Don't get takeout when you can make better than takeout ham fried rice! It's the perfect weeknight dinner, so quick and easy and is our favorite leftover ham recipe!
Better than takeout fried rice
After we adopted our girls from Vietnam, as you can imagine, we ate a lot of rice. And noodles. And rice. And noodles. You get the picture. One of this dishes that was in our regular rotation was ham fried rice. For whatever reason, it was ham, not shrimp or pork or even chicken, ham always.
We would occasionally order fried rice from the stall at the mall, and while we liked it, we didn't like it as well as our homemade fried rice. It was heavy on the rice and light on all the other good stuff. So, we dubbed our homemade fried rice - "Better Than Takeout Fried Rice." It really is.
- Rice - we use brown rice or white rice. Jasmine rice is especially nice.
- Eggs - I usually use 1 egg per serving.
- Ham - leftover ham, diced.
- Peas and carrots - the frozen variety work perfectly.
- Black Pepper
- Fish Sauce - we like Three Crabs Brand
- Soy Sauce
- Oil - use an oil with a higher smoke point like vegetable oil or peanut oil
Step 1 - start with cold rice! This is the perfect time to use leftover rice. After making rice, spread it on a cookie sheet to dry and cool and then store in a container in the refrigerator or freezer. Using cold rice helps keep the rice from getting soggy.
Step 2 - Gather your ingredients. Dice your ham (or do what I do and store your leftover ham, already diced in 2-3 cup proportions in the freezer - store ham in the freezer for 1 to 2 months for best flavor.) Lightly beat your eggs. Prepare fried rice sauce.
Step 3 - Remove peas and carrots from the freezer to thaw.
Step 4 - Dice the onion.
Step 5 - Add a little oil to your wok (I use a carbon steel wok with a helper handle) or skillet over high heat and add the eggs. Scramble them until they are just softly cooked. Remove and place in a bowl.
Step 6 - add the onions to the pan and stir fry until softened and browning on edges.
Step 7 - add the peas and carrots to the onions and stir fry until softened. Remove and add to bowl with eggs.
Step 8 - add a little more oil to wok if necessary and adjust the heat if it's getting too hot. Add the ham and cook until getting brown on the edges and heated through.
Step 9 - add the rice to the pan with the ham. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir fry until the rice is even coated.
Step 10 - add the eggs and vegetables from the bowl. Stir fry until heated through.
Tips for making fried rice
Use cold, leftover rice. After cooking rice, spread on a cookie sheet to cool and dry. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Leftover ham, chicken, beef or pork. When you have leftover meats, dice them and store them in 2-3 cup portions in the freezer. You will always be ready for a quick fried rice!
Peas and carrots - keep bags of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer.
Other vegetables - use whatever leftover vegetables you have - broccoli, cauliflower, whatever sounds good to you!
Pineapple is also good in fried rice!
Use an oil with high smoke point - like peanut or vegetable oil.
Fried rice sauce - we use a recipe that has a Vietnamese slant to it with all of the black pepper - feel free to use your favorite sauce.
Quick and easy weeknight dinner
We love ham fried rice at our house and have it every time we have leftover ham. Right now I have two more portions of ham in the freezer, so there will be even more of this delicious fried rice in our future. We usually have a Christmas Ham and an Easter Ham, saving the leftovers proportioned out for fried rice, means I am always ready.
Other ham recipes
More 30 minute weeknight recipes
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Ham Fried Rice
- 3 cups cooked rice cold
- 2 cups ham diced
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 onion chopped
- 10 oz frozen peas and carrots thawed
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- Gather your ingredients - diced ham, cooked rice, diced onion, lightly beaten eggs, thawed peas and carrots, and peanut oil.
- Make stir fry sauce by combining black pepper, sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Heat oil in wok or skillet over high heat and add eggs. Stir the eggs until they are softly scrambled and remove to a bowl.
- Add the onion to the wok and stir fry until softened and getting brown on the edges. Add peas and carrots and cook, stirring until heated through. Remove and add to bowl with eggs.
- Add ham to wok and stir fry until heated through and getting golden around the edges.
- Add the rice, stir fry to mix with the ham and then add the fish sauce mixture. Stir fry until the rice is evenly coated.
- Add the eggs and vegetables back to wok and stir fry until evenly combined and heated through.
Kari Heron | Chef and Steward says
Thrilled to see that your recipe has fish sauce. No good fried rice goes without it. It looks really yummy.
I consider myself a fried rice addict and yet I’ve never even thought to add ham! What a genius idea. This one is on my list!
Thanks so much for sharing!!! This post reminds me how much I like fried rice and that I should def start making it at home more :).
Kiki Johnson says
Woah this is so what I need right now! Love me some fried rice and ham adds so much umami! This is gonna go right onto the to-make list!
Loreto Nardelli says
Fried rice is a dish that zi try to do a couple times a month. It is great to use up things in the veg crisper and also an added bonus when you have leftovers to put in. Now I am craving it looks like the Monday meal plan is set!
Well done, great flavor combos!
This looks so good! I love homemade fried rice...yum!!
Oh wow! What an interesting dinner option. It's super easy to make and healthy. ANd looks so delicious! I must give this a try. I'm saving it on my list. Thanks!
Analida Braeger says
This looks like a wonderful breakfast that I am going to try!
Analida Braeger says
This is going to be my new breakfats favorite ! Thank You !
Alisha Rodrigues says
I like the way you've termed it ''Better than take out Fried Rice" And yes !! It totally looks better than take-out fried rice. Healthier and delicious. A must try recipe !!
Jenni LeBaron says
I love that this is a great way to use up leftover rice. I always end up making too much because I forget how much it expands. This is a really great shortcut to reuse it or dinner a following night.
Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen says
I do love fried rice, the addition of ham is something I never thought about, but will be trying for sure!
Elaine Benoit says
I agree, homemade is always better! And your ham fried rice looks so delicious. It also looks super easy and a perfect dinner for the weeknight!
It's a winner!
You are right. Who needs takeout when you can make this at home. We do love ham, especially for holiday dinners. What a great way to use up the leftovers to create another delicious meal (or two).
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes says
Delicious - fried rice is one of my Mum's all time favourites. I am going to make your recipe for her tomorrow night 🙂
I love fried rice, but have never been successful with the sauce. I'm definitely going to pin this and try it with some of the leftover Easter ham I have in the freezer. Thanks!
I like your guide for how many eggs to add. Most recipes I see are "under-egged" in my opinion with 2 eggs for 4 servings.
whenever we have ham for a big family meal, it seems like there's always a ton left and it gets sent home with me. this is an excellent use for it!
a good yarn says
This is a staple at our place. One of the first *Chinese* dishes my mother ever cooked. She used ham because prawns were too expensive for the family budget.
I've seen recipes for fried rice before, but you make it easy. I like easy. And, like Larry, I'll be skipping the tofu option. Your ham sounds good to me.
I love fried rice! I'm going to try this with tofu for sure.
Big Dude says
Looks really good Pam, but unlike Joanne, I will definitely not be trying it with tofu :-).