Ginger Fried Rice

ginger fried rice

This is a quick recipe to throw together with a little advance prep work. A bit of chopping in the morning or the night before (after dinner) means that a wonderfully fragrant, hot meal can be on the table in minutes.

The most complicated part of this recipe is poaching the eggs. They’re not crucial (scrambled eggs cooked separately, then chopped up and stirred into the rice at the end work well too), but I do think they’re perfect here because their combination of runny yolk and firm, but not rubbery, white¹ pairs wonderfully with the delicate texture of the rice. If you’ve never made one before, I recommend trying your hand at that part in advance. With a lot of patience and some practice (plus about a dozen extra eggs) you can become a poaching master—I promise!

If you prefer to eat eggs only when hidden in cakes and cookies, feel free to substitute them with sautéed salmon (on top) or a handful of leftover, cooked, and cubed chicken (stirred into the pan at the same time as the rice). A bowl of in-shell edamame served on the side is a nice touch, too.

Ginger Fried Rice

(heavily adapted from The New York Times, January 22, 2010)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes, maximum

Serves: 4-6, main course or side

Be sure to allow steamed rice to cool completely — for best results it needs to be refrigerator-cold before using in this recipe!


Poached Eggs:

  • 4 to 6 large eggs
  • Water and distilled white vinegar to a depth of two inches (use the following ratio: 1 tablespoon Vinegar for every 2 cups water)

Fried Rice:

  • 4 cups steamed white rice, cooled completely in the refrigerator (see below for tips and a recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons refined peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams or about 4 cloves) minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams or about a 1″ piece) peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) peeled and finely diced (about 1/8″ cubes) carrots
  • 2 cups (6 ounces, from about 2-3) trimmed, halved and thinly sliced (1/8″ ribbons) leeks
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (I prefer non-toasted for its more delicate flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)

For Serving:


Prepare Poached Eggs:

In a 4″ deep saucepan, warm water and vinegar over medium heat until a few small bubbles start surfacing. Crack egg into the hot water, wait about 30 seconds before touching it. Using a slotted spoon, gently loosen egg from the bottom of the pan. Gently nudge the whites (still a bit clear at this point) around the yolk to form the egg into the nice poached egg shape. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove egg with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining eggs (no need to change water unless it is too cloudy — that means the water wasn’t quite warm enough when the egg went in).

DO AHEAD: Can be made before starting on the fried rice. Reheat the eggs just before the rice is finished cooking in a pot of fresh, simmering water. Gently place all of the poached eggs into the water (they can be touching), and heat for 1 minute (if reheating from room temp, longer if the poached eggs were refrigerated). Drain eggs and proceed to plating.

Make Fried Rice:

In a large sauté pan (4 quart) over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic, ginger, and carrots. Cook, stirring constantly just until fragrant, but not browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add leeks and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until tender.

Add sesame oil through rice vinegar to the vegetables; scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in rice; cook, stirring occasionally (some rice will probably stick to the bottom of the pan, that’s ok), until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Plate Rice and Eggs:

Divide rice onto four or six plates or bowls. Top each mound of rice with a warm, poached egg and sprinkle with chives, if using. Serve immediately.


¹ Please note that consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.

Steamed White Rice

From Scratch (for exactly 4 cups cooked):

1 1/3 cups (240 grams) dry Long Grain White Rice (preferably Jasmine)
2 cups Water

Rinse rice. Bring water to a boil in a large, covered pot. Stir in rice; cover pot. Reduce heat to low; simmer for about 20 minutes or until the water is all absorbed. Remove from heat, let stand for 10 minutes, fluff with fork. Cool completely before using for fried rice. (Adapted from Lundberg Family Farms)


2 bags Trader Joe’s Frozen Jasmine Rice, cooked per package instructions (3 bags per box) and cooled completely

The Cheat:

4 cups Leftover Rice (from a takeout joint—most will let you purchase just rice for a few bucks), cooled completely

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