Cheap Eats: Fried Rice

Here at The Billfold, we love cheap and easy recipes, and a few of you have been emailing me your favorites (please continue to do so!). Here’s a cheap and easy recipe for fried rice from reader Brian Madison.


• 2-3 cups cooked rice. It’s best to have leftover rice that has had a chance to cool completely. You could totally use freshly cooked rice and let it cool in your fridge or freezer while you prep the vegetables. Or even just use hot rice!

• 2 eggs

• Various Vegetables/Meats. I try to at least have garlic/onions/carrots in my rice, but you can use whatever you have lying around or feel would be tasty in it. Just make sure that everything you put in it is chopped to at least bite sized pieces.

• Seasonings. Soy sauce and sriracha make for a fine basic combo. You could also use different ethnic seasonings like Thai curry paste, or kimchi to get a whole new dish! Just put what you think tastes good, that’s the beauty of this dish. 


1. Chop up your veggies and meats to smallish pieces and then fry them up in a bit of oil (I use a mix of sesame and canola but feel free to substitute). To get the best results you can add things that take a while to cook (onions/carrots etc) first and then add any more delicate veggies (greens or the garlic) about 30 seconds to 1 min before you add the rice to prevent overcooking. Be sure to fully cook any raw meat you add. Cooked meat can be added later since you just need to heat it up

2. When you’re happy with your veggies and meat, add the rice and let it cook for a few minutes to warm up and get coated with oil. Add a dash of soy sauce and a squirt of sriracha (or whatever seasonings you want to use) and mix well to season everything.

3. Make a well in the rice by pushing it to the sides of your pan and add the eggs. Stir them around for about a minute without getting rice into them so that they begin to scramble but aren’t fully cooked. Once you like the consistency of the eggs, mix them into the rice and take it off the heat. The eggs will finish cooking after they get mixed with the hot rice.

You’re done now! Enjoy a handy and cheap meal. If you want to get really fancy, add the fried rice to an omelette with a bit of ketchup for an easy Japanese-style breakfast (it’s great for hangovers).

Learning how to make this really helped me to get more use out of leftovers, stretch my budget and all that good stuff.


Photo: Flickr/Calgary Reviews



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