling meal.
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need any special ingredients. It comes together with a handful of ‘this’ and a handful of ‘that’. If you’re down to just a few straggly vegetables, a small piece of last night’s pork chops, a couple of slices of bacon, and a delicious sauce blend, then you are in luck!
If you don’t have anything but soy sauce, you can make delicious fried rice but we have added a few extras to our fried rice sauce for some incredible umami flavor.
Ingredients for pork fried rice:
Here is a quick preview of the ingredients but keep reading because we have tips and ideas for substitutions.
- Rice. The best fried rice is made with leftover rice. Sometimes I make an extra-large batch of rice just so I can make fried rice the next day.
- Cooked pork. I used 2 leftover pork chops in this recipe but you don’t even need that much. This recipe will make a small amount of meat stretch enough to feed a whole family.
- Bacon. Bacon adds a TON of flavor to this meal and all you need is 2 or 3 strips.
- Veggies. If you only have 1 or 2 carrots and a stalk of celery, don’t throw them away. Alone, they won’t even feed one person, but dice them up and toss them into fried rice, bam! Dinner is done. If you have frozen peas, toss those in too.
- Eggs. The eggs add extra protein and give the fried rice a special texture and flavor.
- Onion, garlic, ginger. These ingredients are flavor bases that really add an extra layer to the dish. There is something about fresh ginger and garlic that makes the flavors pop. I realize that a lot of people do not always have fresh ginger, but if you do have it, you will love the flavor it adds.
- Soy sauce. Most kitchens have a bottle of soy sauce stashed in the back of the pantry. It adds a great umami flavor and kicks things up a notch.
- Oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is kind of like an Asian BBQ sauce. It adds complexity to the pork fried rice.
- Mirin. Mirin is a sweet rice wine. It does contain alcohol. If you can’t have alcohol you can substitue with rice vinegar and a dash of sugar.
- Sesame oil. We recommend using toasted sesame oil which has more flavor than regular sesame oil.
The ingredients for the sauce are the same as our sauce for fried rice. If you make a large batch of sauce ahead of time, it will be even faster to cook this dinner.
Pork fried rice is so customizable. If you don’t have some of the ingredients don’t worry. There are so many ways to make this work.
This recipe calls for fresh carrots and celery but if you want to toss in some frozen vegetables then that works as well. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take very much. All you need is about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of frozen veggies. It is easy to get carried away and add a whole bag of veggies but if you do that then you will quickly run out of room in the skillet.
If you don’t have any bacon then toss in some ham or some prosciutto. It will do just fine in a pinch.
Best Rice for Pork Fried Rice:
Day-old rice makes the best fried rice since it has time to dry out. If you use fresh, hot rice it will taste fine but it can turn mushy. However, here is a trick if you cook the rice fresh: spread the fresh rice out on a baking sheet and stick it in a 200°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes then let it cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer. That will help the rice dry out so the texture will be right.
You can certainly make fried rice with fresh rice but it won’t have the same texture that you find in the restaurants. We made our instant pot pork fried rice with fresh rice. Even though it isn’t as authentic, it still tastes great.
Tips for Making Fried Rice:
- Use a large wok or skillet. You want one large enough to toss everything around.
- Cut the scrambled eggs into large chunks. Large, fluffy chunks of scrambled eggs help make this fried rice ‘meaty’ and give it a great texture.
- Dice the veggies small. Fresh veggies will take a bit longer to cook than the frozen ones so chop them up small and they will cook quickly.
- Add frozen peas last. The frozen peas will cook from the residual heat so you can even take the skillet off the stove when you add them.
What to Serve with Pork Fried Rice.
Pork fried rice is a one-pot, full meal deal. You really don’t need to serve anything else with it. We eat this as a main dish all the time. However, if you want to serve something alongside, it goes great with egg drop soup or a simple cucumber salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Long grain white rice works best for fried rice. If you want authentic, restaurant-style fried rice, use Jasmine or basmati rice.
Certainly. If you use instant rice, make sure it is completely cooked and left in the fridge to dry out. See our tips in the notes of the recipe card if you don’t want to wait for the rice to dry out overnight in the fridge.
Using the right blend of seasonings is the secret to great fried rice. Fried eggs, sauteed vegetables, and leftover rice are some more essential tips for making the best fried rice.
You can use any cut of pork you have on hand. We used two leftover pork chops in this recipe but you can use pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or pork butt. You can either chop it into bite-sized pieces or add shredded pulled pork to the recipe.
Check out these rice recipes:
- Ginger Chicken and Steamed Jasmine Rice
- Roasted Duck Legs with Orange Sauce and Wild Rice
- Sprouted Brown Rice Pilaf
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 strips of bacon, cut into small dice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin or rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 8 oz. cooked, diced pork (I used 2 leftover pork chops)
- 4 cups cooked rice, cold
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
- Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the salt and pepper and whip gently with a fork as if you are making an omelet.
- In a wok or large skillet over medium-low heat add the oil and use a pastry brush to coat the skillet (or non-stick spray). Add the eggs and tilt the pan so the eggs cover the skillet bottom completely. Remove the skillet from the heat when the eggs are set and firm. Cut the eggs into small pieces and reserve.
- Using the same skillet/wok add the diced bacon and cook over medium heat till crisp. Push to the far side of the skillet and add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and grated ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin and sesame oil. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the pork and rice, breaking any clumps of rice loose, and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and toss to combine. Remove from heat, the peas will continue to cook in the hot mixture. Add the reserved eggs and toss them together with the rice mixture.
- Transfer the rice to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped scallions.
- Leftover white rice works best with fried rice recipes. Make the rice in advance and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day, the rice will be dry and firm which gives it the perfect texture for fried rice.
- If you don't have leftover rice you can make fresh rice and dry it out in the oven. Spread it on a baking sheet and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes at 200°F. After you dry it out in the oven, stick it in the fridge or freezer to cool it down.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 27g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
This post was originally published on October 3, 2016. We updated the photos and added a video. Part of the original post is below.
It wasn’t until 1975 when Don accepted employment to the U.S. Naval Shipyard Repair Facility at Subic Bay, Philippines that I finally learned to cook rice without it being mushy or gluey.
Our entire family re-located to the Philippines for five years; our four kids were 15, 13, 11 and 7 years of age. We returned to the U.S. in 1980 and by 1987 Don and I were empty-nesters and we returned to the Philippines for another five years.
It was during that first tour in 1975 that I learned to cook rice properly. We had this really nice local lady by the name of Naty that helped me in the home and she taught me how to cook rice. She couldn’t understand how I could have any problems with something so simple. But then she had been cooking rice most of her life.
We survived that huge volcano eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 and returned to the U.S. one year after that event when the U.S. base closed. The Filipino people are gracious, loving and kind-hearted people and we will always treasure our friendships, experiences and memories while living in their country.