Generous, umami-rich and flavour-packed. This aromatic Chinese BBQ pork fried rice is the perfect dish to make when you've got leftover rice that's been chillin' in the back of the fridge and almost forgotten!
In just under 20 minutes, you'll have an aromatic and delicious dinner fit for a queen!
What's more, this quick dinner recipe is also a great solution to finish off any leftover Chinese BBQ pork (char siu pork).
- Chinese BBQ pork (char siu pork) - super delicious pork shoulder or pork butt that's umami-rich with sweet, savory, and slightly smoky flavours. Available at Chinese restaurants that typically has BBQ meats hung on hooks visible through a glass window display.
- Cooked rice leftover rice - for best results, use leftover rice or overnight rice to make fried rice. Whether you're making this Chinese BBQ pork fried rice or prawn fried rice, leftover rice is the way to go! Leftover rice is firmer and drier than freshly cooked rice. This makes it perfect for stir-frying. Plus, it's a fantastic way to use up rice cooked 2 or even 3 days ago!
- Coriander (cilantro) - adds a layer of aroma that complements perfectly with this flavour-rich char siu fried rice! If you're not a fan, use parsley instead or simply leave it out.
- White pepper - is typically the choice of pepper in Chinese cooking due to its subtle flavour. Can use black pepper if desired.
- Oil - opt for neutral-tasting oils such as sunflower, canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil to place focus on the other ingredients. Substitutes: peanut oil for a subtle nutty flavour or, although unconventional, olive oil if you don't mind its subtle flavours. I personally love cooking Chinese with extra-virgin olive oil as it's healthier.
Like all good stir-fries, it's important to prepare all of the ingredients before cooking. The beauty of a stir-fried dinner is that everything cooks quickly and dinner is done FAST.
Thus, prepping everything beforehand is key to a smooth and fuss-free cooking process. You won't have time to look for ingredients or cut anything up halfway through cooking!
I go more in-depth about the art of stir-frying in my beef noodle stir fry recipe so take a browse and learn all about it! Plus, it's another simple and delicious dinner recipe to make next.
Prepare the ingredients
Begin by prepping all of the ingredients required to make this char siu fried rice.
Finely dice carrots and char siu (BBQ pork) into similar-sized pieces like the picture marked #1 and #2.
The goal is to have the ingredients roughly similar to the size of the rice. This way you get a bit of everything in every spoonful!
Then, whisk eggs until bubbly and set them aside.
Lastly, mince garlic and finely chop washed coriander (cilantro) and spring onions (scallions).
Roughly separate the stem or white parts from the dark green parts.
The stem or white parts of both of these herbs will be used at the beginning of the cooking process to layer in the aroma. Then, the dark green parts will be added at the end to oomph up the final dish with its fresh aroma.
Now that all of the ingredients are prepped and ready to go, it's time to cook!
How to make Chinese BBQ pork fried rice
First, preheat the wok (or a large frying pan) over high heat. Add oil and swirl the oil around the wok to glaze - this is particularly important if you're using a stainless-steel pan or carbon steel wok to prevent sticking.
Once the oil is hot (oil is hot enough when small ripples begin to form or it begins to smoke a little), pour in whisked eggs. Move the eggs around with a spatula every 5 - 10 seconds or so until the eggs are JUST cooked. This will only take about 30 seconds.
Remove from the wok and set aside.
In the same wok, without cleaning, add white parts of coriander and spring onions, garlic and carrots with a little oil. Stir fry over medium heat for a couple of minutes until aromatic and carrots begins to soften a little.
Then, add diced Chinese BBQ pork. Stir fry over high heat until the kitchen starts to smell amazing and the pork begin to caramelise. This will take about 1.5 minutes.
Now add rice. Use the pack of the spatula to squash and break apart clumps of rice. Avoid stabbing the rice clumps. Although effective, it'll, unfortunately, break the rice grains apart - we want the rice to stay whole!
Stir fry for ~2 minutes over high heat. Make sure to get direct heat onto each grain of rice. This is key to delicious fried rice!
It's all about 'wok hei' (breath of wok).
