You can make stir fried rice. You don’t need to order takeout.

Save the earth. You don’t need all the plastic takeout containers to get a taste of takeout Chinese.  This is a great meal if you’ve got some leftover rice. Rice is freezer friendly, so you can even make up a bunch and freeze for this quick meal. Stir-fried rice is perfect “recycled food” you can make using whatever needs to be eaten in the kitchen.

Stir Fried Rice from the Pantry

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • oil (canola or peanut)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger, or 1/2 tsp powdered
  • Optional veggies: carrots, peas, anything really…
  • Optional meats: shredded pork, cut up chicken. This is great for meats you’ve cooked, frozen, and canned, or any leftovers from a roast or chicken night.
  • pre-cooked (leftover) rice, cold is best
  • 2-3 eggs, scrambled in a dish
  • soy sauce
  1. Scramble your egg. Fry in preheated oil in thin layers. Slice into ribbons. Put aside.
  2. Sauté your onions and any veggies you want cooked. Add the garlic and ginger towards the end so it doesn’t burn. If you’re using fresh meat (not precooked leftovers) add this here and cook until done.
  3. Add a little more oil if this is sticking. Then, add rice, some soy sauce, and the cooked eggs. If you’re using leftover or pre-cooked meat add it in this step.
  4. Heat up and stir for a few minutes.
  5. Taste for seasoning and serve.
  6. This produces a pretty light fried rice. If you want it more stuck together, you can add one scrambled raw egg now and keep cooking until it’s binding the rice together.
  7. Serve.

COST: $: Leftover rice, meat or no meat, and scraps of veggies make this a go-to cheap meal.


VEGETARIAN: Yes. Skip the meat.


KETO:  No. But I’ve got an alternative for you. It’s a one-pot meal in the spirit of an egg roll.


COOK AHEAD:  Never make one pot of this. Bulk cook and freeze 5 or 6 meals.  Barley doesn’t freeze well–you’ll end up with a paste. So, if you’re bulk cooking, then leave out the barley (pasta, or any grain). If cooking ahead, I cook up a separate pot of barley and freeze in 1 cup portions. Then, I thaw and add when thawing the soup.


Photo credit:  Annie Spratt on Unsplash

PS: I know that rice photo’s paella masquerading as stir fried rice. No one eats lemon with stir fried rice. That’s nuts. I need to get caught up on my food photos. I’m eating, not instagramming, my food these days.