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
- 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.