Chashu Fried Rice with savory pork belly and fluffy egg is such a luxurious home-cooked meal. Quick and easy, it’s comfort food at its best. You’ll know why it’s worth saving a piece of Homemade Chashu for this fried rice recipe!
Do you have a favorite fried rice to cook at home? My family is wild about this Chashu Fried Rice (チャーシューチャーハン) that feels like an elevated version of regular fried rice.
Here, wok-charred rice gets an amazing blast of umami from savory-sweet chashu pork and fluffy egg. The homemade chashu pork was made in advance for ramen, but I’ve allocated a portion just for fried rice! It’s the best kind of comfort food one can enjoy at home. With one bite, you’ll know why such simple food can be so good, satisfying, and mood-altering.
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Fried Rice: Keep It Simple!
For many of us who have eaten and cooked a fair share of fried rice, it’s true that there are no hard and fast rules about what should be in fried rice. But getting it right does take a little know-how and customization.
Some fried rice tastes great with all sorts of vegetables and meat, and some fried rice tastes best when you use fewer ingredients. In the case of this chashu fried rice, less is more.
What You Need for The Perfect Chashu Fried Rice
The star ingredient in this fried rice is, of course, chashu (チャーシュー)! When you have a key ingredient like this to highlight, you want to keep the combination simple and let the savory meat shine through in the midst of the fried rice.
While other fried rice is about spontaneity, I actually do the reverse when making this fried rice. Simply because Homemade Chashu is the best and I just have to plan ahead. I’ll pick a day (usually a Saturday) to make chashu for ramen, and save a portion for Chashu Fried Rice that I’d make in the week.
2. Day-old Japanese short-grain rice
Other Asian-style fried rice may call for medium- to long-grain rice, but fried rice in Japan is always made with short-grain rice. It’s plump and sticky and has a chewy texture. Short-grain rice may clump together more easily, therefore, you want to use day-old rice that has been dried out slightly in the refrigerator.
There are so many ways to cook eggs for fried rice. I always start mine by making the egg first as it gives me better control of the texture.
Cook the eggs just until they are golden and fluffy on the edge but still runny in the middle. Transfer the eggs to a plate, and they will be tossed back in to cook with the rest of the fried rice later. It’s a fail-proof method for everyone.
Quick Tips for Chashu Fried Rice
I’ve shared many tips on how to cook perfect fried rice in my other recipes, but for your convenience, here are some quick tips to follow:
- Cook in high heat – A hot wok is the way to go for fried rice. If the wok is not hot enough, rice will start sticking everywhere. On the other hand, if you decide to use a non-stick frying pan, you want to keep the pan at a constant medium-high temperature. Overly high heat can ruin your pan, so keep the heat at a safe point but high enough to fry the rice.
- Don’t be shy on oil – The layer of oil on a hot surface will form a non-stick coating on the wok, and ensure each rice grain gets even contact with the heat.
- Get your ingredients and seasoning ready. Since you will be cooking on high heat, make sure all the ingredients are prepped and ready to toss in.
- Keep it moving – Use a lift and scoop motion to break up the rice, and make sure your hands are swift to stir and fry the ingredients so they are well coated with oil.
- Do not overcrowd your wok – I use a large wok, so I only cook a maximum of 3 Japanese rice bowls for the amount of rice. If you’re cooking for more than 4 people, you will need to cook the fried rice in batches. Overcrowding the wok will only result in stewed rice.
Serve Vegetables as a Side for a Balanced Meal
To round up the meal, you can always include a side of vegetables and soup with fried rice. I do not recommend adding vegetables to the chashu fried rice itself as they take away the texture. Instead, you could serve it with a side of blanched broccoli leafy greens, or pickled cucumbers.
By following these simple quick tips, you’ll be whipping out the best chashu fried rice that rivals the restaurant versions in no time. It is a dish that captures the heart, tummy, and soul. I’ve even heard that making killer fried rice makes a marriage proposal?!
Other Popular Fried Rice Recipes You’ll Love
- Basic Japanese Fried Rice (Yakimeshi)
- Japanese Fried Rice with Edamame, Tofu and Hijiki Seaweed (Trader Joe’s)
- Japanese Garlic Fried Rice
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Salmon Fried Rice (kids’ favorite!)
- Shrimp Fried Rice
Chashu Fried Rice
- Gather all the ingredients. For the steamed rice, please note that 1½ cups (300 g, 2 rice cooker cups) of uncooked Japanese short-grain rice yield 4⅓ cups (660 g) of cooked rice. See how to cook short-grain rice with a rice cooker, pot over the stove, Instant Pot, or donabe. If you just cooked your steamed rice, transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool it and let the moisture evaporate.
To Prepare the Ingredients
- Cut 8 oz Homemade Chashu (Japanese Braised Pork Belly) into ¼-inch slices.
- Cut the slices into ¼-inch strips and then into small cubes.
- Cut the white part of 5 green onions/scallions into thin rounds, then cut the green part diagonally. Keep them in separate bowls.
- In a small bowl, beat 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell).
To Make the Fried Rice
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, Add 2 Tbsp neutral oil and swirl around to make sure all sides of the work or pan are coated with oil. When you see smoke coming out from the side of the wok, add the beaten eggs.
- The hot oil will quickly cook the egg. Swirl the egg with a wooden spatula a few times. While the egg is still runny in the middle but fluffy on the edge, transfer to a plate.
- Heat the wok over medium-high heat (if you‘re not using fatty meat, add 1 Tbsp oil to the same wok). Add the chashu and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. The fat of the pork belly will render oil.
- Add the white part of the chopped green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add 3 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice (cold) and break up any clumps with the wooden spatula. You may want to lower the heat if you are taking time to separate the rice (Japanese short-grain rice is stickier than long-grain rice, so this takes a bit of time). Using a scooping motion, combine the rice and ingredients together, coating the rice with the oil from the ingredients.
- Add the egg back to the wok and break it into smaller pieces while you stir-fry.
- Once the rice and ingredients are mixed throughout, add 2 tsp soy sauce and ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
- Add ⅛ tsp white pepper powder and drizzle with 1 tsp toasted sesame oil.
- Add the green part of the chopped green onions (leaving some for garnish) and quickly toss all together. It‘s now ready to serve. Fill a rice bowl with the Chashu Fried Rice all the way to the top and gently press with the spatula.
- Flip the rice bowl onto the serving plate to release the fried rice. Repeat with the rest of the rice. Sprinkle with green onion and serve immediately.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and in the freezer for a month.