The other day I made a huge batch of my air fryer char siu and ended up with some leftovers. I knew I couldn’t put it to waste, so I decided to make char siu (pork) fried rice and let me tell you… it was so good!
Growing up, I remember eating char siu fried rice every week with my family. My relatives (about 15 of us) would get together at my Aunt’s house and order takeout from a local Chinese restaurant. My go-to order was always fried chicken wings and pork fried rice without fail. Let’s just say I was a chubby kid lol.
This recipe reminded me so much of the fried rice I used to eat, so it’s a very nostalgic dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂
Why you’ll love this recipe
This char siu fried rice recipe is exactly what you’re looking for when you need something quick, delicious, and filling. Fried rice is a great dish to make when you have extra rice and leftovers in your fridge so nothing goes to waste. The best part is that it only takes 25 minutes to prepare, so get ready to add this to your repertoire because I guarantee that you’ll want to make this on repeat!
How do I prepare Char Siu Fried Rice?
To prepare this scrumptious fried rice dish, just follow the steps below:
Step 1: Prepare the sauce.
In a bowl, combine soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and black pepper powder. Mix together well then set aside.
Step 2: Saute the onion.
In a deep pan or wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and saute for 1 minute.
Step 3: Stir-fry the vegetables and char siu.
Add the garlic, long green pepper, and carrot. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Then, add the char siu and toss to mix everything together.
Step 4: Add the rice.
Toss in the rice and break it apart with a spatula or spoon.
Step 5: Pour in the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the rice and mix together until the rice is evenly coated.
Step 6: Add the rest of the oil.
Push the rice to one side of the wok and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan.
Step 7: Add the egg.
Crack an egg and gently scramble. Once scrambled, mix the egg with the rice. At this point, be sure to taste the seasoning of the fried rice, and adjust if needed. If the fried rice is a bit bland, add a splash of soy sauce.
Step 8: Plate and serve
Transfer the fried rice to a bowl and garnish a generous amount of scallions on top. Serve and enjoy!
Cooking Tips for Char Siu Fried Rice
Although this recipe is already easy to make, here are a couple of cooking tips you can keep in mind to help you make the most delicious fried rice every time:
- While using cold day-old rice is ideal, you can also use fresh rice too! For best results, spread out the fresh rice onto a shallow tray or plate and allow it to air dry for about an hour before cooking. This will help evaporate some of the moisture and prevent the rice from sticking.
- Adjust the amount of green pepper added according to your spice level tolerance.
- Like most fried rice dishes, this can be easily customizable based on your preferences. Feel free to add your favorite aromatics, vegetables, and protein to make this your own!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Cooked rice: cold and day-old rice is preferred for this recipe. But in a pinch, you can also use fresh rice. Just be sure to air dry the rice an hour before cooking.
Char siu (Chinese BBQ pork): any char siu would work for this – whether homemade or store-bought. If you don’t have char siu, feel free to substitute it with a protein of your choice.
Onion: the onion builds the flavor profile and adds a hint of sweetness to the dish. You can use white, yellow, or red onions.
Garlic cloves: I like using a lot of garlic but feel free to adjust based on your preferences.
Green pepper or jalapeno: green peppers add some heat to the dish. But you can also use any chili pepper you prefer, including Thai chili peppers, and serrano, or omit it completely.
Carrot: carrots add a hint of sweetness and a pop of color to the fried rice. Feel free to replace them with your veggies of choice, like peas and bean sprouts.
Egg: eggs are essential with fried rice, and also make the dish heartier.
Scallion: scallions add freshness and a subtle peppery/onion flavor. You can also use cilantro.
Neutral oil: any neutral-tasting oil will do great for stir-frying, including vegetable, canola, corn, avocado, grapeseed, peanut, or sunflower oil.
Salt: salt is used to season the fried rice. You can also use soy sauce – just be sure to add a little at a time and taste as you go.
Soy sauce: soy sauce adds umami and salty flavors to the dish. You can replace it with salt or dark soy sauce. Always adjust to taste.
Dark soy sauce: dark soy sauce is primarily used to add color to the fried rice. You can substitute it with regular soy sauce.
Sesame oil: the sesame oil is used to add a nutty taste to the fried rice. It also helps to round out the savoriness of the fried rice.
