ginger fried rice

According to my calendar — the one I believe I just looked at for the first time since last September, when someone made my life go all date- and timeless — the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day this year. In New York at least, the Lunar New Year is an excuse to eat egregious amounts of fried rice, spare ribs and to make your way through Chinatown streets over piles of strewn red paper* from firecrackers. Valentine’s Day, however, is dominated by French food because what could be more romantic than copious amounts of wine, butter, cheese, steak and chocolate?

brown jasmine ricejasmine ricegarlic, ginger and leeksbrowning the ginger and garlicfried ginger and garlic, crunchy bitsfrying an egg

Or, you could stay in and have a little of both. That’s what this ginger fried recipe is to me, a classic Chinese dish, clearly reinterpreted by a French hand. For one, it has leeks, which although used in both Chinese and French cooking, I can’t say I’ve ever seen them caramelized for fried rice. Second, egg isn’t scrambled into the dish, but pulled out, fried whole and laid on top of the rice. There are other deconstructions too: the ginger and garlic are fried until crisp and scattered over the dish, like bacon bits from the Far East, rather than tucked within. And rather than cooking the rice in gobs of soy sauce and sesame oil, both are conservatively drizzled on top at the end like droplets of a pan sauce.

cooking the leeks

The result is so staggeringly delicious, you might forego serving it with anything else. Which would be authentic in its own way, as I understand fried rice to be more of a “main” and less of a side dish in China. But I won’t tell anyone if you pile some of these spare ribs on your plate too. And throw back a beer. And totally skip the fortune cookies.

fried egg (with ginger fried rice)

* Wait, do they still do this? I have a distinct memory of walking down red-papered streets in Chinatown on the Lunar New Year after going out to dinner with my parents and their friends, but you know, it has been a while and my brain is a-fog.

Two years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
Three years ago: Miniature Soft Pretzels

Ginger Fried Rice
A Mark Bittman adaptation of a Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe, with a bunch of notes added

Serves 4

1/2 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
4 cups day-old cooked rice; Vongerichten recommends jasmine (I used brown jasmine) but this is the perfect way to use up any leftover rice you have, especially from Chinese delivery
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons sesame oil (for some heat but the same awesome flavor, use hot sesame oil)
4 teaspoons soy sauce

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.

[It hadn’t been clear to me whether I was supposed to remove the old oil and bits of garlic I didn’t get out and wipe out the pan before proceeding. I didn’t. Everything worked out fine.] Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.

Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. [I cooked this slightly longer because I wanted my rice to pick up a little more color and crunch.] Season to taste with salt.

In a nonstick skillet (it just makes it easier) fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.

Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.

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277 comments on ginger fried rice

  1. Kianna

    Recently found your blog and I must say, everything you make looks amazing! I must confess and this may sound really nerdy and maybe even strange, but after reading about you, and reading the blog after clicking through about a 150 pages you’re kind of my hero, amazing writer, amazing photographer, amazing chef and doing it all in a tiny kitchen!

  2. I am so excited. You are using a cast iron pan in this recipe and guess who just received one as a gift? Yes, yes – me! Oh, now I have an excuse to fire it up. Mmmm. This looks delicious. Thank you Deb ! { thanks to the sweet cutie pie too, for loaning us your mom! }

  3. hot sesame oil? I might have to look into that….

    I love a fried egg on top of fried rice, rather than mixed in — the yolk melds into the rice making the whole thing taste so much more rich! with so few ingredients — and so many of them a staple — we’re sure to try this soon!

  4. Hmmm, while that looks absolutely delicious (and I can fully get behind ANYTHING that contains caramelized leeks) I am skeptical of its application for Valentine’s Day, as it contains neither butter nor chocolate. However, while a little butter for the leeks wouldn’t hurt (aren’t leeks and butter made to go together?) I do fully recognize that adding chocolate to this dish might make it more than a wee bit odd.

  5. Laurel

    Wonderful, Deb! I saw this recipe the other day and drooled, and after your excellent write-up, I am headed to the store for leeks. Those fried ginger pieces are absolutely singing to me. Fried egg on rice (or polenta, or bread, or really any starch) is so amazing . . . yolks just work magic. Your top pictures is so delightful; I can’t wait to cook this! I’ve been on a fried rice kick of late, and this seems like the best recipe of all. Thank you! PS precious Jacob as always :)

  6. This looks really delicious. I’m pretty much a big fan of ginger anything (including ginger ice cream) so I think I’ll definitely like this. I’ll have to try making it myself.

  7. Hali

    My parents noticed that Lunar New Year fell on the same day as Valentine’s day and asked me if I would spend that time with my boyfriend or with them. I knew what their answer to that was, unfortunately.

  8. WOW this looks SO good!! I love the idea of the fried egg on top! This is something I am going to have to make for a quick weeknight meal- cooking for one! this works!

  9. hoo baby! you are always after my heart, again! Deb, I swear you have my palate in mind when you cook. Can you move out west and open a restaurant, PLEASE!! I’ll babysit. (gladly!!)

    pretty please?

    I might have to make this tonight.

    ps. I’m getting requests for that monster coffee cheesecake for Superbowl Sunday. Such a hit.

  10. Shawna

    This looks so good! But do you have a suggestion for an oil other than peanut? My boyfriend is deathly allergic (and totally cramping my cooking style).

  11. Frances

    I have been making my own fried rice lately – much better tasting and probably much better for me. Now I can’t wait to try this version!

  12. Claudia

    I saw this recipe at Bitten and I did try it, worked out great, you need the bare essentials (which is what I just have in my new expatriate kitchen) and those are the recipes I’m looking forward, anyway it turned out great, loved the leeks. So easy to do it.

  13. Yours looks way better than mine. Don’t you think white rice would work better to highlight the crispy garlic and ginger? That was my conclusion… but you were much better about sticking to the recipe. Love your photos!!

  14. Kirsten

    Yummy, yummy. Garlic, ginger and leeks. Won’t get any better for me! I will definitely try this one. Thanks. Love your blog and the pictures of your cute little one. Greetings from Colorado.

  15. lee

    Holy Moly that looks good. This is a combination of two of my favorites – fried rice and fried egg over couscous and veg. Must try immediately! Thanks Deb!!

