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Sharing an easy, weeknight style…Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice. Day-old rice is pan-fried with a Chinese inspired sauce, plenty of ginger, garlic, vegetables, scrambled eggs, and caramelized chicken. This fried rice is a touch salty, a touch spicy, and full of so much flavor. It’s heavy on the sauce and comes together in no time at all (about 30 minutes). Perfect for busy weeknights when you’re looking for something with a little more flavor, but still quick, healthy-ish, and DELICIOUS.

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice in skillet with serving bowl next to skillet

These “better than takeout” style recipes have officially become some of my favorite recipes to create and share with you guys. After so many requests from you all to keep sharing them, I’m thinking this should be a bi-weekly series here on HBH. What do you guys think? Would that excite you? We already have another one in the works and my ideas for “better than takeout” style dishes are not slowing down.

I have so many I want to create! What are some of your favorite take-out dishes?

Anyway, point is that I love these recipes so much and this fried rice is up there as a new top favorite. It’s actually shocking to me that it has taken me this long to create a fried rice recipe. This has been a staple in my kitchen for a few weeks now and I love making it with the leftover rice I seem to always have in the fridge. It’s perfect for using up leftovers and getting in plenty of vegetables too! Bonus? Even the picky eaters enjoy this recipe!!

side angled prep photo of vegetables cooking in skillet on stove

The Inspiration…

Growing up, we didn’t eat a lot of chicken fried rice, but I do recall a very specific Christmas Eve day that I experienced my first bowl of chicken fried rice. My brothers got Chinese takeout…since my mom was busy cleaning the house for her annual Christmas Eve family gathering. All five of us siblings (so me plus all the brothers…well maybe not Red, he was just a baby) were randomly watching Pirates of The Caribbean. Even more randomly we were all enjoying some Chinese takeout.

My oldest brother must have ordered me some chicken fried rice. All that I really remember is that is was so good. I also remember thinking the takeout containers were very cool and that I was having way too much fun attempting to use chopsticks. Well, that was before I finally got annoyed and switched to a fork.

So that’s my first memory of chicken fried rice. I don’t recall the taste other than it was salty and full of rice. So of course…I loved it.

side angled prep photo of chicken cooking in skillet on stove

Here’s how you make this chicken fried rice.

I wanted to create a more traditional rice, so I used eggs, chicken, vegetables, and day-old rice. That said, you can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the eggs and the chicken. The rice is still just as delicious. If you wanted to add more protein, tofu or chickpeas would be great in this fried rice too.

Start by making the sauce. It’s a very simple mix of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and hoisin sauce (using my homemade Hoisin).

Once the sauce is made, grab your largest skillet and start cooking. I like to start with the eggs, then cook the vegetables, then the chicken, and toss the rice in right at the end. It’s all made in just one skillet and it’s very quick and so easy. There’s plenty of ginger and plenty of garlic. There’s also toasted sesame oil for added flavor, and my favorite vegetables, mushrooms, and greens.

overhead close up photo of Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice

The secret to great fried rice.

First up, if time allows, use leftover day-old rice. Using older rice will give you a crispier fried rice. If you’re cooking the rice the same day, the rice will have a high moisture content and will be trickier to get crispy.

Tip: if you’re cooking your rice just before making this recipe, cook the rice, then spread it out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet full of rice to the freezer and freeze for fifteen to twenty minutes to help the rice dry out.

Next, make sure to really crisp your mushrooms before adding in the greens. This will allow the mushrooms to have the most flavor and not turn to complete mush once the sauce has been added.

For the vegetables, you can really use whatever you have on hand. I’m using mushrooms and baby bok choy, but broccoli, frozen peas, carrots, kale, and spinach would all be great. Use what you have…and or what you love most.

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice with serving spoon in skillet

The leftovers are delicious the following day for lunch, especially when topped with a fried egg and additional herbs. Yum!

Excited to have this quick better than takeout fried rice in my recipe box. I already know I will be making this time and time again. It’s one of those dinners that everyone in the family loves. Added bonus? It’s perfect for getting the picky, non-vegetable eaters of the fam to actually eat and enjoy their vegetables.

