Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
This Chinese-takeout style Spicy Chicken Fried Rice is easy to make in one wok in under 30 minutes and so delicious and satisfying! Tender chicken pieces, fragrant aromatics, carrots, peas, corn and brown rice get tossed in a savory-sweet sauce with toasted sesame aromas. It’s great for meal prep and easy weeknight dinners!
One of my favorite easy meal prep recipes – Spicy Chicken Fried Rice! ❤️
Inspired by Chinese-American takeout fried rice, this simple fried rice is made with tender chicken, fragrant aromatics like fresh garlic, ginger, spring onion, frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots) and kicked up a notch with spicy red chilies!
It also boasts a delicious savory-sweet sauce that’s full of fragrant sesame aromas. Super comforting and satisfying, this is one back-pocket fried rice recipe you need in your repertoire for meal prep or busy weeknights.
While I’ve used long grain brown jasmine rice instead of white rice to make it more nutritious, you can absolutely use white rice (long, short, or medium-grain) if you prefer. All taste equally as delicious!
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and everything gets cooked in one wok or pan!
- Perfect texture. Using day-old chilled cooked rice that has had time for the moisture to dry in the fridge results in a non-mushy fried rice. Not drowning the rice in too many sauces also keeps the texture firm so that it fries instead of steams.
- Customizable. You can use a different protein (shrimp, pork, beef, tofu, etc.) and your favorite veggies or whatever you have in your crisper drawer.
- Delicious weeknight side or main. Enjoy it as a main dish or a side with other Asian or Chinese main dishes.
- Tasty and filling! It’s a basic fried rice recipe that is delicious, comforting and satiating!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutes
- Marinated Chicken: I used boneless and skinless chicken breasts, but you can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. I’ve marinated it with ground white pepper (use ground black pepper in a pinch), kosher salt, corn starch, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine and a small drizzle of sesame oil. Use half the amount of salt specified if using iodized table salt.
- Onions: Both yellow onion and spring onion (scallion/green onion) are used in this recipe. Separate the white and light green parts of the spring onion as they’ll go into the wok at different times.
- Aromatics: Fresh ginger, garlic and red chilies. I’ve used Thai Bird’s Eye chilies, but you can use any small hot red chilies that are easily available to you. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference.
- Egg: I’ve used one egg here but you can use two to boost the protein content further if you like. Or leave it out if you don’t like egg in your fried rice.
- Veggies: To keep this fried rice simple and easy, I used frozen mixed vegetables from a bag that had a mix of corn, green peas and carrots. However, other varieties with green beans or cauliflower can also be used. I also added additional green peas because I love how they taste in my fried rice. You can do the same or just use more frozen mixed vegetables.
- Thai Jasmine Brown Rice: Or you can use cooked Thai jasmine white rice or any other long or medium grain rice you prefer. You can also use short grain brown rice (I like Lundberg’s) or white rice such as Japanese koshihikari rice. Day-old chilled rice works best in fried rice as it’s drier and won’t turn into mush in the wok. (See Cook’s Tips section if you don’t have day-old chilled rice on hand and how to prepare it to use in this recipe.)
- Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce: Low sodium so that we can control the salt levels better.
- Shao Xing Rice Wine: A Chinese cooking wine with a fragrant floral aroma. It’s used in marinades and also stir-fry sauces and is an Asian pantry staple. It’s available in most mainstream grocery stores today, Asian supermarkets, and online. Substitute with dry sherry if unavailable.
- Oyster Sauce: Contrary to what one might think, oyster sauce does not taste strongly of oysters. It’s a thick, sweet and salty sauce that is full of umami. It’s available in mainstream supermarkets, Asian supermarkets and online. I like Lee Kum Kee Panda brand for Chinese recipes.
- Sesame Oil: For toasted sesame aromas! Kadoya brand is my favorite.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
1. Cook the marinated chicken. In a little oil in a large nonstick wok until just cooked and slightly browned. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
2. Stir-fry the aromatics. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and stir-fry the yellow onion, spring onion white and light green parts and ginger until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant.
3. Cook the egg. Push everything to the side of the wok and pour in the egg. Allow to set for a few seconds then break it up into pieces and toss to combine with everything else.
