National Fried Rice Day

September 20th is recognized annually as National Fried Rice Day in the United States. This celebration pays homage to the beloved and versatile fried rice dish that can incorporate endless flavor profile combinations. Fried rice originated in Asia and has become a popular takeout staple enjoyed worldwide. In observance of this custom, we’ve gathered a collection of mouthwatering recipes sure to satisfy any fried rice craving. From classic chicken fried rice to indulgent holiday varieties, these dishes are perfect for celebrating the flavors of fried rice.

National Fried Rice Day

Types of Fried Rice

While chicken fried rice reigns as a staple, there are countless ways to customize this dish to taste. Here are some popular fried rice varieties:

  • Chicken Fried Rice: Diced chicken breast or thigh with egg, vegetables and seasoning is a classic combo.
  • Shrimp Fried Rice: Plump shrimp provides a sweet seafood element paired with bell peppers and greens.
  • Vegetarian Fried Rice: Onions, cabbage, carrots and broccoli make a hearty meatless meal.
  • Steak Fried Rice: Thinly sliced steak adds savory umami alongside mushrooms and garlic.
  • Beef and Broccoli Fried Rice: Tender beef and crunchy broccoli are a match made in takeout heaven.
  • Pineapple Fried Rice: Slices of sweet and tart pineapple jazz up plain fried rice.
  • Kimchi Fried Rice: Spicy fermented cabbage lends Korean flair.
  • Thanksgiving Fried Rice: Turkey, stuffing, cranberries and nuts transform the dish seasonally.

These variations allow endless exploration of favorite ingredients in the versatile fried rice template. Read on for five delicious recipes to celebrate National Fried Rice Day.

Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

A perennial crowd-pleaser, this classic chicken fried rice recipe comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal.


  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mixed frozen veggies
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Set aside.
  2. Scramble eggs in the same pan and break into pieces.
  3. Add rice, chicken, veggies, soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss to combine while heating through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe

Fresh shrimp brightens up this uniquely flavored fried rice dish.


  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 6-8 green onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Sesame oil


  1. Cook shrimp until pink and set aside.
  2. Scramble eggs in same pan and break into pieces.
  3. Add rice, shrimp, bell pepper, green onions, wine, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
  4. Toss ingredients together while heating through.
  5. Drizzle with sesame oil before serving. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Fried Rice

This meatless take on fried rice is loaded with Asian veggies.


  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 cup assorted frozen veggies like carrot, broccoli, cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fried tofu, cubed
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat sesame oil in a pan over medium-high. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds.
  2. Add veggies and toss with sesame oil and salt until tender-crisp.
  3. Add rice, soy sauce and vinegar. Toss.
  4. Stir in fried tofu. Cook until heated through. Season to taste.


Thanksgiving Fried Rice

Put a festive spin on leftovers with this savory holiday fried rice dish.


  • 2 cups cooked white and brown rice
  • 1 cup cubed cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Sauté celery and onion for 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds more.
  3. Add rice, turkey, cranberries, pecans and green beans. Stir to coat.
  4. Pour in broth and cranberry sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is heated through, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

National Fried Rice Day celebrates the versatility and worldwide popularity of this beloved Asian staple. Whether you keep it classic or customize ingredients seasonally, these recipes provide endlessly satisfying ways to appreciate the delightful flavors of fried rice. Happy cooking and enjoy your favorite fried rice creations!

Garlic Fried Rice

Sizzling garlic infuses every bite of this simple yet sublime fried rice dish. Finely mince 3 cloves garlic and cook in sesame oil until fragrant. Add cooked day-old jasmine rice and continue frying while mixing thoroughly until rice is heated through and takes on deep savory flavor. Season with soy sauce, sherry or rice vinegar. Top with chopped scallions before serving hot.

Homemade Fried Rice

Skip the takeout with this from-scratch recipe celebrating the fried rice experience. Sauté chopped chicken, onions, peas and carrots in oil along with ginger and garlic. Crack 2 beaten eggs into the pan, scrambling into pieces. Add cooked long-grain rice and toss everything together while cooking for 5 more minutes. Finish with a splash of rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Tofu Fried Rice

Crispy baked tofu cubes add protein to this satisfying vegan take on the classic. Bake extra-firm tofu tossed with garlic powder, soy sauce and sesame oil. In a separate pan, stir-fry assorted veggies like shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts and broccoli in tamari or coconutaminos. Combine rice, tofu and veggies, heating through while coating with sauce. Top with cilantro or chili pepper flakes.

Vegan Fried Rice Recipe

Skip the eggs and chicken yet indulge fully with this animal product-free version. Sauté chopped tempeh bacon along with minced garlic in vegetable broth. Toss with steamed rice, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, green onion and shredded baked tofu. Season with reduced sodium tamari, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic.

Garlic Chicken Fried Rice

This one-pan Asian dinner packs bold garlic flavor. Sauté diced chicken breast in oil with 2 tbsp minced garlic until no longer pink. Stir in rice along with baby spinach, shiitakes and spring onion. Fry for 5 minutes until heated through. Stir in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and black pepper before serving hot.

Beef Fried Rice

Lean ground beef adds heartiness to this Southeast Asian-inspired fried rice. Brown ground sirloin with ginger, garlic and chili sauce in the pan. Remove meat and sauté sliced carrots, cabbage and bell peppers until crisp-tender. Return beef along with cooked rice, green beans, bean sprouts, lime juice and fish sauce. Fry until warmed through.

Steak Fried Rice

Thinly sliced flank steak turns ordinary fried rice gourmet. Stir-fry marinated steak strips with broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts and garlic in sesame oil. Remove meat and veggies, then fry eggs in same pan until set. Return fried ingredients to pan along with cooked rice. Toss everything together while cooking rice until hot. Serve dynamite steak fried rice with soy sauce.



What type of rice is best for fried rice?

Day-old short-grain rice like sushi rice that is slightly dry works perfectly. Fresh rice can become mushy when stirred.

How do I prevent fried rice from sticking?

Use enough oil to lightly coat the pan before cooking. Break up clumps of rice with your spatula as it cooks.

How long does fried rice keep?

Leftover fried rice keeps 3-4 days refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat over medium heat with a splash of water to loosen.

Is fried rice gluten-free?

Fried rice can be made gluten-free by using tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and excluding any wheat flour ingredients.

Is fried rice healthy?

While fried rice contains carbs and sodium from soy sauce, using small amounts of oil, incorporating vegetables and choosing lean proteins like chicken keeps it moderately healthy.