This is a great ground beef recipe. Made with beef and tossed in a tangy sauce, it’s packed with extra egg protein and lots of veggies, so it’s a complete meal you can have on the table in no time. And it’s delicious (you’ll see I’m kidding!).
Beef fried rice
Have you ever thought about making ground beef fried rice? It works beautifully! The beef is fried in a tangy sauce until caramelized, then served over rice with fluffy scrambled eggs and your choice of vegetables.
It’s so quick to make – no cutting raw meat! In my version, I chose to use frozen diced vegetables for convenience. Because I’m a total believer in anything frozen.
But if you’re better than me, don’t let me stop you from chopping fresh vegetables. This is also an opportunity to empty the fridge!
If you doubt me, this is proof that it is delicious and cooks quickly! (Uh, yes, the moment of grace put rice on mine).
What you need
I like to braise the beef in a really strong sauce so that the rice doesn’t taste too “heavy”. It might sound contradictory, but that’s exactly what I want in fried rice – the perfect balance of all the flavors melting together, without the beef being the mainstay.
BEEF FRIED RICE SAUCE
Soy sauces – We’re using both light and dark soy sauce in this recipe. What’s the difference? Dark soy stains the rice that deep mahogany colour as well as adding quite intense soy flavour. Light soy sauce provides the salt without overwhelming with soy flavour, and does not stain the rice.
Substitutions –You can use only light soy sauce or just an all-purpose soy sauce (ie bottle just labelled “soy sauce” without “light” or “dark” in front of it) but the rice colour won’t be as dark. But you cannot use only dark soy sauce as it will make the rice black and the soy flavour will be way too much! More on different types of soy sauces here.
Oyster sauce – A load of flavour, all in one sauce! It’s sweet and savoury and add is a neat flavour shortcut in dishes. Makes a regular appearance in Asian dishes, from Pad See Ew to Asian Glazed Salmon to Honey Pepper Beef to Supreme Soy Noodles. And Steamed Asian Greens with Oyster Sauce!
Vegetarian oyster sauce is available these days, at Asian stores and some large grocery stores (Australia – there’s Ayam vegetarian oyster sauce at Woolies)
Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) is an essential ingredient for making truly “restaurant tasting” fried rice (and noodles and stir fries!). Without it, the dish will be lacking something.
Substitute with Mirin, cooking sake or dry sherry.
Non alcoholic sub – sub cooking wine with 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth/stock, expect to stir fry an extra minute to allow for evaporation. And (big tip) add a knob of butter at the end and toss through until melted.
White pepper and sugar – For seasoning. White pepper is commonly used in Asian dishes because you can’t see it in clear glossy sauces in stir fries, like cashew chicken, chop suey (chicken stir fry). Whereas if you use black pepper, you end up with little specks in the sauce.
STUFF IN THE FRIED RICE
Don’t have day-old-cooked rice? Don’t try this recipe – you’ll be disappointed with gluey fried rice! Make Baked Fried Rice instead (starts with uncooked rice, and it’s awesome!). Use the beef to make Asian Beef and serve together.
- Cooked rice – Any type of rice can be used but it needs to be day old so it’s dried out. So then when it’s fried up with sauce, the rice gets nicely moistened but is still fluffy and crumbly, rather than gluey and sticky. TIP – Keep bags of cooked rice in your freezer. Super handy standby for stir fries, and fried rice on demand!
- Beef mince – That’s ground beef, to Americans. I use lean in fried rice. Pork, chicken and turkey also work great in this recipe!
- Frozen veg – I use frozen for convenience, in the spirit of this quick ‘n easy recipe. But please feel free to be a better person than me and chop up whatever vegetables you want!
- Onion and garlic – Essential flavour base. We sauté it up first to flavour the oil.
- Eggs – We scramble these in sesame oil for lovely flavour. I love fluffy egg bits in my fried rice, plus it’s extra protein!
- Green onion – For freshness and colour. Though you won’t destroy this dish if you don’t have it.
How to make beef fried rice
Using ground beef is great for a quick meal – no cutting or prep needed!
Mix the sauce in a small bowl.
Scramble the eggs in a little sesame oil (love the flavour it adds!) then remove onto a plate. (BTW, this fried rice can be cooked in a large wok or a large non-stick pan).
Cook beef with sauce – Start by cooking the onion and garlic to get the oil nicely flavoured. Then cook the beef, breaking it up as you go, until you no longer see raw meat. Then add 2 tablespoons of the sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
Caramelise beef – Add the frozen vegetables (still frozen is fine) then cook for a further 2 minutes to thaw and cook the vegetables, plus get the beef nicely caramelised. Caramelisation is key for good flavour here! It makes such a difference getting a nice “sear” on mince (case in point: Vietnamese Caramelised Pork Bowls, Asian Beef Bowls, Spicy Firecracker Beef – and so on…).
Rice – Add rice and sauce, toss for a couple of minutes until the rice starts to caramelise too.
Toss through egg – Then finally, toss through green onion and scrambled egg then serve!
And there you have it! It really is a quick recipe. 12 minutes to cook up and minimal prep. It’s kid friendly but if you want to give it a fiery boost, a drizzle of sriracha or dollop of your favourite chilli paste certainly wouldn’t go astray.