  16. My daughter is beyond ecstatic that Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year is on the same day! We are making red heart pancakes in the morning and, now, will probably make this because it looks DELICIOUS! :)

  17. Jen W.

    Brown jasmine rice?!? I didn’t know that existed, but now I must find it. My two favorite rices, combined. This looks perfect for the snowy weekend we’re expecting in Delaware (but I’ll have to do without the fancy rice now that the snow has started to fall) – thanks!

  18. Jess

    they DEF still do the red paper firecrackers. sometimes at midnight on the dot along with regular fireworks to wake up an entire Chinatown’s-worth of residents, including the ones who have to be up at 6am the next morning. but i’m not bitter… haha.

    recipe looks uber-scrumptious!!

  19. Shawna: I think you could probably use any vegetable oil instead of the peanut oil; perhaps add a touch more sesame oil for a bit of extra flavour. My experience with peanut oil is that it’s pretty mildly flavoured.

    (Obviously I am not Deb, but I occasionally cook for a couple of friends with deathly peanut allergies.)

    1. deb

      Shawna — I agree with tariqata. Any mild-flavored or vegetable oil. Sesame oil doesn’t have the highest smoking point so it will burn easily thus don’t use it as your only oil (not that anyone suggested this, but it’s so delicious, it is very tempting to cook exclusively with it) but a splash of it could nicely flavor an otherwise-bland veg oil.

  20. Della

    Yum! We eat a lot of rice, fried and otherwise, and I never thought of the fried egg on top! Jacob looks so pink cheeked and cute! I remember those early mornings. Now, the shoe is on the other foot as I try to get the 18 year old to wake in the morning as opposed to the afternoon.

    As for the firecrackers: here in my diverse San Jose neighborhood, there will be tons of red paper on the days leading up to Feb. 14, at midnight on the 13th, and randomly after that!

  21. Hmmm, leeks are definitively a favorite of mine but believe it or not, I have never cooked them with rice before! Neither have I cooked them with garlic or ginger. I have cooked them with coriander seeds though.. but I guess this would not work in this recipe. Why is it that leeks are so expensive in the US? A little fondue de poireaux (with butter, yes!) becomes a $15 side dish!
    Anyway, this recipe looks delicious and I will try it. Might join Lentil Breakdown (#27) and add mushrooms as well… The oeuf au plat will be a hit with my children!

  22. I completely remember the red paper from the firecrakers. I grew up in San Francisco, so I also remember getting the red envelopes with money in it. When I went to college in Providence, I would go up to Boston’s Chinatown just after Lunar New Year. Tons of red paper in the streets.

  23. I don’t like rice, I’ve had it in most forms, fried, brown rice, white rice, for some reason everyone tells me I should love it, but I really can’t stand it.

  24. Living in Asia fried rice is definitely something near and dear…and in the Philippines garlic fried rice is a well loved favorite (especially for breakfast!) but the additions here of ginger and leeks sound delicious! I will definitely try this next time…

    Love the oozy egg shot :)

    Your little one is adorable :)

  25. jenny

    so yummy! I’ve made this twice since it appeared in the nytimes. also good with a tiny bit of garlic-chili paste, if you want to kick things up a notch. love your photos!

  26. Your Trivia lesson for the Day:
    Fried rice is not a side dish. In China it is traditional to offer food when guests drop in (the Chinese have a lot in common with Italians). Leftover rice is quickly fried with an easily available egg thrown in.

    I am looking forward to making this, with a poached egg on top.

    Thanks for all your great posts and great recipes – You have your own file on my computer.

  27. you have got me drooling. i love how this looks. heard molly’s podcast a few days ago where she talks about eggs with fried ric! i have got to make this. i especially love bits of fresh ginger in the rice

  28. Dianne

    I’m agreeing that it seems like there should be more chocolate for Valentine’s Day, but maybe that could be the dessert. My mouth is watering for ginger fried rice, and I’m sad not to have red paper on the ground.

  29. Lynne

    Wow. I thought we were the only family who put fried eggs on top of seasoned rice. Usually we use a package of yellow rice but your ginger fried rice is now a must try. Well done!

  30. Sharilyn Unthank

    This is bookmarked because leeks, ginger and garlic…must be good..looks delish. And Jacob will be a teenager way too soon so enjoy these early mornings. It beats the heck out of late nights of not knowing exactly what they are doing!!

  31. The fact that you can find the time to cook and post such amazing-looking dishes so consistently with that adorable little child around is simply mind-boggling. Good job, I’d be so distracted.

  32. I have never been a fried egg fan (in fact, I have never eaten one because they have always kinda grossed me out). However…this recipe looks and sounds so good that I am going to try it with the fried egg!!!! This, to me, is the ultimate achievement of a cooking blog…encouraging someone to try something they normally say EEW to. Thanks~

  33. Lea

    I tried this with bacon after it appeared in Bitman’s column in the NYT and it was fantastic. I was practically licking the pan to get the last little bits.

  34. I recently listened to Molly (Orangette)’s inaugural podcast on the subject of fried eggs, and ever since I’ve been wanting to put them on everything. This looks so good– I plan on making it with brown rice and adding a bunch of veggies.

  35. Chanel

    If you can, try using rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) instead of peanut oil. I made this a week ago using chicken fat (what Jean George uses at Spice Market) and it was incredible!

  36. Lynne

    This rice was great. The first night we had it as posted with the egg. The second night we had it as leftovers without the egg and drizzles of soy sauce and sesame oil. I then topped it with leftover LENTIL SLOPPY JOES from “28 Cooks” (January 19th blog entree). It was great, also!

  37. Odalis

    Funny, I’m Cuban and this is a dish we make as an easy, don’t have to think about it meal! Minus the ginger and leeks, of course…just a simple fried egg (or two) over a bed of rice, yum!

  38. Christie

    I often don’t get reinterpreted Chinese food, but I guess it’s done partly to appeal to Western palates. I’m more a fan of the classic versions of Chinese fried rice.

  39. ariana

    This is a more presentable (and more delicious, I’ll wager) version of one of my favorite simple breakfasts. I think of it as a poor-woman’s bibimbap–just a fried egg on top of leftover rice with gochujang sauce if I have some, or more likely, Sriracha and tamari. My boyfriend thinks this is totally weird (for breakfast at least), but I love it. Can’t wait to make this!