Added bonus #2? I love how easily adaptable this recipe is. I can literally use whatever I have on hand and as long I have rice plus the ingredients for the sauce, I know it will turn out GOOD.

Nothing not to love!

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice with chopsticks in skillet to show the food has been eaten

Looking for other better than takeout style recipes?

30 Minute Creamy Sesame Miso Ramen with Crispy Mushrooms

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Better Than Takeout Kung Pao Cauliflower

Lastly, if you make this better than takeout sesame ginger chicken fried rice, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 387 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. To make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and chili flakes.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs (if using), season with salt and pepper, and let cook until the edges start to set, 1-2 minutes. Roughly scramble the eggs. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
    3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil shimmers add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are crisping on the edges, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and large pinch of pepper. Stir in the green onions, ginger, garlic, and bok choy. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms are caramelized. Remove from the heat and transfer the mushrooms and greens to the plate with the eggs.
    4. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and cook until browned, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the sauce, cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce, toss, cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the mushroom, bok choy, and eggs. Remove from the heat. Add the basil or cilantro.
    5. Divide the rice amoung bowls and top with additional green onions.

Notes

Homemade Hoisin: in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder, and a pinch of black pepper. 
Cooking the Rice: 2 cups of dry jasmine or basmati rice yields 4 cups cooked rice. Make sure your rice is room temp and not hot before using. If you're cooking your rice just before making this recipe, cook the rice, then spread it out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet full of rice to the freezer and freeze for fifteen to twenty minutes to help the rice dry out. 
Brown Rice: works just a well and is a delicious, healthy twist! Quinoa works too, though I prefer brown rice. 

overhead horizontal photo of Better Than Takeout Sesame Ginger Chicken Fried Rice

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Comments

  1. My store only has regular bok choy. Anything I can do to make that work?

    Love all the recipes of yours that I’ve tried so far and hope I can make this one work too.

    1. Hey Robin,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted that it was enjoyed:) xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Such a fan of this! Just made it & I really had to think to myself “it really IS better than takeout!!” Thanks Tieghan 🙂

    1. Hey Erin,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have the best week. xTieghan

  3. 3 stars
    Love Half Baked but this recipe was just a bit bland… I followed it to a T but I felt it was missing something. We ate it happily but likely wouldn’t make it again.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious hot or cold! And made my own fortune cookies to go along with it!! Perfect meal and filled with so much nutrition too, I’ll never order take out again, ever. I definitely would suggest not skipping the scrambled eggs, as they add texture and authenticity. All I can say is ‘Yummmmmmm!’

    1. Hey Gia,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe before but just used leftover smoked turkey from our Thanksgiving meal and added our zippy and gingery cranberry sauce on the side. New tradition!!! This recipe becomes really easy after a few times. I prefer to use avocado oil for the pan and sesame oil in the sauce only because the flavor is strong. Delicious!

    1. Hey Jacqui,
      You can drain the water. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kristine,
      You can use some brown sugar. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Really tasty! Would have gone faster if I had a day old rice and the other ingredients chopped! It was yummy! If make more sauce! Yum!

  7. 5 stars
    I think I am about 15 Tieghan recipes in at this point. I would say that 14 of the 15 have been 5 stars which is very impressive! Everyone at the house rated this as a “10 out of 10” which is a rare accomplishment over here. It had really good flavor, I only used one tsp of red pepper flakes and it was plenty spicy for our palate that likes spicy.

  8. 5 stars
    Excellent! This was so umami and delicious. I used brown rice. I wanted to make your hoisin, but I didn’t have Chinese 5 spice so by accident, I used some red curry paste (thinking it was chile sauce) and some garlic chile sauce and other ingredients similar to yours. The rest of the recipe was truly all yours and it was really fabulous. Mine came out much lighter in color than yours – probably because of the hoisin. I’m going to have to purchase Chinese 5 spice and use your hoisin recipe next time.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy. I had left over grilled chicken thighs and removed meat off the bone and cubed, gently warmed through before adding rice, and used spinach instead of bok choy. We’ll make it again

  10. I love this dish, really meets that takeout Chinese craving!!! Love it Ive made this a number of times and the family loves it as well.

