Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice

January 11th, 2012 · 22 Comments · Dinner, Pork and Beef, Quick

It’s almost irresponsible of me to tell you about the way I served this meal to my kids — because it’s exactly the way that, if practiced often enough, will drive you to swear off family dinner forever. I love fried rice. Before Andy and I had kids we’d make it with shrimp and pork and chicken all the time. Or at least we’d always make it when we had leftover rice from sushi or Chinese takeout, which was surprisingly often. Nowadays, though, with Trader Joe’s frozen cooked rice (which I highly recommend) we can, in theory make fried rice meals as the main event instead of the spinoff. But we don’t. That’s because, as most of you know by now, we have two miniature egg-o-thropes in the house. And one rice-hater to boot. I’ve spent more hours that I should probably admit, thinking about how to deconstruct this old favorite so that we can all enjoy it in one form or another as a family meal. But as I found out yesterday, some things are just not meant to be. Even quick and easy and cheap and deLISHous meals like this one. Abby ended up having her version as you see below — with pork, rice, and peas that were tossed with soy sauce tableside. Phoebe ended up having…a barbecue pork sandwich on a biscuit and a butter lettuce salad with tomatoes and onions on the side. What was supposed to be quick and easy and delicious became drawn-out and complicated and…delicious. In spite of the drama, I’m giving you the recipe anyway — it’s pretty clear I won’t make it again until the girls are college-bound, but it’s too good a recipe to not share with families who might have better children luck. Who says I don’t do anything nice for you?

Easy Pork Fried Rice
This is just as delicious with chicken, shrimp, or no meat at all. You can also throw in shredded carrots, peppers, pre-cooked broccoli, or whatever vegetable you have lying around.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if necessary
few drops of sesame oil (optional)
1-pound pork tenderloin, cut into bitesize pieces (see photo), preferably room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
6-8 scallions, chopped (white and light green parts only) plus more for garnish (optional)
handful frozen peas or sugar snap peas (or both)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (I use Trader Joe’s frozen rice — such a lifesaver!)
2 eggs, whisked
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

If you have a wok, set it over medium-high heat and add oils. (I have a wok, but it’s buried behind 18 boxes in my basement so I usually just end up using my largest skillet.) Add pork and cook 5-6 minutes until cooked through. Remove to a dish.

Turn down heat to medium, add a little more vegetable oil if the pan is dry, and add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook about 1 minute. Mix in rice and peas and turn heat up a bit. Let the rice sizzle and get crispy, about 2 minutes. Push to the side and add eggs, breaking them up and working into the rice mixture as you go.

Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cooked pork. Toss together and serve garnished with more scallions and sesame seeds if you have them.

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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nancy // Jan 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I keep a couple of cans of TJs wild pink shrimp in the pantry for fried rice nights.

  • 2 kellyt // Jan 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I find that leftover (cold) rice works best. I’ve made it with just made rice and it was a little mushier. Actually, this is the meal we have the day after we have pork or chicken well. Great use of leftovers.

  • 3 Lori@ In My Kitchen, In My Life // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Fried rice — the original Eastern clean-up-leftover meal!

  • 4 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Being a born & raised girl from Maui, fried rice is VERY IMPORTANT to me. I make fried rice at least once month! I’m so happy to see your version of it, love the pork tenderloin! (I’ve just been throwing in diced up ham slices) I also put in peas and corn because I can’t eat fried rice without those :)

    Here’s what we’ve been doing to get around the I-won’t-eat-eggs issue with our daughter — I put a fried egg on top for me and my husband but leave it off Julia’s — works out great!

  • 5 Rachel // Jan 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    My children, inexplicably, don’t like rice. What the hell?!? Eggs yes. When I want to make fried rice, I just serve them “brinner” and they have eggs and toast etc.

  • 6 Robin Greenwood // Jan 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks for your version of a classic “clean out the frig” dish. Just a thought – what if you substituted soba or udon and made a noodle bowl for the “rice-hater?” I just remembered though, that one of your girls isn’t fond of pasta…….

  • 7 Jeni // Jan 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I’m a “rice-hater” (and I’m Asian), but even fried rice is too homey and good for me to turn down!

  • 8 Laura // Jan 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Why are kids today so picky? I remember just eating what my parents served us – no questions asked. Occasionally there was mild protest to some strange vegetable or other but in general, things were just simpler at the table. Or am I missing something?

  • 9 june // Jan 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I made this last night with shrimp and it was delicious. I cracked the eggs right into the pan instead of whisking first in case anyone is interested in skipping a step.

  • 10 Jennifer // Jan 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    We usually have this when there’s leftover pork, but my girls aren’t that fond of it either. They eat a little bit when I let them use chopsticks! The “brinner” option is a great idea for backup! Will try that next time. The noodle option is a great idea too! Might have to make it lo mein.

  • 11 Sally // Jan 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    how many pouches of the TJ’s frozen rice?

  • 12 Renee - Kudos Kitchen // Mar 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I completely enjoyed reading your post and can relate on many levels! This recipe looks and sounds so yummy! Thanks for taking the time to share it. Now that my kids are grown, I’ll bet they’ll love it too :)

  • 13 Heather // Apr 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Goodness this was quick, easy and gobbled up by every age. I’ve always been overwhelmed by so much chopping in stir-fry recipes but this allowed for dinner to be on the table in 25 min. Oh, and I added frozen edamame beans (already shelled). Thanks again!

  • 14 Stephanie // Apr 22, 2012 at 11:29 am

    This is my go to recipe for Brown Rice. I usually cook it the night before or whenever the oven’s on anyway.
    Baked Brown Rice
    1 1/4 Cups Brown Rice
    2 1/2 Cups Boiling Water
    Optional: 1 T Butter or 1 teaspoon Salt
    Pour rice into 8″ square pan.
    Pour boiling water over rice.
    Add butter or salt, if desired.
    Cover tightly with foil.
    Bake @ 375 for 1 hour, fluff with fork.

  • 15 OrGreenic // Aug 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    This recipie is a great quick fix for a busy weeknight. Thanks for sharing.

  • 16 Ashley // Aug 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Do you throw the frozen TJ’s rice right in the wok? Or do you microwave it first?

  • 17 Beth Moore // Aug 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Thank you for a great & easy recipe! We loved it!!!

  • 18 Marie // Jan 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Help! I LOVE the flavors of this recipe, but even using rice I cooked yesterday, the rice is a little mushy. The pork generated a lot of liquid when it cooked – should I have drained some of it before adding the cooked rice?

  • 19 Donna // Jan 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Great recipe. Turned out perfect. I added a few hot pepper flakes because we like spicy. My husband raved about it. Thanks.

  • 20 Karen // Jan 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you. I made this for dinner tonight, using cooked pork. It is delicious. Would never have thought of adding the rice vinegar. This is an easy, tasty dish.

  • 21 Allie // Feb 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Making this as we speak, I made 2 cups of rice and I have a big wok and def more than 2 minutes to get it crispy but so far love how easy peasy this recipe is! I also used sesame oil instead of vegetable.

  • 22 Julie // Apr 23, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Delicious! Made it for dinner tonight and all the adult-types loved it. I’ve given up on the picky 15yo and 4yo. :-P I used leftover pork and rice; a chopped onion and rice cooking wine since I didn’t have scallions or rice vinegar; and I added chopped carrots. Thanks for a great recipe!

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