To make grilled fried rice, uncooked rice, broth, soy sauce, and a few other flavors are added to a baking pan to form a mixture, which is then placed in the oven. is not thrown into the wok.
(Maybe, after all, nothing beats the original, but this urgent version requires minimal effort!)
Emergency baked fried rice
That’s right, this is not fried rice per se. Fried rice. But I call it grilled fried rice.
Unlike regular fried rice prep, you don’t have to plan ahead and cook the rice the day before. It can be dried overnight in the refrigerator. You don’t even have to cut anything (hello frozen veggies!).
Toss uncooked rice, soup, chopped frozen veggies, raw bacon and everything into the pan and put it in the oven. No need to stir while cooking. In fact, it is prohibited because it makes the rice sticky.
And for all that effort, you’ll be rewarded with this ↓↓↓ (“this” is a big pot of fluffy spiced fried rice sprinkled with vegetables. And wow, Even the bacon is beautifully golden!
Ingredients for baked fried rice
This is an excellent recipe to customise and make your own, with lots of options for changing up add-ins! Here’s what I use in this baked fried rice recipe:
- Rice – Best made with long grain white rice because it’s the least sticky. This means you get that nice, crumbly and fluffy fried rice texture with this “dump ‘n bake” cooking method. Other rice types that work:
→ Basmati rice: Has the same fluffy texture but you get the basmati aroma (it’s not traditional with fried rice seasoning, but it’s rather nice!)
→ Medium and short grain white rice: Works perfectly but these rices are a bit stickier so don’t expect quite the same rice texture you see in the video (it will clump a little more).
→ Jasmine rice: Reduce water by 1/4 cup (water to rice ratio is lower, see here for cooking plain jasmine rice).This recipe won’t work as-written for the following: Brown rice, paella or risotto rice, wild rice, quinoa or other speciality rices. I’d need to figure out special liquid/rice ratios and bake times, which I have not done!
- Stock/broth – Chicken stock will give a better flavour (it’s not chicken-y as such, it has just a more deeply seasoned flavour), but vegetable stock works just fine too. Whichever you use, make sure it’s low sodium otherwise the rice ends up a tad saltier than is ideal.Don’t have liquid stock? Use water plus stock powder. Make up 2 cups according to the stock powder directions and use per the recipe.
- Vegetables – Because this is conceived as a recipe for “dinner emergencies”, I’ve used frozen diced vegetables here. Fresh vegetables can be used, but you’ll need to increase the water by 1/4 cup because the liquid to rice ratio factors in the water that comes off the frozen vegetables (a surprising amount!).
- Garlic – I can’t ever imagine making any type of fried rice without garlic. And that includes an emergency baked version!
- Bacon (uncooked) or ham – Just like we do in wok tossed fried rice! Here, it’s scattered across the surface and it adds flavour into the stock as it cooks.There’s no need to cook the bacon beforehand, it will brown at the end when we finish the rice off uncovered in the oven.
- Soy sauce – I’ve used light soy sauce here which adds seasoning without discolouring the rice too much. All purpose soy sauce will work just fine too. Dark soy sauce – It’s much more intense in flavour so use half the quantity and be prepared for your rice to be much browner in colour.
- Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) – adds umami / depth of flavour which is important for this method of cooking that skips the usual “sauté garlic and onion” etc.Best substitute – Dry sherry, followed by cooking sake, followed by mirin (though rice will be a touch sweeter).Non alcoholic option – Skip the wine and add an extra 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce PLUS add 30g / 2 tbsp of unsalted butter with the sesame (butter compensates for loss of flavour from skipping the cooking wine). It’s not the same, but equally delicious!
- Pepper – For a touch of warmth. White pepper is typically used for fried rice because you can’t see it. Substitute with black pepper.
- Sesame oil & green onion – For finishing. We add sesame oil at the end to preserve the flavour, and the green onion is tossed through at the end for a hit of freshness and colour.
How to make baked fried rice
- Put the uncooked rice into the baking pan;
- Add everything else except the bacon;
- Give it a mix, then scatter the bacon across the surface (because we want it to get some colour when we bake it uncovered);
- Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes at 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan);
- Remove foil and bake for a further 15 minutes. This gives the bacon some nice colour;
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil then let it rest for 10 minutes. To finish the dish, add sesame oil and green onion, fluff with a fork then serve!Why we rest rice – When you take it out of the oven, there should be no liquid left in the pan and the rice will be cooked through though a tiny bit firmer than ideal. You’ll also notice that the surface of the rice grains will be wet.When we rest the rice for 10 minutes, the grains finish cooking through using the residual heat, and the wetness on the rice grains gets absorbed. This is an essential step with any rice you cook, no matter what method you use – stove, absorption, boil and drain, oven, microwave or rice cooker!
Here’s a nice close up for you so you can see how the grains are fluffy and separated, and how the bacon bits are lovely and golden.
No mushy, overcooked rice in sight!
What to serve with baked fried rice
Enjoy with fried rice as well as Asian dishes! Try it with the mushroom-stuffed chicken we shared a few weeks ago, or as a side dish to a filet of spiced fried fish.
Pair with gooey dishes such as Chili Chicken, Honey Garlic Chicken or Tropical Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken. For veggie options, omit the bacon and layer instead with juicy, buttery garlic mushrooms or a medley of marinated grilled veggies.