This mushroom fried rice recipe is a riff on a classic take-out dish. It’s made with day-old, leftover rice (important for that fried rice texture), a mix of mushrooms, green onions and peas. It’s incredibly easy to make, ready in no time at all and the whole family loves it. And similar to Chinese egg fried rice you’ll experience some typical asian flavours from fresh ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. One big difference, here is that the egg is served on top rather then being stir-fried with the rice.
A Chinese-inspired fried rice recipe
When I was growing up, fried rice was one of those dishes that everyone had in his or her repertoire. Simply because it is great for using up leftovers. Leftover rice, leftover vegetables and a few pantry staples. In my family, we made egg fried rice. Typically, it was made with leftover long grain rice, carrots, peas, white mushrooms, green onion and scrambled egg. And sometimes, a little meat. Quick and easy, it was the perfect midweek family meal. One, that you would also find on the menu of any Chinese restaurant.
Mushroom fried rice topped with fried egg
In my version of this childhood classic, I like to use a mix of mushrooms (cremini, shiitake and king oyster mushrooms). Mostly, because of love fried mushrooms and their umami flavour. Fresh peas and green onion (or in this case purple spring onion) add a pop of colour, extra flavour and nutrients. As for the rice, although not traditional, my choice is short-grain brown rice, as it has a fantastic nutty taste. And rather than scrambling the egg in with the rice, I like to top it with a fried egg. Something that is completely optional. All in all, this tasty dish is ready in a flash (we’re talking 30 minutes max) and makes a tasty side dish or stand-alone main course.
Tips for making the best fried rice
Number one question that pops up is: why is fried rice made with day-old rice? Simply put, freshly cooked warm rice will simply not fry well in the pan. It results in sticky, clumpy rice. Not ideal! Whereas, leftover rice, since it’s drier, will fry up well in your skillet along with the other ingredients, resulting in a much better texture. You can use leftover rice, or cook the rice the night before and store it in the refrigerator or cook the rice earlier the same day.
But, if you really want to prepare a fried rice dish from start to finish in a hurry, then I suggest cooking a fresh batch and then spreading it out on a baking sheet to cool. If time is of essence, then you can also speed things up by covering up the spread out rice with plastic wrap and popping it in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (10-15 minutes) until it is completely cooled/chilled.
What type of rice to use
Most commonly, fried rice is made with long-grain white rice (such as Basmati or Jasmine), but you can also use whole grain brown rice. My favourite choice is short-grain brown rice. Simply use what you like best. Just remember, day old is BEST!
How to adapt this mushroom fried rice recipe
I generally cook with olive oil (Olio Extra Vergine Grezzo), but you could use a mix of butter and olive oil when frying the mushrooms, or simply add a little butter at the end before serving the cooked dish. Not only does butter help brown everything, but some people really like the taste of a little butter with mushrooms and/or rice.
Feel free to adapt the vegetables to what you have on hand. Chopped red pepper, carrots, even broccoli go well with fried rice. I like to use a mix of mushrooms, as they give this dish a meaty texture and loads of umami goodness. You could of course add any other type of protein. Simply, sauté some chicken, beef, prawns, or tofu in another pan, and then add it to the final dish. Or try shredded rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy addition.
Looking for other recipes made with rice?
Try one of these delicious recipe ideas:
- Curried Rice with Roasted Carrots
- Vegetable Jambalaya (Creole One-Pot Rice Dish)
- Spinach Risotto with Fresh Herbs
- Paella with Prawns and Chorizo
- Vegetable Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
Mushroom Fried Rice
- 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice (or jasmine rice) (300 g), day-old or cooked ahead of time and cooled completely
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 g cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 150 g king oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
- 100 g shiitake, stems removed, caps sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (or dried red-pepper flakes, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly peeled and grated ginger
- 4-5 green onions including greens, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (60 ml / 4 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas (100 g) (about 250 g in the pod)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fried egg, for serving, optional
In a large non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high to high heat. Add half the mixed mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender and golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat by adding another tablespoon of oil, and the remaining mushrooms. Once cooked, transfer these mushrooms to the plate.
In the same frying pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat. Add the sambal oelek, ginger, and green onion and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high to high heat. Add the rice, peas and soy sauce, and stir until rice is evenly coated in soy sauce mixture, and no uncoated rice grains remain, 1 to 2 minutes.
Then add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until everything's warm, another 2 minutes, or so. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve immediately, top with fried egg (optional). Enjoy!
- Using leftover or precooked rice is key to a good fried rice recipe. The rice should be cooked at least 2-3 hours before it is fried, so that it has time to completely cool. If you don’t have pre-cooked rice then simply cook your rice and then spread it out onto a baking tray to allow it to cool completely before proceeding with the recipe. See more tips above.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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