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The only thing I did differently was add some ginger with the chicken while it cooked to give it an extra kick. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Love it!

  12. 5 stars
    This is my first meal cooked off your site and wow!!!
    I said to my partner “I’m not sure it’s better than takeout but we can try!” It tastes EXACTLY like my favourite meal from my local takeaway! I could not be more impressed and can’t wait to make it again!

  13. 4 stars
    The flavour was exquisite, but just a little too salty for my taste. Next time I will use a little less soy sauce which will raise the suculence level to my likeing.

  14. 5 stars
    Ahhhhmazing! This recipe is the best (like all HBH recipes are). Thank you for continuing to teach me how to cook!

  15. This was a most succelent a tasty dish. I will be trying many more of your succulent looking taste treats.

  16. Hi! I made the hoisin sauce and I was wondering if it needed to be refrigerated or it could stay in the pantry!
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Kelly! I personally would refrigerate it! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  17. Hi Tieghan, I love your recipes! I wanted to add chopped broccoli and carrots (quarantine substitution!). When would I add those?

    1. Hi Erin,
      You can just add those with the mushrooms. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions!

  18. Wow – talk about the perfect “clean up” meal! Went with spinach, store-bought hoisin, ginger powder, and a small can of canned mushrooms from the pantry. Totally DELICIOUS! Hoping for leftovers, but doubt there will be any by the time hubs gets to it. Thank you for a simple and fantastic recipe to use up the odds and ends around the kitchen!

  19. 5 stars
    Oh So Good! I just realized I forgot to add the basil or cilantro at the end… :(….but it was still delicious. And truly not to hard, I made the rice the day before and then came home after work and dinner was done soon. I had never used baby bok choy before but I love it.

    Thanks for the great dinner!!

  20. 5 stars
    This rice is INSANE! So much flavor. Day old rice really is the key here, and strange to think such an easy trick can make such a huge difference! We’ve kept this one on our spring meal menu as well.

  21. 5 stars
    Just made this and my husband and i are OBSESSED. so simple yet so good. keep the recipes coming! you’ve literally been the inspiration for dinner and lunch in my house for the past 2 weeks! your’e amazing!

    1. Thank you so much Kendyan! I am so glad you both loved this recipe!! I hope you continue to love other recipes of mine! xTieghan

  22. So delicious! and adaptable. I had frozen shrimp, but not enough for a meal for 2, I had leftover pork loin that needed to be reincarnated, and I had carrots, sweet onion and broccoli. I followed your method and made your sauce- that homemade hoisin ?! Fortunately my garden had spring onions and cilantro. This was the best fried rice I’ve ever cooked, the flavors were so fresh. I will definitely make this again and again. I appreciate how your recipes often have suggestions for substitutions, especially now when our supplies may be limited. You are truly a bright new star in the culinary world

    1. Hi Lori! Wow you are too kind! I am so glad this recipe was easily adaptable and turned out so well for you! Thank you for trying it! I hope you are staying healthy and safe! xTieghan

  23. 5 stars
    I accidentally grabbed the wrong bottle and used oyster sauce instead of hoisin sauce. It was amazing! My family and I enjoyed this recipe. Now I’ve got to try with the hoisin sauce next time..

    1. I am so glad it turned out so well for you Angelica!! Thank you so much! I hope you love it with hoisin as well haha! xTieghan

  24. 5 stars
    Oh my word!!! I made this tonight!! The hubby and I aren’t fans of mushrooms so I used broccoli instead. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!! I’m so excited I have leftovers tomorrow for lunch. Thank you!!!!

  25. 5 stars
    Made this tonight without the chicken but crispy tofu instead. Added lots of veg and kimchi and put a fried egg on top. Amazing!

  26. 5 stars
    Tasty! I made this for lunch and definitely cut some corners to make it faster (don’t recommend. Just follow the instructions!), but it still came out tasting pretty good. I love the sauce mix. It’s simple and easy and perfect for fried rice (salty but full of flavor).

    Cooling your rice is KEY. I skipped this. I knew better but did it anyway because I was in a rush.. Don’t do what I did. Stick your rice in the fridge for a day and let it dry out! Wet fried rice is not very exciting!