4. Add the frozen mixed vegetables and green peas. Stir-fry to combine.
5. Add the rice and sauce. Stir-fry until every grain is evenly coated with the sauce.
6. Season and add the chicken. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper and add the cooked chicken back into the wok. Toss for a minute to combine everything.
7. Toss through the spring onion dark green parts. Switch off the heat.
Serve! Divide evenly into bowls or on plates and garnish with more spring onion if desired. Serve immediately while hot and enjoy!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- To make rice for fried rice quickly. Cook the rice in a pot on the stove with water or in the rice cooker as you normally would. Fluff with a fork, then spread it out on a large baking tray once cooked. Place uncovered in the freezer for 20 minutes or fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will help it cool quickly and also with drying up the moisture.
- Use butter. The best trick for perfectly browned and flavorful fried rice is using butter instead of oil for cooking. You can use light butter instead too if preferred.
- Use a large wok or deep sauté pan. A wok works best for cooking fried rice. However, a large deep skillet/frying pan works well too. The pan should have enough surface area to allow you to spread everything out and have direct contact with the hot pan. This ensures that the rice will fry instead of steam and won’t become mushy or soggy.
- Cook over high heat. Too low heat will cause the rice to steam instead of fry.
- Make it for meal prep. Double the recipe to yield 4 servings by clicking the ‘2x’ button in the recipe card below. After cooking, transfer to meal prep containers and cool for 30-60 minutes. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days and enjoy it for lunch or dinner during the week!
Typically, Chinese restaurants use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil, palm oil or canola oil for fried rice.
Yes, it can for about 1 month. After cooling, transfer to a sealable freezer-friendly zipper bag. Flatten and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Then label and place in the freezer. To thaw and reheat, place overnight in the fridge and reheat in a wok or pan over medium-high heat until hot throughout. Alternatively, transfer to a container and reheat on high in the microwave for 2 minutes or so until hot throughout.
Restaurant versions can be unhealthy due to using more oil and large serving sizes. However, this homemade version is healthy as it calls for less oil, keeps portion control in mind, and is both high in protein from chicken and egg and also fiber thanks to using brown rice and veggies.
- Use a different protein. Sautéed shrimp/prawns, thinly sliced beef skirt or flank steak, or pork fillet (tenderloin) would all taste great in this fried rice. The shrimp doesn’t necessarily have to be marinated. You can season them with salt and pepper and sauté in the wok in a little oil before removing to a clean bowl. Add them to the fried rice when you would’ve added the cooked chicken.
- Make it vegetarian/vegan. Skip the chicken and marinade ingredients and use crispy pan-fried tofu cubes or tempeh instead. Use a mushroom flavored or other vegetarian oyster sauce. To make it vegan, same as for making it vegetarian but omit the egg too.
- Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free light soy sauce or tamari, dry sherry instead of Shao Xing rice wine, and a gluten-free oyster sauce.
- Use different veggies. Diced celery, mushrooms, bell pepper, snow peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli florets, green beans, or any fried rice or stir-fry friendly veggies would taste great in this spicy chicken fried rice.
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MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Take a photo and tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share your masterpiece!Print
Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
Tender chicken pieces, fragrant aromatics, carrots, peas, corn and brown rice get tossed in a savory-sweet sauce with toasted sesame aromas in this Chinese-takeout style Spicy Chicken Fried Rice!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
For the Chicken Marinade:
- 250 grams / 8.8 ounces Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless – cut into bite-sized pieces (note 1)
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
- ⅛ TSP Kosher Salt
- ½ TSP Corn Starch
- 1 TSP Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- 1 TSP Shao Xing Rice Wine (note 2 – substitute with dry sherry if unavailable)
- ¼ TSP Sesame Oil
- 1 TSP Peanut Oil, for cooking (or any other neutral oil with a high smoke point)
For the Sauce:
- 1 TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- 1 TSP Shao Xing Rice Wine
- 1 TSP Oyster Sauce (note 3)
- ½ TSP Sesame Oil
For the Fried Rice:
- 55 grams / ¼ medium Yellow Onion – finely chopped
- 15 grams / 1 medium Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – finely chopped, white and light green parts separated from the dark green parts
- 8 grams / about 1 TBLS minced Ginger
- 25 grams / 4-5 Garlic cloves – minced
- 35 grams / 9-10 fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any other small hot red chilies – note 4*), to taste – finely chopped
- 1 large Egg – lightly beaten
- ½ TBLS Peanut Oil, for cooking
- 100 grams / 1 cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables (I used a bag with corn, peas and carrots), thawed
- 50 grams / about ¼ cup frozen Green Peas, thawed
- 239 grams / 1.5 cups cooked Thai Jasmine Brown Rice, day-old, chilled (100 grams / 3.5 ounces uncooked weight – note 5)
- ¼ TSP Kosher Salt
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper, to taste
- Marinate the chicken: Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium bowl, followed by the kosher salt, ground white pepper, corn starch, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine and sesame oil. Mix well to coat and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Mix together the low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a small measuring cup (for easier pouring) or bowl until combined well.
