Garlic Fried Rice

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

Before I get into my recipe for today I have 2 awesome tips to share with you.  One complaint I hear from so many people is that brown rice takes too long to cook for regular weeknight meals, so even though it’s so much better for you there’s just not enough time.  Well, that excuse wont work for me anymore.  You can always cook rice in the morning, the day before or even the weekend before and then reheat it when needed but this makes things even easier.  But my newest favorite idea is even easier.

You can freeze it!  I never knew this before but since reading it over at FITori it makes so much sense!  I already cook large pots of beans and freeze the leftovers and they’re almost just as quick as a can.  This way you can freeze it in the portions that you will use it and only take out as much as you will need.  I assume you can take it out the morning before and let it thaw in the fridge and then by dinner time you’ll have perfect rice that just needs to be reheated.  Or you can even thaw it in the microwave or by dumping the frozen rice in a pot with a couple tbsp of water and heating it until it’s heated through.

No need to buy those awful flavored rice packets that are ready in a couple minutes, and no need to buy instant brown rice.  Do those freak anyone else out?  Just freeze some rice for when you’re in a rush!  Awesome, right?


Tip number two.  When I first started making rice, I couldn’t ever make it properly.  It was always way too sticky and gummy and gross.  Then I came across a recipe to bake it and I’ve had perfect rice ever since.  So I guess this is more of a recipe than a tip, but trust me if you have issues making rice or even if you need the room on your stove for other things, bake it.  Just make sure your pot doesn’t have any plastic handles and is oven safe.

Baked Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1½ C short grain brown rice
  • 2½ C water or stock
  • salt to taste or as directed on the package of rice
  • 1 tbsp oil or butter(optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized oven safe pot combine the rice, water, salt and oil if using. Bring to a boil on the stove then cover and place inside the oven. Bake for 60 minutes then remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving, being careful because the pot will still be hot. This recipe can easily be doubled in a larger pot.


So moving on…  This fried rice is one of the easiest meals I make.  The only prep work is chopping veggies, and even though the ingredients list isn’t the shortest, trust me, it’s so simple.  And it’s not an exact science either.  If you don’t have edamame, add more peas or broccoli.  Don’t eat eggs or don’t like eggs in dishes like this, leave them out or substitute a little crumbled tofu.  Don’t have celery but you have fresh crunchy sugar or snap peas, chop into bite sized pieces and add those.



Garlic Fried Rice
Yield: 6-8 as a meal, can easily be halved
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
  • 2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 C peas and/or edamame(or a mix of both, frozen is fine)
  • 2 C finely chopped broccoli
  • 5 C leftover brown rice
  • 3-4 large eggs, scrambled and cooked with a pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • a pinch of white pepper or to taste
  1. Start by chopping all the vegetables. Once everything is ready, start by heating a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and add the onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until they're softened.
  2. At this point I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan till they're well done and crumbled into bite sized pieces. Turn the heat off for the eggs once cooked and wait to add them to the main dish. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a few more minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and broccoli. Mix well and lower the heat slightly. Once the garlic and ginger have cooked for a few minutes, before they begin to brown, add the two to three tbsp of water and cook until the veggies are the desired tenderness. This will depend on how finely chopped they are and how cooked you like them. Keep in mind they will continue to cook for a few minutes as the rice heats up so don't over cook them.
  3. Add the rice to the pan and pour the soy sauce and vinegar over top and sprinkle with the chinese 5 spice and the white pepper if using. Mix slightly then add the eggs, mix well and heat through. Continue to cook for a couple minutes while stirring if there is any liquid on the bottom of the pan. Cooking it for a few minutes will allow the rice to absorb the moisture and will result in a less sticky fried rice. Serve while hot.


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vivienne July 2, 2011 at

Hi Heidi – glad to have discovered this great space you have here…all these wholesome recipes – great cooking philosophy! 🙂

good idea about freezing brown rice…that way you don’t have to cook it completely initially as when you re-heat it it’ll soften it again!! i usually soak my brown rice for a long time – helps a bit with the cookign time too!

and can i just say that i LOVE loads of garlic in rice too? 🙂


2 Maris(In Good Taste) July 3, 2011 at

I would never of thought to bake my rice but if it comes out like yours, then that’s what I will be doing from now on!


3 Jane-Anne July 3, 2011 at

What a great tip: I have never thought of freezing rice, and I always have left overs. I love you photographs! Thanks for the comment you left on my blog and warm wishes from South Africa.


4 Sue July 3, 2011 at

That is a bowl of beautiful fried rice. I didn’t mean to be disrespectly or what but I just want to let you know that in Asian culture we don’t stick the chopsticks like that in the rice. If we do that it means we are serving the rice to the dead or our ancestor when we pray to them in the altar.


5 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 3, 2011 at

Oh! I had no idea. I wont do that again, I don’t want to offend anyone! Thanks for letting me know 🙂


6 Rawkinmom July 3, 2011 at

your pics are always so amazing…I can only imagine how long it must take to set all of that up!!! Have you taken a food styling class???


