Fried rice is a staple dish in Asian cuisine, whether you’re getting delivery or eating in at an Asian restaurant.
This delicious dish is extremely versatile, and it’s easy to add egg, meat, shellfish, and vegetables as you see fit. Fry it all in a wok with some seasoning and you’ve got a tasty and filling meal.
While fried rice is enough to be a full meal on its own, it’s also great to combine with something else. But what are the best things to serve with fried rice?
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best things to pair with fried rice.
Best Things To Serve With Fried Rice
Stir-fried vegetables are a delicious and quick side to make that pairs perfectly with fried rice. Simply toss some vegetables in a wok and saute them on a high heat.
Mix in some spices for a hot kick, or add a sauce (oyster sauce is a great choice!) to tie the whole meal together.
You can use a wide variety of vegetables, and more is always better. If you want a more traditional selection, then you should go for onion, beansprouts, broccoli, carrot, bamboo shoots, and even water chestnuts.
These bright and refreshing flavors are the perfect contrast to the denser rice.
Serve in its own dish on the side, or on top of the rice itself.
Egg fried rice is one of the most popular variations on the original. Why not push it to the max and add even more egg?
This side is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is fry an egg. Using the same pan or wok you fried your rice in is a great way to absorb some of those flavors into your fried egg.
Try to leave the yolk a bit runny – mixing it in with the rice will leave it with a silky texture and a delicious umami twist. Serve the fried egg on top of the rice.
You could even take it further, and turn your fried rice into omurice. This Japanese spin on an omelet needs some careful preparation, but is guaranteed to ascend your rice to a higher level.
If you cook the omelet properly, it will have a solid outside that protects a delicious gooey inside.
Put the omelet on top of your rice, and cut it open to reveal the soft center as it flows down onto the rice.
And while it may seem a bit strange, a squirt of ketchup is the authentic finish to this dish.
Katsu Chicken Curry
Katsu curry is an old favorite and is typically paired with breaded chicken cutlets. But while katsu curry is usually served with plain white rice (or Japanese sticky rice), fried rice is also a great stand-in.
The sauce can be mixed in with the rice to give it a bit more heat, as well as adding a new layer of flavor.
The chicken pieces can also be swapped out with a meat-free substitute, whether you want to use breaded tofu, vegan chicken, or some other alternative.
Crispy Chili Beef
This crispy, sticky beef is a delicious addition to your rice. Its crunch is a great contrast to the soft rice, and adds some different textures that stop your meal from feeling monotonous.
Meanwhile, the sticky glaze packs a punch and elevates the whole dish.
Start off with thinly cut strips of beef. Prepare a mix of cornflour and spices, then dip the strips in a whisked egg. Coat it in the dry mix and make sure every nook and cranny is filled.
You can repeat this process a couple of times to get an even crispier coating if you want.
Either shallow fry or deep fry the strips, and you’re left with strips of tender beef below the crispy shell. But you’re not done quite yet – now it’s time for the glaze.
Make a sauce out of rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, sugar, and a dash of ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. Start to reduce it down, and add in your crispy beef.
The sauce will coat the strips and reduce down to a deliciously spicy glaze.
Egg rolls are always a good choice when looking for a side to any meal. These crispy packages of vegetables and meat are too good to resist, and the recipe can be easily adjusted to be vegetarian or vegan.
While the crispy pancake is the perfect way of holding the filling, it’s what’s inside that really matters.
Whether you want to add duck, seafood, or keep them meat-free, egg rolls are a tasty side that makes a tasty side to a serving of fried rice.
Not only are egg rolls delicious, but they’re also easy to make. Simply wrap up your fillings in the thin pancake and deep fry them until they are crispy and golden.
It may take some practice until you can make the perfectly shaped egg roll, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to whip up a batch every time you’re making fried rice.
Grilled Bok Choy
Bok choy is a prominent vegetable in Asian cooking. While it is often used as an ingredient in other recipes (such as for dumpling filling or in a soup), grilled bok choy also makes a great side in its own right.
Bok choy is full of vitamins and minerals, and grilling it doesn’t require any extra unhealthy ingredients.
You can simply chargrill some of these greens on their own, or with a brush of soy sauce or a glaze for some caramelization.
If you want something quick and easy (and healthy to boot), then bok choy is the pick for you.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Combining sweet and sour is a common occurrence in a lot of Asian food. But while the pairing may seem unusual at first, it definitely lives up to the hype.
Sweet and sour pork is one of the most popular sweet and sour dishes, and makes a great addition to fried rice if you want to bulk it out to a full meal.
The pork comes in small cubes or balls, which have then been battered, fried, and coated in sweet and sour sauce. This leaves the pork soft and juicy, while the batter stays crisp.
The tang and sweetness of the sauce is the icing on the cake and goes perfectly with the savory rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Of These Sides Are Vegetarian/Vegan?
If you want to skip out on meat or any animal products, don’t worry – there are plenty of options available.
Grilled bok choy, stir-fried vegetables, and fried eggs are all vegetarian on their own, and are some of the easiest options to make as well.
While there isn’t really any way to make a fried egg or omurice vegan, the other options don’t contain any animal products at all (just make sure not to use oyster sauce in the stir-fried vegetables unless it is a vegetarian variety).
You can also tweak the recipes of other sides to make them vegetarian or vegan friendly.
Meat alternatives can be used for katsu chicken and other meaty options, and you can easily remove meat from the recipe for egg rolls to turn them vegan.
What Are The Easiest Sides To Make?
This depends on the parameters. Some sides like egg rolls can be made quickly and easily as long as you know what you’re doing beforehand.
Meanwhile, stir-fried veg only needs a handful of ingredients but can take longer to cook.
If you want something quick and simple, you’re better off staying away from more complicated and time-consuming recipes like omurice or crispy shredded beef.
The best options available are fried eggs (which only take a few minutes and are hard to mess up) and grilled bok choy (for mostly the same reasons).
What Foods Go Best With Fried Rice?
Fried rice has a varied and complex flavor profile depending on the ingredients you used. Because of the dish’s versatility, it can be hard to know what will go best with it.
In general, fried rice is on the denser and more filling side. To play it safe, try avoiding piling on more carbs to your meal.
Something lighter and fresher like some veg can be a great palate cleanser alongside your rice.
If you want something with a bit more kick, something spicy is sure to add an interesting flair to your rice.
Crispy chili beef is great for this, but you could use katsu curry with some extra spices added to really turn up the heat.
Sweet and sour pork can also bring the kick you need, with its tang complimenting the savory rice.
So there you have it – some of the best things to serve with your fried rice. From katsu to egg rolls to the addition of even more eggs, there are countless options for you to choose from.
Whether you want to keep things simple with some grilled bok choy, or spice things up with some crispy chili beef, there are plenty of easy-to-make and absolutely delicious sides that make the perfect addition to your rice, as well as any other meal you might be making.
No matter which of these sides you serve with your fried rice, you’re sure to elevate your meal above the rest.