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the yellow onion, spring onion, ginger, garlic, and fresh red chilies as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section. Crack the egg into a bowl and lightly beat.
For the Spicy Chicken Fried Rice:
- Cook the chicken: Heat 1 TSP peanut oil in a large nonstick wok over high heat. Add the marinated chicken and immediately spread the pieces out in the wok. Allow to sear for 1 minute, then stir-fry for another 40-60 seconds until just cooked and slightly browned. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Stir-fry the aromatics: Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in the wok over high heat. Add the yellow onion, spring onion white and light green parts and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and chilies and stir-fry for 20-30 seconds until fragrant.
- Cook the egg: Push everything to the side of the wok and pour in the egg. Allow to set for 20 seconds then break it up into pieces and toss to combine with everything else.
- Add the veggies: Add the frozen mixed vegetables and green peas. Stir-fry to combine for 30-40 seconds.
- Add the rice and sauce: Add the cooked rice and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry to combine until every grain is evenly coated in the sauce – about 1 minute.
- Season and add the chicken: Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper. Add the cooked chicken back into the wok and toss for 1 minute to combine.
- Toss through the spring onion: Toss through the spring onion dark green parts and switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly into bowls or on plates (or meal prep dishes). Garnish with more chopped spring onion dark green parts if desired and serve.
- Chicken. You can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you prefer them over breasts. Other proteins that’d taste great in this fried rice are shrimp/prawns, thinly sliced beef skirt or flank steak, or pork fillet (tenderloin). The shrimp doesn’t necessarily have to be marinated. You can season them with salt and pepper and sauté in a little oil in a wok before transferring to a clean bowl. Add them to the fried rice when you would add the cooked chicken in step 6.
- Shao Xing Rice Wine. A Chinese cooking wine with a fragrant floral aroma. It’s used in marinades and also stir-fry sauces and is an Asian pantry staple. It’s available in most mainstream grocery stores today, Asian supermarkets, and online. Substitute with dry sherry if unavailable.
- Oyster Sauce. Oyster sauce does not taste strongly of oysters. It’s a thick sweet and salty sauce and is full of umami. It’s available in mainstream supermarkets, Asian supermarkets and online. I like Lee Kum Kee Panda brand for Chinese recipes.
- Red Chilies. Use any small hot red chilies that are easily available to you. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference and how hot the chilies you are using are.
- Thai Jasmine Brown Rice. Feel free to use cooked white jasmine rice or any other long or medium grain rice you prefer. You can also use short grain brown rice (I like Lundberg’s) or white rice such as Japanese koshihikari rice.
- Making rice for fried rice quickly. If you don’t have cooked day-old chilled rice in your fridge, cook the rice in a pot on the stove or in the rice cooker with water as you normally would . Fluff with a fork and spread it out on a large baking tray once cooked. Place uncovered in the freezer for 20 minutes or fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will help it cool quickly and also with drying up the moisture.
- Doubling the recipe. Double the recipe to yield 4 servings by clicking the ‘2x’ button at the top of the recipe card. If making ahead for meal prep, transfer to containers and cool for 30-60 minutes. Cover with the containers’ lids and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Storing and reheating. Store in airtight sealed containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on high in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes or until hot throughout.
- See ‘Variations’ section in the post for tips on how to customize this fried rice.
- Serving Size: ½ of recipe
- Calories: 536
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Sodium: 840.4mg
- Fat: 15.4g
- Saturated Fat: 2.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8.6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 57.6g
- Fiber: 7.2g
- Protein: 41.8g
- Cholesterol: 184.3mg
Keywords: chicken fried rice, Chinese chicken fried rice, spicy chicken fried rice
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