    I’m excited for the day I have a nice gas stove and a wok to make fried rice in!

    1. Hi Shannon! I am glad this still turned out well for you! I hope you like it even better without cutting corners haha! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Sue! You can use tahini, almond butter, or just omit the peanut butter all together if that is easier. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  27. Yup. another winner! thanks! I made it with Brown rice. Rice needs to be cooked hard instead of soft. It was days old but still was cooked to soft to start. In my opinion. Will make again. Looked nothing like yours… but tasted delish! lol

  28. 5 stars
    This was so quick and easy to make and all my kids loved it (which is nearly impossible to please all of them). I made the sauce and rice and cooked chicken and tofu separately so I could have a vegan option for myself. Loved it!

  29. 5 stars
    This was sooooo good and easy to make vegetarian friendly! The mushrooms are just perfect. I did both bok choy and spinach and replaced the chicken with tempeh. Your childhood fried rice story reminds me of falling in love with broccoli in a Chinese restaurant as a kid, the tops of the broccoli soaking up all that sauce, so maybe I’ll add broccoli next time too 🙂 Thanks again and looking forward to your next creations! I always send people to you for vegetable-focused and bold-flavored dishes.

  30. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made the homemade Hoisin sauce and so happy I did! Most hoisin sauces taste like ketchup with soy sauce. Great recipe, Like most, it works best if you do all the chopping before you start to cook. It comes together very quickly after that. But we had to cut ourselves off from eating 3rds, it’s that delicious.

  31. Wow, another amazing recipe. My husband says you are amazing and that I cook your dishes perfectly. But, I tell him it is because you make the directions so easy to follow. Thanks for making me look good. I made mine with broccoli ( chopped fairly small) rather than bok choy. Yum!

    1. Aw thank you Julie! I am so glad you have been enjoying my recipes!! I hope you continue to! xTieghan

  32. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe and so easy! Used baby bellas, frozen peas and carrots, celery and green onions. No chicken just veggies as we’re trying to eat more vegetarian. I used a bit less oil so wasn’t as crispy as designed but still great. Hubby loved it too. Think I’ll try it with brown rice next time. No picture as mine never even come close to being as cool as yours. Thanks Tieghan.

    1. Hi Lisa! I am so glad this turned out so well for you! Thank you for trying it! I am sure your photos were amazing! I would love to see if you tag me on Instagram! Thank you! xTieghan

  33. Looks so yummy! In your notes though, I think there’s a typo. You say two cups of dried rice yields 2 cups of cooked rice. Can’t wait to try this one!

    1. All fixed! It is 4 cups of rice. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  34. 5 stars
    Cooked this for dinner and my dad was literally scrapping out the bottom of the pan it was so delicious! Thank you for the incredible recipe!

  35. 5 stars
    This was amazing! Thank you again Tieghan for sharing such a delish recipe! We had ours with egg noodles (not sure what you’d call them in the US) and I use chives and garlic oil as I’m not able to eat onions or garlic and they were soooo good. If I wasn’t so full, Id make more right now!

    1. Hi Melanie! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe!! Thank you so much for trying it! Also, we do call them egg noodles as well haha! xTieghan

  36. Hi Tieghan, I think in the notes section, your ratio may be off for the uncooked rice to cooked ratio “2 cups of dry jasmine or basmati rice yields 2 cups cooked rice”, usually its around a 1:3 ratio. Just wanted to make a note, Recipe looks delicious !

    1. Hey Melissa! It will yield 4 cups rice. All fixed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  37. Hi, Tieghan – in your “cooking the rice” note at the end, you have 2 cups of jasmine/basmati rice equals 2 cups of cooked rice. Could that be right? Maybe you mean 4 cups of cooked?

    1. Hi! Yes, you are correct! It is 4 cups of cooked rice. Recipe all fixed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  38. Hi Tiegen. I’d love to see a recipe for hot and sour soup that actually has some spiciness. The best hot and sour soups I’ve had were all spicy, but so many recipes are too timid.

  39. Oh my goodness, this sounds fabulous! I love your Asian inspired recipes, they taste so good, got to make this one. Xx