Easy Curry Fried Rice
This easy Curry Fried Rice is crispy, nutty, and tossed with veggies and scrambled egg for a well-rounded meal.
Curry Fried Rice Is a Great Dinner on a Whim!
My curry fried rice came about on a whim and was such a hit that it ended up on repeat for quite a while. Think fried rice as you know it, but with the sweet and warming flavor of yellow curry thrown into the mix.
Aside from being delicious, this recipe offers an opportunity to use up leftover vegetables that are hanging out in your crisper, and any leftover rice. In fact, I encourage leftover rice. It’s one of the key factors in attaining that crispy perfection we love so much with restaurant fried rice.
What’s in Curry Fried Rice?
This is a meatless recipe packed with mostly vegetables and some scrambled egg. The veggies and spices used are all simple staples that are easily accessible and, if you’d like,
Here’s the rundown on what you’ll need:
- Rice. Preferably day old rice, because freshly cooked rice contains too much moisture to get that nice crisp we want from the pan.
- Garlic. Because everything should have garlic. Always.
- Yellow onion. The sweetness of yellow onion works really well in this recipe, but you could use white if need be.
- Celery. Love the crunch the little celery bits give.
- Carrots. I like to shred my carrots, but you could dice them.
- Scallions. I know we’re already using onions, but these add a nice little bite. You can also use some for garnish.
- Frozen peas and corn. These will thaw while they’re being cooked and it keeps things quick and simple.
- Mushrooms. Baby bella/crimini are my favorite mushrooms to use here. You could also use white button mushrooms. I’d keep shiitake and oyster mushrooms for an actual Chinese or Japanese-inspired stir-fry.
- Eggs. One of the best parts of a good fried rice are the eggy bits, right? If you disagree, however, you can certainly omit the eggs.
- Curry powder. Yellow curry isn’t a common ingredient in a traditional fried rice, but this isn’t a traditional fried rice. And it works oh-so-well here, if you ask me.
- Soy sauce. Every stir fry needs that umami goodness.
Crisp up Your Fried Rice!
Use day old rice! Freshly-cooked rice is full of water and moisture, which makes it difficult to get that crave-worthy chewy crisp we crave in fried rice. But rice that’s been kept in the fridge overnight dries up and hardens, making it the perfect texture to make fried rice.
How to Make Curry Fried Rice.
- Get a large cast iron skillet or wok out and heat it over medium heat. Add the oil and let it heat up for about a minute.
- Pop the garlic and onions into the skillet and let them simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Give everything a stir occasionally to prevent browning.
- Stir in the celery, carrots, and mushrooms, and let everything simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
- Sprinkle in the curry powder, salt, and pepper, and stir to mix.
- With a spatula, move the veggies to the side of the pan. Go ahead and add a bit more oil if you need to. Add the beaten eggs to the center of the pan and allow them to cook just until they start to solidify, then drag your spatula through the cooking eggs to create custardy bits, like when you cook scrambled eggs.
- Once the eggs are cooked, bring the veggies back to the center of the pan.
- Add the cold cooked rice to the skillet, then add the soy sauce, and stir to mix everything well. You want the curry and the soy sauce to coat everything.
- Stir in the scallions and frozen peas and corn, and bring the heat to medium low. Using your spatula, press the rice down into the pan. It’s important to let the rice sit like this for a good 3-5 minutes undisturbed. You’ll be tempted to stir it, but don’t! Letting the rice sit and cook will crisp it up. After about 5 minutes, give the rice a stir. Scrape up any toasty bits. Repeat this about 3-5 times or until your rice attains the level of crispiness you want.
- Hit the rice with some salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, garnish with more scallions, and serve.
Useful Tools for This Recipe:
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Grater (optional, but I like to shred my carrots on a grater)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Skillet or wok
Recipe Tips and Tricks.
- Use rice that’s been refrigerated for at least a day/overnight. This will ensure you get a nice crisp on the rice. Freshly cooked rice holds too much moisture and won’t crisp up.
- Another tip to help in the crisping process it using a cast iron skillet or wok instead of a non-stick pan.
