Leftover Pork Fried Rice is a quick and easy one-pan meal to pull together. This dish helps to clean out the fridge as well as being so satisfying!
I make Leftover Fried Rice frequently when I have an abundance of cooked meat in my refrigerator. Today I have leftover pulled pork.
You can utilize whatever you have: cooked chicken, beef, pork, ham or shellfish. And you certainly don’t need to use meat at all; it’s delicious when vegetarian, too!
What kind of rice to use?
Some rice will behave better than others. Good choices are:
- Long grain white rice
- Par-boiled long grain white rice
It all comes down to starch molecules. The more starch in the type of rice, the stickier and clumpier it is. You can mitigate this a little bit by rinsing your rice before cooking, but that only helps so much.
I love, love, love both Basmati and Jasmine rice, but I don’t prefer them for fried rice for two reasons. 1. They are both a bit higher in starch than long grain white rice, so they’re stickier. 2. They have wonderful flavor profiles which are fragrant and delicious, but I find these yummy flavors get masked in fried rice.
Basics of Leftover Pork Fried Rice
Cook your rice ahead of time and chill it cold
Cook your rice with a little less water so it’s drier, then spread it out onto a small sheet pan or a platter and refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours. Cold, dry rice makes a difference. The grains separate easily in the pan and it readily absorbs flavors from the seasonings.
A variety of ingredient options
- Scallions (green onions) as well as yellow, white or red onion
- Peppers, hot or sweet
- Peas or corn
- Meats: your choice!
- Seasonings: soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic & ginger, Hoisin or Oyster sauce, toasted sesame oil, black pepper
Sesame Oil: It’s a seasoning, not a cooking oil. You want to buy toasted sesame oil – it’s dark brown and has a very rich nutty flavor. It is NOT for coating a pan or for frying. If you’ve had it and it was too strong, there’s a 99% chance that too much was used.
Hoisin Sauce is a bit like Chinese barbeque sauce. I can usually find it in the Asian section of my grocery store, along with the Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Oil. Yes, it might seem expensive, but you’re not buying these products for only this one recipe, you’re stocking your pantry for future delicious dinners!
Prep your fried rice ingredients
Fried rice is a fast cooking dish. You really don’t have time to chop while it’s cooking and have the dish turn out well. It’s a million times easier to just prep it all first.
Lay out your ingredients on a plate or sheet pan, whisk your eggs in a bowl and have your oil bottle handy as well as your seasonings. You’ll thank yourself later.
Hot pan with the right oil… and pay attention!
You need a heavy skillet you can heat until hot and use an oil that can do a high temperature job, such as vegetable, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil. Don’t use olive oil.
This is not the time to get distracted and check your phone or answer the door.
Now, put some rice on to cook and go check your fridge for leftovers because Leftover Pork Fried Rice needs to make an appearance on your dinner table this week.
Leftover Pork Fried Rice
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4+ Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 3 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 carrot, sliced thin
- pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- 3 cups cooked rice, chilled cold
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon bottled Hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup finely chopped pepper, jalapeno or sweet peppers
- 2 Tablespoons minced ginger, fresh or bottled
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil, or more
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cups chopped leftover pork or other cooked meat
- 4 green onions, chopped
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with salt. Add rice, stir ONCE, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, approximately 20 minutes until rice is tender. Test a small bite for doneness without stirring.
- Place cooked rice on a platter in the refrigerator to chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat a large heavy skillet until hot. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, stir to coat, then pour in your beaten eggs. Gently and quickly cook them, stirring and flipping occasionally until barely done. Remove to your serving bowl. You'll return them to the rice later.
- Add a few more tablespoons of oil to the hot skillet, then the onion, carrot and red pepper flakes. Cook about 2 minutes. Add the cold rice and break up with your spatula. Adjust heat as necessary. Continue to stir and break up rice.
- Pour the soy sauce and Hoisin sauce over the rice. Stir through. Add more oil whenever necessary by scraping a clear spot in the skillet and pouring it there before stirring again. Allow the rice to cook a minute, stir, cook again. Monitor the heat, you want the rice to crackle and fry, but not burn or stick.
- Stir in the diced pepper, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, black pepper and cooked pork. Let cook another minute or more, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and adjust with more soy sauce or sesame oil as needed. When it's to your liking and is heated through, stir in the chopped green onion and cooked eggs and serve.
- Use any meats or vegetables you like; many leftovers work well. In this photo I added some partially cooked cabbage leaves leftover from making stuffed cabbage.
- You can cook your rice ahead – even a few days. I’ll often decide I want to make fried rice for dinner tomorrow, so I’ll cook the rice the evening before during dinner. Or I’ll cook it in the morning while making coffee and getting breakfast. Either way, it takes no time out of my day and it’s well-chilled.
- I’ve also cooked my rice not long before I want to make fried rice, then chilled it on a small sheet pan in the freezer.
- You can try this same concept with cooked linguine noodles and make a version of Lo Mein. Yum!