What is the Best Japanese Fried Rice Recipe

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023

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What is the Best Japanese Fried Rice Recipe

You can never go wrong with Japanese fried rice. It is satisfying, scrumptious, and easy on the wallet. You can mix it with seafood, pork, or any other meat; with a lot of vegetables or with just one type. It’s already a meal itself – but what is the best japanese fried rice recipe?

Basically, fried rice is rice mixed with meat, vegetables, and seasoning. It is very easy to make and anyone can customize the taste to their liking.

Fried rice is especially popular in Asian countries. The differences in fried rice recipes are influenced by the country’s culture including style of cooking, preferred flavors, and abundance of ingredients.

What is Japanese Fried Rice?

Japanese fried rice is a very popular rice dish. A quick online search on how to make Japanese fried rice will produce the terms Yakimeshi and Chahan (or Cha-han). Yakimeshi literally translates to “fried rice” in Japanese and refers to a basic Japanese fried rice dish.

Chahan is a Japanese fried-rice recipe influenced by Chinese style of cooking.

Both are popular Japanese fried rice recipes that are staples in Japanese households. These two terms are used interchangeably a lot. Omurice (or Omu-rice) is another type of popular Japanese fried rice dish. It consists of an omelette with fried rice.

Another popular type of Japanese fried rice dish is the Hibachi-style fried rice. Hibachi is a Japanese charcoal grill that was designed to bring out the flavor of food. Hibachi-style refers to the way the food is cooked and the actual dish prepared from using the grill.

How to Make the Best Japanese Fried Rice Dish or Yakimeshi

Japanese fried rice in its most basic form is cooked rice mixed with meat, vegetables, egg, and seasoning (plus other preferred ingredients). It is very popular because not only is it simple and affordable, it is very delicious and full of flavors.

Each ingredient can be tasted – with each bite being slightly different than the other instead of the whole dish having the exact same taste. It can even be made with leftover rice and ingredients you can readily find in your kitchen.

To make this dish you can use long grain rice like jamine rice , it’s more Thai than the Japanese version, but some prefer this rice. However, in Japan, medium or short grain rice is usually used, e.g. sushi rice or medium grain white rice.

Below we will teach you how to make a basic Yakimeshi good for two people. In my opinion, Yakimeshi is the best Japanese fried rice dish as it is delicious and easy to make. The flavor can be altered easily to anyone’s liking and you can’t go wrong with it.

To make Yakimeshi you need the following:

  • Wok or frying pan
  • 2 cups cooked rice (best to use leftover rice less than a day old)
  • 1/8 cup green onion/scallion (chopped) – or your choice of vegetables. You can add more
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 slices ham (minced) – or your choice of meat. You can add more than one.
  • 1/4 medium-sized brown onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp oil (Vegetable/Canola/Olive oil are okay)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Recipe for Yakimeshi

  1. Add oil on the wok and put on high heat.
  2. Put the ham and brown onions and stir-fry.
  3. Add the rice. Mix and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Put the rice to the side and add the eggs and a little salt on the other side. Once the egg is half cooked, mix it with the rice.
  5. Stir in the green onions and add more salt. Mix.
  6. Sprinkle with pepper and add the soy sauce. Cook for 1 minute on low heat.

TIP: After mixing the rice and egg together, you can add 2tsp of sake and 1tsp of chicken soup powder for more flavor.

After those six simple steps, you are ready with your delicious Yakimeshi! Simple to make, isn’t it?

fried rice with vegetables

The beauty of this dish is that it can be prepared with any type of leftover rice you have around and some basic ingredients. Do not be afraid to experiment with different ingredients. You can add carrots, peas, bacon, shrimps, and more.

If you don’t have cooked rice (or leftover rice) available, don’t worry! Later we will teach you how to make Yakimeshi from scratch with the help of a rice cooker.

Now that we’ve already covered how to make a basic Yakimeshi, maybe you want to try spicing it up a bit. Another popular ingredient in Japan is beef. “Nikujaga”, or Japanese beef with potatoes is another staple in Japanese households.

We’re going to Yakimeshi and beef and share to you how to make Garlic-flavored Beef Yakimeshi.

How to Make Beef Yakimeshi from Scratch with a Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

Below we will discuss how to make beef Yakimeshi from scratch. Rice will be cooked using a Zojirushi NS-TSC10 rice cooker. The dish we will be making can serve 4-6 people.

To make this dish, you need the following:

  • Wok/Frying pan/Large skillet
  • Spatula
  • 3 cups of white or brown short to medium grain rice
  • Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 5 large garlic cloves (cut into thin slices)
  • 10 oz. beef sirloin (cut into 1/3 inch cubes)
  • ½ tsp. Salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Soy sauce (or shoyu)
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 oz. Swiss chard (cut into thin strips crosswise with white stem)
  • 1 to 2 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorn

TIP: If you don’t have Swiss chard, you can use other green, leafy vegetables instead. If you don’t have mirin, you can substitute with dry white wine or rice vinegar but add 1/2 tsp of sugar to counter the sourness

Instructions for Cooking the Rice

  1. Take out the inner cooking pan of the rice cooker. Using the measuring cup that goes with the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 rice cooker, measure 3 cups of rice and place in the inner cooking pan. Pour water and rinse rice until the water clears, or just once if using brown rice. Drain water.
  2. With the cooking pan placed on a flat surface, add water by filling up to the water scale marked “3” for “White Rice” or “Brown Rice”.
  3. Wipe the exterior of cooking pan and interior of the rice cooker’s main body. Place the cooking pan inside the main body. Close the lid and plug the rice cooker.
  4. On the Control Panel, select the desired setting by pressing the Menu button repeatedly. Choose “White/Sushi” for white rice and “Brown” for brown rice. Press the “Start/Reheat” button. The rice will start cooking automatically. Time remaining until completion will be shown on the Control Panel.
  5. When rice completes cooking, transfer the rice to a strainer and rinse under cold tap water to cool the rice and remove excess starch. Drain the rice and let stand 20 minutes before stir-frying.

Now your Yakimeshi is ready! Remember to wash your rice cooker after using it on the same day. Thanks to this, it will work longer.

What is the Best Japanese Fried Rice Recipe – Summary

This recipe is really easy to make. Yakimeshi is a very satisfying dish you can make for yourself, you friends, and your family. It gives a very homey taste that reminds you of home cooking.

The video shows a step-by-step tutorial on how to make Yakimeshi, such as the recipe we discussed above. It is very short and quite easy to follow. Surely, the video will make your mouth water for some Yakimeshi. So what are you waiting for? Try making some Yakimeshi now!

Have you tried making Japanese fried rice before? If you want to share your own recipes and tips on how to make this dish, leave a comment below.