- This fried rice will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Curry fried rice can be frozen. Just be sure to cool the rice in the fridge completely beforehand. Then, pop the fried rice into freezer bags in portions and push out as much air as possible while flattening the freezer bags. Seal, label, and keep them stored in the freezer for up to a month.
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Get the Recipe:
Easy Curry Fried Rice
- 4 cups cooked day-old rice, *See notes
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 rib of celery, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, shredded, approx. 1 cup
- 1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1.5 TBSP curry powder
- 2 TBSP Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish, (optional)
- Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over moderate heat.
- Add the garlic and onions, and simmer until fragrant, approx. 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep garlic from browning.
- Add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Simmer for approx. 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add the curry powder, plus a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Stir to combine evenly throughout the vegetables.
- Sweep the vegetables to the side of the pan; add a bit more oil if needed. Add the beaten eggs to the center of the pan and allow to cook briefly, dragging your spatula through the cooking egg to create ribbon-like chunks off egg — same way you'd treat an egg when making them scrambled. Once cooked, stir in the vegetables and break up the egg to distribute it throughout the vegetables.
- Add the rice to the skillet in batches, stirring to coat. Add the tamari or soy sauce and mix well.
- Finally, add the scallions, frozen peas, and frozen corn (the frozen peas and corn will thaw very quickly once they're tossed in with the hot food).
- Bring the heat to medium-low and press the rice down into the pan, flattening it with your spatula. Let the rice sit like this, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes. After that time is up, give it a stir, scraping crispy toasted bits from the bottom of the pan. Repeat this process 3-5 times, until you get the amount of crispiness in your rice you desire. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.
- Remove skillet from heat, garnish with freshly chopped parsley (optional), and serve.
24 Comments on “Easy Curry Fried Rice”
Try a squeeze of lime juice at the end. I’ve found that this sort of dish needs a little bit of acidity for balance.
You’re right! This is a pretty old recipe from my beginner days. Today me completely agreed with you. Thanks!
I’m curious, what additional changes would you recommend for this dish based on your new knowledge/experiences?
Any suggestions to add some heat?
You could add a bit of cayenne; however much you want to attain your preferred heat level.
I love the recipe. I’ll definitely try it out😊
Tried this last night. Excellent! Looks good and is absolutely delicious.
Thanks very much Best fried rice I’ve had since leaving Japn in 1962
Looks great! Curious as to what type of rice you recommend… I currently have basmati and long grain in the pantry!
Thanks Patty! Either of those would work, but hot damn basmati would be perfection :) I hope you love it! Let me know!
I totally didn’t know that fried rice was popular in India, I love this flavor combination, and the step by step photos are always so great :)
This looks excellent! What brand of curry powder do you use?
Thank you! I’ve actually eaten this dish with so many different brands of curry powders, always whatever I had on hand at the time—from Simply Organic to McCormick to Penzey’s. The flavor has always been super similar. If you’re looking for something high quality, I’d definitely hit up a local Indian market if there’s one nearby. The closest one to me is quite a hike, so I haven’t gotten out here yet, but one day! I’ll be interested to see the difference.
Definitely let me know if you try it out, and with what brand!
It’s no wonder this deliciousness is so popular! This looks so good and I can think of so many things I’d serve it with. Yum!
This fried rice looks absolutely delicious and such a great idea for dinner. Will definitely try this recipe soon!
Thanks, Natalie! I hope you love it :)
I haven’t had much luck making fried rice at home so I love these tips! Trying this ASAP. The crispy bits are the BEST part.
I really hope this works for you, Ann! Let me know. I’m with you — the crispy parts are *everything* :)
Wow your fried rice looks so colorful and perfect. I am a lover of curry and rice so this is one of those that I need to try really soon. All your pictures are also lovely!
Thanks, Adriana! I hope you love it :)
This is absolute comfortfood for me. I can eat it anyday 24/7 :)
Love the combination of veggies you’ve added and it’s making me super hungry now !
Thanks Molly! These veggies really work well, but you can definitely add whatever else you’d like. It’s pretty versatile!
This looks delish and the photos are stunning!