Shaoxing wine: Shaoxing wine will deepen the flavors of the dish, complementing the char siu. You can also substitute it with sake, mirin, dry sherry, or skip it completely.
Sugar: sugar is used to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce and salt. Feel free to use white or brown sugar.
Ground black pepper: ground black pepper adds a touch of fresh pepperiness to the fried rice. You can also use ground white pepper as a substitute.
If you want to experiment with other ingredients in your fried rice, here are a few additions that will complement its flavors:
1. Peas – peas are a standard ingredient in fried rice, so it’s no surprise they’ll also go well with this recipe. If you’re using frozen peas, let them thaw first before stir-frying.
2. Cabbage – chopped cabbage is an easy way of incorporating extra vegetables into the fried rice. Cabbage is fairly neutral in taste and is a sneaky way of adding more veggies to your meals.
3. Pineapple – adding pineapple to this fried rice recipe may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But the sweetness of the pineapples complements the flavors of the char siu. Make sure to cut them into small chunks, so they’re easy to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use fresh rice for this recipe?
Technically, you can use fresh rice for this fried rice recipe however, using day-old rice is ideal. Fresh rice tends to get sticky and mushy but there’s a way to work around this! If you want to use freshly cooked rice, spread it out onto a tray for an hour to allow it to cool down and evaporate its excess moisture.
Soy sauce vs dark soy sauce
True to its name, dark soy sauce has a darker color compared to regular soy sauce. It also has a thicker consistency and a slighter sweeter and saltier taste however, not by much. Dark soy sauce is primarily used in dishes like fried rice and noodle dishes to add a deeper color. With that being said, dark soy sauce can be substituted with regular soy sauce.
What is Shaoxing wine?
Shaoxing wine is a type of traditional cooking wine that’s often used in Chinese cuisine. It’s made from fermented glutinous rice, wheat-based yeast, and water. I like to add to the sauce because it deepens the flavor. You can buy a bottle of Shaoxing wine at your local Asian store or online.
How to store leftover Char Siu Fried rice?
Store leftover fried rice in an airtight container, but make sure to let it cool completely before sealing the lid. It can last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. You can reheat the char siu fried rice in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly warm. Alternatively, you can reheat the fried rice on the stovetop in a pan.
Looking for more easy and delicious rice recipes? Look no further!
1. Marinated Salmon Sashimi – this rice thief recipe will keep you coming back for more. The salmon is marinated in a rich and savory soy marinade that complements its buttery texture. If you’re a sashimi lover and have a big appetite for all things fresh and incredibly flavorful, this dish is for you!
2. Kimchi Egg & Spam Onigirazu – for a portable meal that’s delicious and easy to make, you must try this recipe. The filling is easily customizable based on what you desire!
3. Lap Cheong Fried Rice – if you can’t get enough of fried rice, you are going to love this lap cheong fried rice. Everything comes together in just 15 minutes. If you are looking for a no-frills quick and easy weekday meal, this is one!
4. Japanese Beef Rice Bowl (Gyudon) – this is a 15-minute quick, easy, and delicious rice bowl recipe – perfect for any meal of the day!
5. Chicken Jook – this quick and easy congee recipe is the ultimate comfort food! Whether you’re in need of something to brighten up your day or soothe your soul, this congee is the one for you!
Char Siu Fried Rice
- 2 1/2 cups cooked rice preferably cold and day old
- 1/2 cup char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 long long green pepper or jalapeno finely chopped
- 1/4 cup carrot diced
- 1 egg scrambled
- 1 scallion chopped
- 3 tbsp neutral oil divided
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Let's prepare the sauce! In a bowl, combine soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and black pepper powder. Mix together well and set aside.
- In a deep pan or wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and cook for 1 minute.
- Next, add garlic, long green pepper, and carrot. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the char siu and stir fry everything together.
- Toss in the rice and break the rice apart using a spatula or spoon.
- Pour the sauce over the rice and mix together until the the rice is evenly coated.
- Push the rice to one side of the wok and add the remaining tbsp of oil on the side without the rice.
- Crack an egg and gently scramble. Then, mix the egg in with the rice. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt if needed.
- Garnish with scallions and enjoy!
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