7 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 4, 2011 at

Aw thank you so much! I put a lot more time than usual into the pictures for this post so it means so much to me that you said something!! I haven’t taken a food styling course. I would love to but living in a small town I may never get to one, haha.


8 baobabs July 3, 2011 at

YUM, LOVE fried rice, it’s the ultimate comfort food. @sue it’s funny but we also stick to the same practice that that is taboo at the table. The wonderful ways of sharing food culture with blogs!


9 Deborah July 3, 2011 at

I’ve heard that cooking rice in the oven works wonders, but I’ve never tried it. You’ve just inspired me!!


10 Memoria July 3, 2011 at

I make my brown rice in a rice cooker. I just get that part started before moving on to the rest of the meal and then everything is ready at the same time. I love the idea of freezing the rice, though.


11 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 4, 2011 at

That’s perfect too. I’ve actually never used a rice cooker, but that would have been a logical solution to my rice making problem.


12 EP July 3, 2011 at

I love to put a teaspoon or so of sesame oil into my fried rice. It gives such an amazing flavor with so little input – perfect for fried rice. It’s a quintessential Asian flavor. You can also boost the flavors with maybe a drop or too of fish sauce. Serious flavor booster!


13 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 4, 2011 at

Mmm, yes. I love adding sesame oil! I love adding it to stir fry’s as well. It really does add a great flavor. I actually usually add some fish sauce or oyster sauce but I wanted to keep it vegetarian this time. Very good suggestions for anyone wanting to experiment with their fried rice though 😀


14 Maria @ Scandifoodie July 4, 2011 at

This sounds so tasty! I’m hopeless (seriously) when it comes to making fried rice so this recipe is certainly bookmarked! Thank you!


15 Shakila @ Baking Epiphanies July 4, 2011 at

I LOVE that tip about freezing rice in individual portions, indispensable for me (live alone, watching calories). Have no clue why I never thought of it before!! That’s what I love about food blogs. I love fried rice too, one of the ultimate comfort meals, and so much easier now that I’ll have portions of frozen rice to just toss in the pan!

Your photos are GORGEOUS. Plus, I guess you learn something new every day – I had no idea about the chopsticks either!

Thanks for visiting my blog!


16 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 4, 2011 at

I’m so glad that tip is helpful!! I like just making single serving fried rice for lunch when I have nothing else, it works really well.

Thank you so much! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a clue about the chopsticks 😀 Oops.

Thanks for stopping by!


17 Mark@SeasonWithSpice July 4, 2011 at

Hi Heidi, thanks for the freezing rice tip. We usually make a big batch for lunch, and keep the leftover in the refrigerator for dinner or lunch the next day. I’m sure frozen rice will taste fine when it’s cooked in fried rice, but how does it taste on its own? Will have to sacrifice my precious ice cream storage space (my freezer is tiny), and give it a try to find out.


18 chinmayie @ love food eat July 4, 2011 at

I love fried rice! this recipe sounds a lot like mine really… i don’t use eggs and i use all kinds of different spices and sauces. I have always made fried rice with white rice, i should try it with white rice 🙂


19 Marsha @ The Harried Cook July 5, 2011 at

Thank you for stopping by my blog, Heidi! 🙂 I was just browsing through your site, and I love your recipes! So yummy and lot of foods that I consider comfort foods… Like this fried rice… I love eating fried rice – hot or cold! And I love that this recipe uses brown rice! Yummy.. Thank you for sharing! I will be back to visit more often 🙂


20 Jeanette July 5, 2011 at

I love fried brown rice and this sounds perfect with lots of veggies and 5 spice powder. I do freeze brown rice and other grains – so convenient and less expensive than store-bought.


21 Yadi I. @ShopCookMake July 5, 2011 at

I never get tired of fried rice. Every recipe is like the first one. I love this one. gotta try it very soon.


22 Tonya August 3, 2012 at

Thank you!!
I am soooo brown rice “challenged”. My husband actually makes fun of me. I tried your recipe this morning. It worked perfect! I turned right around and froze it into muffin tins like you suggested. The hubby and I are watching our calories. This is amazing. We love to eat rice and actually prefer brown rice to white. Now we can enjoy it’s healthy benefits all the time, with none of the work. Thanks again for the tip!
Oh, and I will be thanking for the link here!


23 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 7, 2012 at

Yay! I’m so glad it worked so well for you – I was brown rice “challenged” until I started baking it too!


24 kris August 28, 2012 at

Hi there, just wanted to tell you that I am loving your site. I am having to learn how to cook all over again b/c we just recently discovered my daughter is allergic to any kind of milk protein. I made the garlic fried rice tonight and everyone loved it:)


25 Heidi @ Food Doodles September 1, 2012 at

Thank you! So glad everyone enjoyed it!!


26 IceQueeny March 25, 2014 at

Dear Heidi, I stumbled across your website and am really impressed. I normally don’t eat rice (brown or white) because it’s just so bland. Will definitely try this recipe and report back.


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