  40. Jung

    Hi Deb,
    From looking at the recipe it appears more like a Southeast Asian version of fried rice. I know that leeks are used in Balinese/Indonesian cooking (beautiful mini leeks) and fried garlic and ginger are commonly used as condiments. Another often used condiment is fried red shallots (cut very thin and fried as above). Eggs are always served sunny side up on top (my son demands it this way) rather than made into an omelet and incorporated into the fried rice as in the Chinese version. But an authentic southeast Asian fried rice would also have sliced fresh red chillies added along with the sesame oil and soy sauce (you could mix the three together in a small bowl and serve it on the side so each person could adjust the amount of sauce they want). We live in Sydney, so our local has a version of this on their mostly western breakfast menu. Definitely perfect for brunch after a night of drinking.

  41. So funny to see this at the top of your blog as I just finished writing a blog post about it! We ate this for dinner last night and the week before. And yet it is so good I could easily make it again tonight. Definitely a keeper.

  42. Thank you for this recipe. I want to try it, but have a question first. Are toasted sesame oil and sesame oil interchangeable? Thanks for a great sounding recipe!!

    1. deb

      Heather — You definitely want to use toasted sesame oil for drizzling, regular sesame oil for cooking. Toasted sesame oil had a nutty, fantastic flavor. It is not to be cooked with (the flavor will be lost and it has a very low smoking point) but it is amazing as a finishing oil

  43. Deb! I was about to get off the couch and go make THIS VERY RECIPE when I though, oh, well, I’ll just check up on my blogs first. And there it was, on your blog. Synchronicity! It is shocking how much Mark Bittman praised this recipe, and I was thinking it must have been overkill, but now that I see you’ve had the same reaction I am really looking forward to dinner tonight.

  44. g

    I have yet to minimize this recipe on my computer desktop from when it was pub’d in nyt 1-22-10. It’s definitely on my need-to-make list. Thanks for the reminder!

  45. lemonadefish

    We just made this for supper – so, so delicious! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the lovely inspirational photos! I have never snacked on the garlic during dinner prep until tonight…

  46. A couple people have already commented that this is the way they serve the breakfast version of Nasi Goreng in Indonesia. Having just got back from North Sulawesi a week and a half ago, and having eaten this like 6 times in the 2 weeks we were there, this is really making my cravings itch for it! Sooo good with the sunny side up egg on top!

  47. I’ll admit that I’ve been a lurker for a few months, saving recipes and drooling over the photos. And seeing the baby shots is way cool too (nice bonus).

    And here’s the thing… I’m male! Yikes.

    But I have made more off the cuff rice dishes with ginger and garlic and so I took the plunge and followed this recipe as best I could. My rice was a lot newer but I figured that’s OK.

    It was, as the younger folks say, like totally delicious!

    I used less oil because I’m being a bit restrictive on calories and it was just as good (not really because oil fat is awesome, but in my imagination it was almost as good). I used about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup and even tossed a bit out after cooking the leeks.

    What makes this dish delish is the laying of flavors – the crusty garlic and ginger, the sesame oil and soy sauce coated egg, and the leek enhanced rice.

    Thank you for all of the amazing posts and your incredible food ideas.

  48. Another Deb

    This looks so so yummy. What would you suggest if I wanted 2 servings now and 2 later? I’m thinking only cook 2 eggs then do the other 2 fresh for the leftovers. Do you think half of the crispy ginger and garlic would keep at room temperature in an airtight container?

  49. Sally

    I’ve been making this since I first saw the recipe on Serious Eats a couple of years ago. The most difficult part for me is having leftover cold rice!

  50. I have great memories of celebrating Chinese New Year’s when living in New York. Though, you’re right – I never saw caramelized leeks mixed into fried rice and topped with a fried egg. I think you may be starting a new trend – a pretty fabulous one, I might add.

  51. santadad

    Just went out last night to Golden Unicorn on East Broadway. Annual Asian Alumni CCNY dinner. I’m sure your FR was vastly superior. They served authentic FR without soy sauce (soy sauce is usual for American tastes,) but everything was greasy slimy. The worst Chinese meal I have ever had (are you listening Zagat.)

    Still taste the oil and grease this morning.

  52. Cristina

    I agree that sesame oil is a fantastic finishing oil. If you don’t have that around, you can make an easy spring onion oil by simmering on low heat (not carmelizing) spring or green onions (white and green parts) in a little neutral-flavoured oil. This is also very tasty on dishes like this.

  53. Sandra B

    What amazes me is not only are the recipes and photographs and writing amazing but that you are doing this all the while as a brand new mom. I could barely get milk on top of a bowl of cereal, much less do anything this amazing. Huge congratulations to you! And I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! Thank you for your amazing work and success in all your endeavours!

  54. Travels4Food

    When I’ve made MB’s fried rice in the past, it’s always called for shaoxing cooking wine. I’ve dutifully used it, and the final product’s always come out well. Any thoughts as to using it vs. not in this recipe, or exactly what its addition does to the flavor?

  55. I just made this! I really loved it, though I actually found it to be a bit bland. I added some nuoc mam (fish sauce) and sriracha to liven things up a bit and really enjoyed it.

  56. Novita

    This was pretty good. I would definitely recommend cleaning out all the oil used to fry the garlic & ginger. My rice was much too oily because I didn’t clear it out.I did think it needed a bit more flavor, I couldn’t really taste the leek. Emily I thought about adding sriracha but was afraid of overpowering the leek.
    Deb I love trying all your recipes! Thanks for sharing all of your cooking experiences!

  57. Deb, I fell in love with this recipe when I saw it on Bittman’s column the other week- so excited to see it on your site! And as always, what engaging writing and photography (and how adorable is your inclusion of Jacob pics in each post).

    Question: what pots and pans are you using? I see an All-Clad…what else?


