Breakfast Fried Rice

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February 6, 2019

Who knew you could have fried rice for breakfast?!

To find more recipes like this one, please check out Waste Not by the James Beard Foundation


-Leftover deli ham

-1-1/2 cups leftover veggies (carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, or kale), chopped

-1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided, plus more for frying eggs

-3-4 cups day-old cooked rice (white or brown)

-¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

-1/3 cup soy sauce

-2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

-6 eggs, divided

-½ teaspoon white pepper

-1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

-4 scallions

-Cilantro to garnish


1. In a large skillet, heat ½ a teaspoon of sesame oil and cook the deli ham over medium heat until it is crisp and brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until vegetables begin to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

2. Wipe out the hot pan with a paper towel and then add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Heat the oil over high heat until shimmering; do not smoke or burn the oil. Add the cooked rice to the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure that there are not any big clumps. Do not over-stir the rice at this point. You want the rice to begin to brown and just crisp up on the bottom of the pan. Add the red pepper flakes. Deglaze the pan by adding the soy sauce and rice vinegar Use a metal or wooden spatula to stir rice, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved vegetables and ham and cook just a few minutes longer, or until rice is warmed through. 

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat 2 eggs with the remaining ½ teaspoon sesame oil and the white pepper. Heat a small nonstick pan and scramble the eggs for 3 minutes, or until set. Fold the bits of scrambled egg into the rice mixture. (Alternatively, push the rice to the side of the skillet and scramble the eggs in the same skillet.)

4. Divide the rice evenly among 4 bowls. Wipe out the pan that the rice was in and add a splash of sesame oil. Heat the pan to medium and carefully crack the remaining 4 eggs into the pan. Cook until the egg white is cooked and the egg yolk is barely set, about 3 minutes. Gently top each bowl of rice with a fried egg. Garnish with the sesame seeds, sliced scallions, and cilantro.  

Chef Colton recommends adding more breakfast meats or potatoes (sweet or not) to make it more breakfast-y!!