Season with soy sauce, salt and white pepper. You can use black pepper if preferred. Stir fry to mix the seasoning in. Add the golden and fluffy eggs back in and break them up into small chunks. About the same size as the pork and carrots.
Finally, add green parts of coriander and spring onions. Stir through for about 20 seconds then serve. Taste and adjust for seasoning if desired.
This technique of adding the eggs back into the wok just before serving is how I get my eggs nice and golden in fried rice dishes. The soft golden eggs complement the rich flavours of this Chinese BBQ pork fried rice perfectly!
The same goes for my Chinese sausage fried rice recipe, the fluffy golden eggs worked great with the aromatic Chinese sausages (lap cheong).
I recommend serving this flavour-rich fried rice with char siu pork with something that's simpler in flavours such as a 10-minute spinach and garlic stir fry or any leafy greens.
Finish the meal off with a comforting Chinese pork bone soup (bone broth) for those colder days!
If cooking for a crowd, the possibilities are endless! Take a browse of my Asian recipes collection to mix and match and create a menu that will knock your guests' socks off!
Useful tips and tricks
- Get direct heat onto each and every grain of rice. This is the ultimate trick to making the best fried rice possible! Let the rice toast a little through direct heat from the wok. This will improve the overall texture and flavour of the fried rice.
- Avoid overcooking the eggs. Overcooked eggs toughen up and tend to taste rubbery. To ensure your eggs in this char siu pork fried rice is light, moist and fluffy, take it out as soon as it's cooked and only add it back into the wok just before serving.
- Cook in batches if doubling the ingredients to feed a crowd. The trick is to not overcrowd the wok with too much stuff. This will ensure each grain of rice gets the attention it needs: direct heat that's super hot. The good news? This BBQ pork fried rice only takes about 8 minutes of cooking time so you can easily make 2 or even 3 batches quickly.
I recommend and always prefer medium grain rice or short grain rice such as sushi rice when making any fried rice. Alternatively, jasmine rice works too. For best results, use leftover rice (overnight rice).
Use leftover rice! Day-old or even few days-old rice is perfect for making fried rice. They're firmer and drier than freshly steamed rice which is exactly what you want when making fried rice.
Yes! Store in airtight containers for up to 4 days in the fridge. However, fried rice in general will always taste best freshly made, on the same day. Since it only takes 8 minutes of cooking time, I recommend making it as and when you want to eat it. Tip: you can prep the ingredients ahead of time - cut everything up and store it in the fridge for when hunger strikes!
Leftovers and storage
Any leftover Chinese BBQ pork fried can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, add a tiny splash of water to the fried rice to add some moisture back in and heat up either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below.
I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
Chinese BBQ Pork Fried Rice (Char Siu Pork Fried Rice)
- 3 cups leftover rice ~450g/1lb (note 1)
- 1 cup Chinese BBQ pork (char siu pork) finely diced, ~150g/5oz
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1 carrot finely diced
- ½ cup coriander (cilantro), finely chopped, roughly separate stems from leaves
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced, roughly separate white and green parts
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1½ tablespoon oil neutral-tasting or olive oil (note 2)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
- Preheat a wok or large frying pan over high heat then add 1 tablespoon of oil. Swirl the oil all over the wok then pour in whisked eggs. Stir fry the eggs and remove and set aside as soon as it's just cooked. About 30 seconds (note 3).
- In the same wok, add the remaining oil, garlic, the white part of spring onions, the stem part of coriander and carrots. Stir fry for ~2 minutes over medium heat until aromatic and carrots soften slightly.
- Add BBQ pork and stir fry over high heat for ~1.5 minutes until pork begins to caramelise and smells amazing.
- Add rice and stir fry for ~2 minutes over high heat. Use the back of the spatula to flatten clumps of rice to separate them. Constantly stir fry to ensure each grain of rice gets direct heat from the wok (important! - see note 4)
- Add seasoning ingredients and stir fry for ~10 seconds, then scrambled eggs. Break up the eggs into small pieces with the spatula, roughly the size of the pork and carrots.
- Add green parts of spring onions and coriander, stir fry for ~20 seconds then serve. Taste and adjust for seasoning if desired.