  58. Kristen

    So, I made this with quinoa instead of rice and it was DIVINE. I think that rice can be a tad bland (as a person with asian ancestry, this is blasphemy, but oh well). And, I’m always looking to increase the health factor where doing so won’t be completely terrible to the true nature of the recipe…. I’m glad to say that quinoa has a nice nutty flavor that’s similar to brown rice, but I think that it really helped bring out the sweetness in the leeks more than rice would, which was a great contrast to the general saltiness and intensity of the garlic and ginger crunchies. :)

    Delicious as ever, Deb!

  59. Ok – my husband is the fried rice maker and he doesn’t get to cook often enough. I will definitely pass this recipe on to him and instruct him to make it immediately.

  60. This dish brings back a lot of memories for me. My mom fried the and folded it in half so that it was slightly salty crunchy on the top and on the bottom. When I poked it open, the egg yolk would run into the rice.

    I now use brown rice sometimes, but most of the time use quinoa, a seed instead of a grain.

    Thanks for the memory!

  61. I’ve been seeing a lot of Ginger Fried Rice recipes around lately. I can’t decide what would be better with it though…leeks or green onions? I guess I’ll just have to try both. Thanks for the post!

  62. Mmm… “nasi goreng istimewa” is what fried rice with a runny egg on top is called in Malay or Indonesian cuisine.

    I love fried rice… it’s one of the first things we learned to cook in home ec. “One dish meals.” Delicious.

  63. Yum. This looks like a quick meal with just a little bit of pre-prep (umm, that’s the rice). I will have to keep this in mind when I’m recovering from working at my favorite chocolate shop for the holiday!

  64. Every single time I hear the words “Fried Rice”, I always say to myself “It’s flied lice, you plick”. Anybody else have that problem??? Sorry, I guess I have too many movie dialogues floating through my head. :)

  65. So pretty! I love the ginger – garlic topping. As for fortune cookies, while I don’t like eating them, I like reading them although I know its an American invention.

  66. Alli

    perfect timing. i just looked at some sad looking leftover brown rice in my fridge last night and was hoping for some inspiration. adding ginger and leeks to my grocery list immediately!

  67. Susan

    Off topic…I just noticed your post about the spice jars by following the flicker photo link to a picture of Jacob, then poking around the other photos. If I hadn’t looked..I wouldn’t have noticed these little gems! There were other tips I’d missed from earlier dates as well. Could you lead us to updates of your tips on the sidebar somewhere or am I missing it when you add them?

  68. Karyl

    We made this today and it was delicious. ‘Better than a restaurant. And I used a trick to make “day-old” rice: I cooked the rice this morning and threw it in the freezer. The chill takes the moisture out and makes it more “fry-able.” Thanks for another great recipe. We love the Bittman!

  69. traci

    omg, this is TO DIE delicious! made it tonight for dinner and even my 5 year old daughter gobbled it up! the sesame, the leeks, the crunch….perfection! this is the ultimate comfort food. thank you!

  70. This IS part of the Philippine breakfast! And a very delicious part at that.

    And your memory is correct. The lucky color for Lunar New Year is red (or any other time of the year). :) There are red lanterns all over down there right now.

  71. Oh, seriously? Did you need to? ‘Cause I could eat fried rice EVERY DAY, and this one might just rock my world and edge out the other one I so love. Last thing I need is divided loyalties on the fried rice front. On second thought, twice as much rice might be, well, you know…

  72. erin

    This is the first recipe i’ve tried from this blog, my mouth has been watering a since i saw and i have to say i am not at all disappointed! YUM!

  73. Whoop Whoop, I made this recipe last night! I loved it, but my main squeeze was a little on the meh side (but he is a crazy man that does not like ginger). I do have a question, how in the heck do you make such a pretty sunny side up egg. I kept messing up so I just made them over easy and very yolky (I don’t think that is a word).

  74. Jen

    Deb, can I ask you a question? How can you do all this lovely cooking and baking with an infant? I have a 6 week old, and he won’t let me put him down! Do you have any tips or suggestions on how you do it?

  75. Elena

    Deb, this recipe looks delightful. I have a question – do you add uncooked rice to leeks? If so, doesn’t it need some liquid?



  76. deb

    Elana — You’re using rice that has already been cooked. Preferably day-old.

    Jen — I promise to get into it one of these days.

    Stephanie — I was lucky. But the combo of the large amount of oil (more than I’d normally use) and the nonstick sure made it easier.

    1. deb

      Rena — Leave out anything you don’t like. You’re cooking for you. :) That said, I’ll confess to being very ginger-averse. I can’t stand the candied stuff and I force my husband to remove the pickled stuff from my sushi plate with his own chopsticks because the flavor is that unappealing to me. (I’m very mature, as you can guess.) And yet, I loved these browned bits. Think bacon bits, not ginger. It might be worth trying and if you don’t like them, to not use them. A thimble of ginger costs pennies…

  77. Beth L.

    That’s one beautiful egg yolk! Great color! There is something so satisfying about a truly orange yolk. Yum.

    Also, thanks for the tips on the ginger – I am the same way, I like the essence of ginger but can’t stand the candied stuff or the pickled variety. This one sounds like a winner.

  78. Jennifer

    I have been watching your blog for a while. This is my first time making a recipe. I have four sons and wasn’t sure how this was going to go over. Everyone loved it, especially my husband.

    I added the sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger to the rice and it was delish. Thanks so much.

    Your blog is beautiful!

  79. pam

    well i was entirely ill-prepared to make this recipe but that didn’t stop me! i used green onions (and reduced cook time), discovered i was out of soy sauce AND eggs and it still managed to taste great! i coupled it with your chana masala and can i just say…i rock. all because of you. ;-) thanks deb!

  80. oh, deb. my number one, go to, no fail resource. I have such an internet/cooking crush on you and your food that I started going back into the old, regular blogging archive and found this little gem. maybe a walk down memory lane for you?

    “I don’t ‘coo’ when I see babies. Usually, I am hoping they won’t droll on me or attach themselves to my leg, or, god forbid, cry. If I am ever nuts enough to have children, however, they will be gorgeous and loved by all. (Just like their momma, hahaha).
    When someone talks to me about marriage, I only imagine the Deb-shaped hole in the door that will be there in ten seconds if you don’t stop talking this nonsense right now, Mister.”

