Homemade Pork Fried Rice is easy and worth it. Tender pieces of pork tenderloin, rainbow vegetables, and crispy rice frolicking in a sticky, savory sauce, this takeout classic is astonishingly simple to make and will reward you for the (minimal) effort.
When you need a fast, healthy dinner that uses ingredients you have on hand (who doesn’t?), fried rice is the granddaddy of them all.
- It delivers the essentials. Whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein are present in every bite.
- It’s flexible. Those past-peak veggies in your crisper drawer? Use ‘em here!
- It is FAST. Be sure you prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking. This recipe moves.
- It’s DELICIOUS. Even those who might shy away from other Asian recipes cannot deny the appeal of a rice-based dish (particularly once you factor in that sweet, sticky sauce!).
I adore fried rice, but it’s a dish I’ve come to prefer making myself.
I use this go-to Homemade Fried Rice as my recipe base.
The fried rice on takeout menus never seems to have enough protein or vegetables for my liking, especially since when I make fried rice, I want it to be the main event.
Instead of defaulting to the usual Chicken Fried Rice or its cousin Quinoa Fried Rice with Chicken and Vegetables, I decided to switch it up and try making this pork fried rice using a lean pork tenderloin I discovered in our freezer.
If you’ve never used pork in stir fry recipes before, you are in for a TREAT.
- Pork is an exciting change of pace from the usual chicken; you’ll realize how much you appreciate the variety as soon as you take a bite.
- Pork tenderloin, my preferred cut of pork for stir fries, is lean and healthy.
- Pork is a good middle ground between those that prefer red meat (like Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry), and those tied to white mean (Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry is for you).
For the best pork stir fry ever, be sure to check out the Kickin’ Black Pepper Pork Stir Fry in The Well Plated Cookbook.
How to Make Pork Fried Rice
Traditional Chinese pork fried rice is made of leftover rice, pork, scrambled egg, green onions (or scallions), and seasonings such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, and/or hoisin.
Fried rice is unhealthy when it’s made with processed grains, excess sugar and oil, and skimps on the vegetables—this is how it’s often found in takeout restaurants.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
- An authentic Chinese pork fried rice recipe (and authentic Chinese food in general), uses far less sugar than Americanized takeout versions.
- For today’s version, I am making a healthy pork fried rice recipe that uses ingredients you can find at any grocery store. (Though if you are lucky enough to have a local Asian market near you, fried rice is an excellent excuse to check it out!)
- It packs in the protein and vegetables, uses whole grains, and limits the sugar and oil, without sacrificing traditional flavor.
Why is Pork Fried Rice Red?
When you order pork fried rice at a restaurant, you may have noticed its red hue. This is because you’re actually getting “char siu” pork, which is barbecued in a sweet, red sauce.
- Pork. A lean and scrumptious source of protein cut into small pieces. Pork pairs well with Asian flavors and helps make the rice more satisfying.
- Rice. Filling, delicious, and beloved by all. Rice soaks up all the delicious flavors in the sauce for a truly scrumptious final dish.
For crispy pork fried rice that soundly beats take out in the texture department (while I have other gripes about takeout fried rice, the texture is quite spot-on), use cold, leftover cooked rice.
There’s a science with the rice starch once it’s cooled that enables it to crisp without clumping together or becoming mushy.
- Oyster Sauce. Delightfully sweet, sticky, and salty; this is an all-in-one flavor maker.
- Soy Sauce. Adds umami goodness and that can’t-miss fried rice flavor.
- Sesame Oil. Transformative! A little goes a long way.
- Bell Peppers. Crisp, sweet, and delicious in fried rice. Plus, with oodles of vitamins, bell peppers are a healthy addition too.
- Frozen Peas + Carrots. To keep things easy, I toss in a bag of frozen peas and carrots. They’re the perfect size, cook in a flash, and boost the overall nutrition.
- Garlic + Ginger. Important flavor builders in Asian-inspired recipes like this one.
- Butter. Don’t skip it! A touch of butter takes fried rice to the next level.
- Eggs. For an extra punch of protein.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper. Stir the soy, oyster sauce, and sesame oil together.
- Cook the pork in oil. Remove to a bowl.
- Cook the vegetables. Transfer them to the bowl with the pork.
- Sauté the garlic and ginger in oil.
- Cook the butter, rice, and half of the green onions, stirring to break up clumps.
- Cook the eggs in the center of the rice, then, using a wooden spoon, stir.
- Stir in the green onions, vegetables, pork, and sauce. DIG IN!
- To Store. Store fried rice in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- To Reheat. Reheat leftovers in a large skillet or wok on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze fried rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Wok. Perfect for making pork fried rice.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. Make sure your cutting board stays put while you chop with this non-slip version.
- Spatula. Great for fried rice and so many other recipes.
Fried rice is on our dinner greatest hits list, and the music is sweet.
I hope your family adores it, and that it provides recipe respite for you on a busy night soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make this pork fried rice spicy by adding sriracha, red pepper flakes, or chili garlic sauce.
It’s easy to prep pork fried rice ahead of time. Up to 1 day in advance, cut and trim the pork, cut the bell peppers, ginger, and garlic, and cook the rice. Refrigerate each ingredient in a separate airtight storage container.
For this recipe, I used fresh bell peppers and frozen peas and carrots. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. A few of my favorite fresh veggies to use are broccoli, mushrooms, onions, eggplant, bok choy, and cauliflower (and sometimes I use cauliflower to make a healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice).
Sure you could. Either jasmine rice or basmati rice would work.
Pork Fried Rice
- 1 small pork tenderloin (about 1 pound) trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional to taste
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed or avocado oil divided
- 2 red bell peppers diced (or 2 to 3 cups diced fresh vegetables of choice)
- 1 (10- to 12-ounce) bag frozen peas and carrots thawed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cups leftover COLD cooked brown rice
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced, divided
- 3 large eggs
- Toss the pork cubes with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir tougher the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
- Heat the oil in a large wok or large, sturdy skillet over high. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add the pork. Cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the bell pepper and frozen vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is softened and beginning to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove to the bowl with the pork.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Stir in the garlic and ginger and let cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
- Add the butter, rice, and half of the green onions, then return to medium-high heat. Stir, breaking up any clumps and coat with the butter and oil.
- Once the rice is coated, make a well in the center or move the rice to one side and break the eggs into the open space. With a fork, scramble, then let cook undisturbed. Once the eggs are nearly cooked through, stir into the rice, breaking them into pieces.
- Add the remaining green onions, reserved vegetables, pork (along with any juices that have collected), and sauce to the skillet. Stir to combine and evenly coat everything with the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate fried rice in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat leftovers in a large skillet or wok on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze fried rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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