Impromptu Fried Rice: The Asian-Inspired Dinner You’ve Been Looking For

Impromptu Fried Rice: The Asian-Inspired Dinner You’ve Been Looking For

Mark Bittman’s Easy and Healthy Fried Rice is the Perfect Go-To Dinner

You know those recipes you make one time and automatically know is a keeper? That’s how Mark Bittman’sImpromptu Fried Rice was for me. Its simple, versatile and so dang good (like impress your mama good). Read on for the deets and thank me later. This is the secret sauce your dinner routine has been missing!


  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions (aka green onions), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound green beans or asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (I vote asparagus)
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 cup soy or mung bean sprouts (optional) (mung bean sprouts, yes!)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger, or to taste
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sherry, white wine, stock, or water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)


  • Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. A minute later, add the scallions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat if the mixture starts to brown too quickly. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  • Add the green beans or asparagus and cook, again over high heat, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and just tender, about 5 minutes. Add them to the bowl with the vegetables. If you’re using the peas, drain them if necessary and add them, along with the bean sprouts (if you’re using them), to the skillet; cook, shaking the skillet, for about a minute, or until steaming. Add them to the bowl, too.
  • Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic and ginger. Just a few seconds later, begin to add the rice, a little at a time, using a spatula to break up the clumps, and toss it with the oil. When all the rice is added, make a well in its center and break the eggs into it if you’re using them; scramble them a bit with the spatula, then stir to incorporate them into the rice.
  • Return the vegetables to the pan and use the spatula to fold everything until combined. Add the wine and cook, still folding, for about a minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro, and serve.


  • An extra sumthin sumthin: This dish is great with chopped peanuts on top!
  • Mix it up: Don’t worry about matching the recipe exactly – use what you have and you’ll end up with a great meal.
  • Save some time: Make a big ‘ole pot of brown rice over the weekend and use it in this recipe later that week (it’s better that way and saves time).

About Mark Bittman

By | 2018-07-10T22:51:49+00:00 February 18th, 2014|Food|0 Comments

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