  81. laura

    You are my idol. My go to girl. My inspiration. I made your fried rice recipe tonight for dinner (one of the few foods I crave) and it was amazing. I sauteed some baby bok choy on the side, some sauteed mushrooms and a little grilled pork. (my husband is a meat guy). Well, he said that this was the best meal he has ever eaten. OMG–it really was. I want to brag to all my friends. But I really want to thank you for inspiring me and bringing out the best of me in the kitchen. I feel like you are my girlfriend….well you are, even if it’s one sided…..Thank you.

  82. kimb

    Hello deb,

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for posting such wondrous recipes! i made this for my new flatmates and it went over really well and ive made a great first impression cooking for the 6 of us! can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  83. Cris

    I made this last night and we loved it. After the first helping, I asked my husband if he was ready for hot and sour soup. Nope – he just wanted seconds of the rice/egg dish.

    He even suggested that it would be great with shredded brussel sprouts instead of leeks. And where would the idea of shredded brussel sprouts come from??? You, of course! He’d never liked those either, before I used your recipe. Many thanks!

  84. Liza

    I made this the other night. SO delish. The NYT’s version didn’t seem so exciting but yours inspired me. I actually used quinoa instead and added broccoli. In the past, I’ve always been really stingy with the ginger but this time I didn’t hold back, using at least the 2 tbs you suggested and what a difference. A taste sensation! This is going to be in heavy rotation at my house for some time.

  85. Chalna

    This is my first time to comment and I just HAD TO! I made this last night after realizing that I happened to have all the ingredients in the pantry (with the exception of leeks, so I substituted a sweet onion). It was literally THE BEST fried rice that we have ever had. My husband was so blown away that he kept giving me a hug while we ate! ;-) Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe…this will be a family staple from now on! You brought us such joy!!!

  86. Marcus

    This was a big hit. I poached the eggs, and used sesame dressing instead of oil (because that’s all we had), but we all love ginger here. Thank you for this recipe. I will use it frequently.

  87. My girlfriend saw this on your site last week and has been bugging me to make it, and tonight we finally did. It was EXCELLENT. I added some toasted sesame seeds to the leek/rice mixture as it was cooking, and we ate it with some sriracha. This, I’m sure, deviated from the deconstructed French version, but that stuff is like crack for Asian food. Love the site, it’s about time I de-lurked!

  88. Dan

    Hi, Deb. I’ve been meaning to make this since seeing Bittman’s video at NYTimes. Your post inspired to leave a comment here for the first time, too. I substituted shallots, which worked out well (though I will try the leeky version next time – shallots are very French, too, n’est-ce pas?). No stores were open on the island that would have had leeks, at this hour, anyhow…the beer was a great hint (Pilsner Urquell in the fridge) for a fast, garlic-ginger-laden dinner solution on a cool rainy night.

    Your site is one of the very best out there. I really enjoy your photography and equally outstanding prose. Thank you.

  89. Thank you for another great recipe! I made it for dinner tonight and it was really, really good. Such a simple and delicious dish. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is brown the ginger until it is almost ready before adding the garlic. I threw both in the pan at the same time and found that my garlic got brown and crispy much faster than the ginger.

  90. Carol

    This is a great recipe. We used eggs from our chickens and the perfect orange york spilled into the rice. Yum! Last night I made the chana masala recipe and served it with this recipe: for “easy chicken masala.” I also made the roasted carrots with cumin. The plate was gorgeous and it was all terrific for lunch leftovers today. Thank you so much for giving me such great recipes to expand our usual fare.

  91. jmk

    This was delicious. I made it for dinner, and two scoops of rice with two eggs filled me up good. I’ll make this again, for sure. I drank a nice dry white with it, and follow up with my last couple of dark chocolate peppermint Ghiradelli squares. Great Friday night dinner.

  92. Just want you to know I’ve made several of your recipes and they are all wonderful — the cippolini onions with tomatoes and the mushroom bourguignon plus this recipe were marvelous!! Great meals for us because my husband is a vegetarian. I’m now following your blog almost daily!!

  93. Val

    I made this a few days ago for dinner. While I’m no stranger to egg-topped rice it was the addition of those crispy ginger and garlic bits that totally blew my mind! It completely transforms the dish from basic to gourmet. I also loved the idea of adding the soy and sesamee sauce at the end. Absolutely delicious. Thanks!

  94. Alisha

    This is a recipe that falls under my “For The Win” category. So tasty and easy to make. I cut down the oil drastically though and use only 1/8th of a cup. Its more than enough to cook the leeks and garlic/ginger and still get that awesome peanut flavor. Thank you for introducing this deliciousness to my life.

  95. Wow, this dish brings one of my current absolutely-cannot-live-withouts (ginger) and an important childhood memory (egg fried rice) together: my mom used to have a picture framing store with a chinese takeout reastaurant next door called “caribbean delight”. My brother and I would order egg fried rice, and the extremely old owner would say “ten minutes! I bring over!”, and then he’d bring it over and we’d eat it in the back of the store.
    Thanks :)

  96. Question about frying the ginger and garlic. I made this the other night for dinner and my ginger and garlic clumped into large stringy wads and I could not get them apart. I have never used fresh ginger before, so maybe I did something wrong with it. I did notice that when I was mincing it there were a lot of tough strings to get through. Please advise because my husband loved the flavor and I want to get it right next time!

  97. Liz

    OMG, I made this tonight and it’s fantastic! I’ve been reading your blog and making your dishes for a while now, but this is my first comment….keep up the great work, Deb! Your site is wonderful!

  98. Dave J.

    Hannah–What I did with the ginger was peel it, then slice it into narrow strips, as if I was slicing a potato. Then I just took my large chef’s knife and rocked it down over the strips, turning them around as I went to ensure even cutting. I didn’t encounter any tough strings that way (of course, it’s possible you just had a really stringy bit of ginger), and the ginger and garlic evenly separated after the crisping.

    All in all, this dish is truly spectacular. I think the peanut oil is a great touch, definitely preferable to canola or some other oil. This is a keeper for sure–such great flavors.

  99. Laura N.

    Hello! THis might not be the right place, but I was wondering if you would do a Tips post about making the perfect sunny side up egg. I am an avid home cook but I’ve just never been able to cook the whites all the way through and still maintain the runny yolk- yours just looks so perfect! :)

  100. Hi! Well, if they don’t do it anymore in Chinatown, I’ve got plenty of red firecracker paper strewn about here in my apartment complex in mid-coastal China to make up for it, and I hear more going off a couple buildings over as I type!! :) (Mid-coastal China? Well, in the US I’m from the mid-Atlantic region, would this similarly-situated part of China translate to mid-Pacific? Actually, it’s the Yellow Sea off our coast, though….)

    Our ayi (the lovely local lady who cooks and cleans for us twice a week) does an over-easy egg and puts it on top of the dish every time she makes beef, which she generally cuts into strips and sautees in some kind of dark sauce. We have no idea why she feels the need to add an egg, and she never does it for pork, chicken, or veg dishes. But if you get beef/steak at a restaurant here, they often cook it in a similar sauce and serve it with a sunny-side-up or over-easy egg, along with some pasta with overly-sweet tomato sauce (pretty much just ketchup) and some veg on the side. It seems to be a set meal served at many restaurants, still sizzling on the cast-iron-set-in-wood dish it’s served on, and probably considered American/Western food. I’ve tried it once and stuck to what I consider more “Chinese” dishes since then! Thankfully Ayi doesn’t feel the need to make pasta-and-ketchup and sticks to plain white rice!

  101. lucy

    Hey there…just read your recipe and tried it today….I fried the garlic (didn´t have ginger) slow on low temperature till it was brown, removed it from the pan, set it aside and salted it. Then I tried some of it, it tasted bitter and burnt, the taste of the garlic completely gone. Did I do something wrong? :( Is there a trick to get the garlic crispy and brown without the bitter and burnt taste?

  102. Bie

    The minute I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it and last weekend, I finally did. The reactions of both boyfriend and parents were very enthusiastic, they even forgot no meat was served. And I really liked it myself as well. Something to make again and again. Thanks a lot!

  103. Anne

    I feel lame going through recipe after recipe on this site and writing “awesome!”… but here’s another one! Totally awesome, especially with a small piece of seared tuna on the side.

  104. I fixed this tonight. I had been looking forward to it all week and had such high hopes, and it did not disappoint. Absolutely DELICIOUS, easy enough to make, and doesn’t seem “stuffy” at all. We’re having it again tomorrow.

  105. Jasmine

    I made this last night after bookmarking it when you put this post up — I had leftover rice from Chinese takeout this weekend, so it was the perfect meal for last night, and wow, was this delicious. I made it in my wok, and the only change that I made was to add some thinly sliced broccoli (I added it to the wok when the leeks had cooked for about 6 minutes and then turned the heat up). So delicious and fast that I might pick up more rice from the cheap Chinese place down the street on the way home so that I can make it again tonight! And the fried ginger and garlic made the whole kitchen smell good.

  106. jennifer

    We’ve been on a smitten kitchen cooking freak – and there are no words for how amazing this dish is.
    Jennifer in Kansas

  107. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while…just waiting for the perfect chance to make it! I added mushrooms because they needed to be eaten up! I also added in some grilled shrimp for a heartier Sunday dinner! I think I’ll add a little ginger while cooking the vegetables next time. I could have used a little more zing (or maybe I just fried the garlic/ginger a little too long to make it lose the flavor). Either way: Everyone loved it! Probably the best fried rice I’ve had at home.

  108. Ashley G

    Oh. My. God. I had all the right leftovers and ingredients in my fridge tonight and with my man gone, it made for the perfect single gal dinner. My only addition was to place the whole pile of eggy-ricey goodness on a bed of steamed spinach. It made it feel a little more nutricious and added a great base. Mmmmmm.

  109. Amy

    We had this for dinner tonight…IT. WAS. MAGICAL.

    Thank you for your ridiculously wonderful site and recipes like this one. :)

  110. Meg

    I like to think I tried this, although I made so many changes i’m not sure it qualifies: canola oil instead of peanut oil, no sesame oil, a combination of green onions and red onions instead of leeks, and I did not pull out the garlic and ginger with a spoon because (this is pathetic, I know) I also had no paper towels to drain them on. That said, the result was truly delicious, and really quick & easy to throw together. The flavors are still there, and I’m living proof that the dish is flexible enough for even the most ingredient-deprived home cook.

  111. Lindsey

    Ahhh! I worked at a JG restaurant and this rice+rice cracker crusted tuna were 2 of my favorite things to order after a looooong night at work. Such a great thing. Bitman’s recipe is much healthier- I believe JG’s recipe calls for bacon fat + chicken lard. Yum.

  112. Edan

    For the record, I used a plain white basmati and it worked out lovely tossed in directly from the cooking pot. (I just added a tablespoon of oil at that point, to slick everything up and keep it from gumming). This is so delicious – I love runny eggs so much. Thanks!

  113. vinylhaven

    made this when bitman posted, (shortly after smitten posted.) followed to a T. great little quick meal or snack. made again this morning after leftover brown basmati stared me in the face from the fridge. didn’t have leeks, (really should) and left out the soy ending, but good anyhow. makes me think of the scene in ‘Tampopo’ with the rice omelet they made on the sly. any ideas about a rice omelet such as that?

  114. Camille B.

    A trick for making a nice sunny side up egg is to cover the egg once it’s in the pan. Break the egg into the pan like you normally would, and then cover the pan with a lid (or, if you’re like my family, just use a pie tin). Takes about two and a half to three minutes for the egg to be done, depending on how you like the yolk. The steam will cook the whites evenly, but still leave a nice, runny yolk.

  115. Lindsay

    made this tonight! such a big hit! accidentally bought green onions instead of leeks (im new to the whole cooking thing), but ended up being great! thanks deb!

  116. Jill

    Just made this for lunch – wonderful!
    My pantry forced the following substitutions: vegetable oil instead of peanut, shallots instead of leeks, and basmati instead of jasmine.
    I added a bit of Sriracha, too, and will definitely be making this again.

  117. julia

    Mmmmmmmm this was delicious! I love the egg fried much more than scrambled. Contrary to commenters I used fresh rice – just let it cool to room temp spread out in a big bowl before frying it. It worked just fine in a pinch!

  118. Jennifer D

    I found this while dipping back into the site, and it fried up deliciously.

    What did I change? Unrefined sesame oil (for frying) instead of peanut oil, and I used quinoa instead of rice (have a ton left over from a vegetarian experiment). It was really easy to throw together. This is the kind of dish that requires ingredients I almost always have on hand – the only thing I had to nip out for was leeks, and a fresher knob of ginger. You’re really only limited by the number of eggs in your fridge.

    I’d double the ginger and garlic, and maybe even up the amount of scallions for texture and flavor. Will definitely make it again!

  119. sarah

    I just made this and it was fantastic!! I made it just as directed, except used wild rice and added some crushed red pepper. This is a new favorite, and was so so easy.

  120. JS

    Just made this, subbing farro for the rice. It’s good–I agree, though, that it’s a bit bland. I added some sriracha, but might also up the garlic and ginger next time. Maybe add some scallions, too?

  121. Teri

    Made this and added mixed frozen veg (trying to up the veggie intake) and chicken thighs dusted with 5 spice, salt, pepper, flour and stir fried until tender. Utterly brilliant recipe.

  122. C

    This is so cool! Will definitely try making it! But I must point out that the fried and scattered ginger and garlics are not a new thing in fried rice in Asia. Mostly people use shallots though!

  123. Anne in MO

    Delicious! I served it on a bed of steamed spinach leaves, like someone above mentioned. The spinach definitely added to the dish, I can’t imagine it without it!

  124. JBee

    Made this recipe tonight; perfect comfort food for a dark, cold, rainy night. So delish, but SO oily! Yikes! Next time I’ll use less than half the oil called for. And I would definitely add a bunch more veggies to it, including bean sprouts. Loved the fried, crumbled ginger and garlic topping (except for, again, all the oil!).

  125. Katherine

    I dubbed this dish my “Favorite New Recipe for 2011”. I have made it 3 times since I found this blog in November! I also cut down on the oil, as I had a hard time getting the rice to crisp up with the leeks. Otherwise, perfect, perfect, perfect. Cheap, too, since leeks are the only ingredient I don’t have on hand! Thanks a bunch!

  126. Humanus Genus

    This is a great go-to meal on a budget. I added chicken thighs to mine and used medium grain brown rice. Next time I’ll probably use about half the amount of oil – Peanut oil is a saturated fat so I definitely want to use it more sparingly on a recipe that could otherwise be quite healthy. Thanks Deb, yet another one of yours to add to the scrapbook!

  127. Ruth

    Very good recipe. The type of rice makes a difference and I would be sure to use a Basmati or Jasmine-something with nice aroma and asian flavor. I could easily see grilled shrimp on top without the egg or any type of stir fried meat. We love the ginger and garlic for the top.

  128. Puff

    Peanut oil like most oils contains saturated fat but only 3 grams more than olive oil in a 100 gram serving, 17 grams total. It is mostly monounsaturated 46g and polyunsaturated 32g. Olive oil beats everybody for monounsaturated.

  129. Adrianna

    All I had in my fridge the other night was a huge leek, some leftover rice, and eggs and TA-DA! You have a recipe to save me from ordering in pizza (again)! Thank you! However, I didn’t have any fresh ginger or peanut oil, so I just used plain ol’ veggie oil and covered my minced garlic in ginger powder and it still turned out wonderfully. Oh, and I cut back since it was only me and the boyfriend, and used only a cup of rice, 2 eggs, the one leek and 2 cloves of garlic and it was still great. Kinda wish I had enough for leftovers, but it was proportionally perfect for just the two of us.

  130. Sabine

    This is almost exactly the fried rice I always make, except it is put together differently. I’ll try that soon.

    Meanwhile, may I suggest frying one or two star anise pods along with the rice? I always do that, and it really adds extra depth.

  131. Mariah

    I make this dish at least once a week. Since my boyfriend and I are garlic/ginger addicts we use the 2 tbsp of garlic and ginger for the two of us and occasionally add edamame, water chestnuts, broccoli, Kimchi, sriracha, etc. I absolutely LOVE this dish and always steam up a few potstickers/dumplings, so I was especially pleased when I saw your most recent recipe (potstickers) and will definitely be making them to accompany my weekly fried rice. Do you have any good recipes for a bi bim bap or Vietnamese Pho soup? Thanks for your amazing recipes and all that you do!

  132. Bethany

    I was searching your site for a pho recipe when I found this one which will now be dinner tomorrow!! Sounds incredible! Do you have any pho recipes on here? Can’t locate one. A veg version would be awesome!!

  133. Emily

    Just made this – but subed shallots for the garlic/ginger though and fried the shallots up instead. This dish seems deceptively simple – but the taste is AMAZING. I started with one cup of rice and two eggs (for one serving) and then loved it so much I went back and made another cup and another two eggs. Delish.

  134. This is one of the few recipes my husband has tackled, and he made a TON of substitutions, but it’s still what I requested for my birthday meal this past weekend! I helped re-fry some of the extra rice last night, so now I know the substitutions:

    peanut oil = olive oil
    leeks = onions
    add the onions at the same time as the rice

    I now we’re missing out on all that extra flavor of the peanut oil, but I don’t always plan ahead so well… And like I said, still a favorite! Looking forward to trying it in true fashion someday. :)

  135. Sheila Lankford

    Just tried this. Probably the best fried rice I have ever had. The crispy garlic and ginger bits were amazing! I added diced pork to the dish just to make it a little more hearty (my husband whined) but I would have been just as happy without it. Delicious! I love your blog and have your cookbook on my Amazon wish list. (Said husband had better get it for me on my birthday!) :)

  136. Jess

    I can’t get enough of this dish – it’s definitely a favourite! For fellow comment-perusers: I never have leftover rice and I’ve never had any issues making it with freshly cooked rice. I normally use brown rice. I also rarely buy leeks so I make it with onions and it is delicious every time. Oh and I use vegetable oil with a splash of sesame oil because I don’t know where to buy peanut oil.

  137. I just made this and it was delicious! I had three hungry kids dancing around me, so I ended up just beating up the eggs in a bowl and dumping over the rice and stirring them in until cooked, rather than laying them artistically over the top. :-) Still came out great! Next time I may add some little shrimp or something to make it a bit heartier after a day at the pool. We licked the pan clean!

  138. Theresa C.

    Deb, I’ve now made this recipe twice, and I feel like my version is just not popping like it should. I am wondering if your version seems as, for lack of a better word, wet as mine does? I used super dry rice this time, no difference. Am I adding too much rice, too many veggies? It seems like quantity is the problem (and I take liberties with your quantities so maybe I am answering my own question) but I noticed you don’t have any pictures of the rice itself cooking. Do you do it in batches to make it dryer? To summarize better: what do you think makes fried rice taste different than regular rice reheated in oil with spiced veggies & eggs? The latter is what I’m getting and I’m sad about it.

    1. deb

      Theresa — Can you tell me more about popping? It sounds to me like a flavor thing, for which bumped up salt or soy or ginger, etc. should do the trick. But it sounds like you didn’t get the texture you wanted either. Ideally, at least for me, you’ll get some browning on some of the rice so there will be mixed textures. I didn’t cook my rice in batches. If your rice is coming out too wet, you could of course hold back more water next time or you could spread it out on a tray and let it dry out that way.

  139. Theresa C.

    I think next time I will (1) use your exact measurements (2) amp up the spice, and (3) let it cook a little longer. I had some browning, but it was still too wet overall. I think I get overambitious with the veggies and that adds to it. Thanks for your response, hopefully next time is better!

  140. Sarah

    There’s a Korean comfort food dish that’s very similar, although there is no frying other than the egg: rice, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, along with a bit of Korean chili paste (Gochujang) and I always add a little pat of butter.

  141. Kimberly

    So I made this last night, and in my overeagerness, I made fresh rice instead of using at least day old rice.

    DO NOT USE FRESH RICE. While the meal was still tasty, the fried egg really doesn’t work well with fresh rice.

    I don’t know what it is, since the leeks were delicious and creamy, and the eggs were runny and yummy. But it just doesn’t work with fresh rice. It was still a nice dinner though, and I still brought leftovers for lunch :)

  142. Jonna

    I used frozen white rice and added some chopped celery in with the leeks because a family member begged me to… My rice went from cold and hard to hot and squishy. No color or crunch, just a hard rice crust at the bottom of the pan… Do you think the celery made it too wet? Was my pan not hot enough? The rice didn’t have anything weird in it from what I could tell…

    Anyway, the flavors were delicious and perfect even though the texture was mooshy.

  143. The Mel T NYC

    I went to China one time, got the Kung Pao chicken. The cashews were really good. They had a side of white rice very similar to this recipe. They made rice in the microwave. Real cool stuff, real cool

  144. Carmen

    Very similar to the way I make fried rice, except instead of leeks I use a mixture of onion and then some chopped kimchi and Korean red pepper paste. Definitely a fried egg on top!

  145. Andrew Massi

    I just saw your post of the Ginger Fried Rice with a fried egg on top.

    I do a version of a similar fried rice but when the rice is three-quarters fried, I make a well in the pan (push the rice to the sides around the edge) and then break an egg into the well. I let it fry a bit and then carefully mound the edge rice on top of the egg – be gentle. I put a lid on the frying pan to get the heat up a bit until the yolk is just set (this timing is a bit of an art – that I don’t always master!).

    Breaking through the crispy rice into the soft yolk is a nice Ying-Yang experience.

    Similar to yours, I guess, but an interesting variation with the added benefit of one pan.

    Thanks for a great Blog.

  146. Has anyone tried this with riced cauliflower? I adore this recipe and have made it many times, but as I aim to lower some of the carbs in my diet, it would be awesome if this would work with cauliflower, too.

  147. Julie

    Made this tonight and flaked a baked turbot filet into the rice before topping with the egg. AMAZING. Thanks!

  148. Sasha

    I’ve been eating leek and goat cheese omelettes while my husband is away and I don’t feel like cooking anything complicated, and this is a totally different dish with practically the same ingredients. Even easier when you already have leftover caramelized leeks in the fridge! I also added some red pepper flakes.

  149. Sasha

    I’ve been eating leek and goat cheese omelettes while my husband is away and I don’t feel like cooking anything complicated, and this is a totally different dish with practically the same ingredients. Even easier when you already have leftover caramelized leeks in the fridge! I also added some red pepper flakes.

  150. Theresa Brennan

    Holy cow delicious. I just made this and I love it. Better than any Chinese take out rice I’ve ever had and so easy. I used a little too much oil and a little too much soy sauce but I’ll know better for next time. Added some hot chili paste and a touch of rice vinegar. I already want more.

  151. Jenny Shrodes

    Holy moly was this yummy.m. Added sautéed mushrooms (white, crimini and shiitake) leftover from dinner last night and sliced leftover NY strip on top (over rice, under egg = warmed it perfectly). It’s taken me this long to become a SK junkie – thank you for all the great weeknight meal ideas!

  152. Sarah John

    Oh. My. Days. Made this for dinner last night. Added some aparagus to the leeks as they were softening and folded in some hot smoked salmon at the end. Used a little too much oil, but that’s easily fixable. Definitely a keeper!

  153. Allyson Rogers

    I just made this after seeing your fried barley recipe in your book. I used brown rice, peas and carrots, and the rest of the method in your book (it’s a little easier than this one). My taste buds are so happy!!! The recipe is life changing.

  154. I made this last night with short grain white rice and I added spinach and lots of hot pepper. I would have loved to add some cilantro or Thai basil but didn’t have any on hand. It was SO delicious I will definitely be making again!

  155. rebecca

    I made this tonight, absolutely delicious. And very simple. Only sad I didn’t make more.

    Only sub was canola oil for peanut.

    1. Michele

      Haha. Just made this and improvised wildly! No eggs, no leeks….onions and shredded carrots! And it’s still good! Made Steamy Kitchen’s Thai style chicken and 2 bags of TJ’s stir fry vegetables. I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. Hope you and your family are well. We’re bracing for the worst in Charlotte, NC. We haven’t hit the peak yet. Thanks for your recipes.

  156. Cinnamonroll

    Made it this evening, it was delicious- added mushrooms and carrots and substituted soy sauce for ketjap soy sauce and added cumin just for the taste.