Ham Fried Rice

Ham Fried Rice

Last Fall when John and I were on our road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, we had Chinese takeout for dinner one night. We actually found a restaurant that was willing to deliver to the motel. Score! My expectations for a quality meal were quite low, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I have a personal taste preference barometer that I use to measure the quality of a Mexican or Chinese restaurant. I call it my rice barometer. If the rice at a given restaurant tastes good, then chances are high that the rest of the food will taste good also. It works for me every time.

Ham Fried Rice

When the Chinese food arrived at our motel room, I went after the fried rice first and did a double take as the flavors hit my tongue. I literally stared at the rice in the takeout carton as if someone was playing a trick on me.

Never, ever, has Chinese fried rice tasted as good as the rice I was eating at that moment. The flavor was deep and rich and completely undefinable. There was a hint of something that reminded me of sitting around a campfire at night in a quiet forest. It was so delicious!

My rice barometer held true for the rest of the meal, too. Everything I ate was the best of any Chinese food that I had ever eaten. The only sad things about eating that meal were realizing that 1) We would be leaving the next morning and I would never be able to order from the restaurant again, and 2) The probability of me ever being able to reproduce that meal at home was pretty darn low.

Ham Fried Rice

I’ve been in deep, ham fried rice mourning since October. It’s ridiculous. It’s just rice, for heaven’s sake! I’ve been making fried rice since…well…let’s see…since I found a recipe 30 years ago on the back of a package of rice. Oh, but that recipe is no longer in service. It’s kingdom has been overthrown because I’m wearing my big girl panties now. I have learned that there’s more to Chinese flavors than soy sauce.

In this rice I replace traditional soy sauce with hoisin, sesame seed oil and oyster sauce. Joo gonna love it, baby!

Ham Fried Rice

Ham Fried Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

This delicious ham fried rice is flavored with oyster sauce, sesame seed oil and hoisin sauce. This is a great way to use up leftover rice.


  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced ham (I used a small portion of a ham steak)
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cold, cooked brown jasmine rice (white rice is also fine) Please see "Notes" below.


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, sesame seed oil, and hoisin sauce. Set aside.
  2. Break up cold rice with a spoon, spatula, or your clean hands. Set rice aside.
  3. Heat a wok pan to hot over high heat. Carefully add the peanut oil and tilt wok so that the oil covers the interior sides and bottom of the wok.
  4. Add the onions, carrots and ham. Quickly stir fry for 2 minutes. Lower heat a little if necessary. Add the garlic and continue to stir fry for an additional minute. Add the frozen peas and stir to distribute evenly.
  5. Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetable and ham mixture. Stir fry ingredients just until eggs are set. Add the rice and continue to stir fry until rice is heated through.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over the rice mixture. Stir fry until the sauce mixture is evenly distributed and rice is hot.
  7. Serve immediately. Some guests may want to add additional sauces or oils. Suggested: soy sauce, oyster sauce, or sesame seed oil. Additional hoisin sauce may not work well because it is sweet.


Freshly cooked rice does not hold up well when using for fried rice. For the best outcome, the rice should be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. Just prior to using for fried rice, remove from refrigerator and break up rice clumps with a spoon, spatula, or your clean hands.

Substitutions. The ham can be replaced with chicken or shrimp.

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


Ham Fried RiceWell, this looks just like a Caribbean cruise! I love the color of this cutting board. Look how it makes those orange carrots pop! The ham looks a little questionable, but the carrots–WOW!

Ham Fried Rice This is brown Jasmine rice. Jasmine is a wonderful aromatic rice and works so well with Asian cuisine. Whatever kind of rice you use, be sure that it has spent some time chilling in the refrigerator before you use it to make fried rice. Freshly made rice will turn mushy when used in making fried rice. Don’t let mush happen to you; use day old, cold rice! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. Break up the rice after it comes out of the fridge. Use a spoon, spatula, or even your clean hands.Β Note: Hands work really well.

Ham Fried RiceTurn a burner up to high and heat up a wok or wok pan until it is quite hot (not smoking hot…smoking hot scares me because of the fire hazard). Add the oil to the wok and swirl the wok so that the oil coats the inside. There is not a picture of me swirling the oil around the wok because there is no way I was going to swirl hot oil in a hot wok and try to take a picture of that process at the same time. Add the onions, carrots and ham to the wok and stir fry for a minute or two; then add the garlic and stir fry for another minute.

Ham Fried RiceAdd the peas. Frozen is fine. They defrost and cook to the perfect stage of perfectness in a wink.

Ham Fried RicePour the beaten eggs over the vegetables and ham.

Ham Fried RiceStir things around a lot.

Ham Fried RiceKeep stirring. The egg is cooking, so don’t stop stirring.

Ham Fried RiceOkay, stop. The egg should still look moist. Don’t cook it until it looks like the Mojave. It you do overcook it, nothing bad will happen, probably.

Ham Fried RiceNow it is time for the rice. Dump it in the wok on top of all of the other good stuff. Look how that rice is just falling out of the bowl. It reminds me of kids jumping on the bed or dog piling while I’m sitting on the bed trying to type something on the computer. Yeah. I don’t want to ever have to take one of those Rorschach tests. “Terri? What does this picture remind you of?” “Umm…that one looks like an 18 month old smashing eggs on the kitchen floor one by one.” “And this one?” “Wellll…that one looks like a 4 year old filling up the exhaust pipe to the furnace with mud.” “I see. How about this one?” “Oh. Well. That one looks like new bedroom carpet painted with Desitin.” “Very interesting answers, Terri. Let’s try one more. Tell me about this picture.” “Ha! That’s easy. That one looks like some old lady getting conned by a kid with big brown, puppy-dog eyes into making 192 cookies to fill up a ‘rwilly big box’.”

Ham Fried RiceWhen you’re done with your Rorschach test, quickly stir everything together.

Ham Fried RiceThis is the best part. Add the mixture of oyster sauce, hoisin and sesame seed oil. So exciting.

Ham Fried RiceStir well, but not too vigorously, to evenly distribute the sauce. Continue stirring until the rice is hot. Serve immediately. Or right away. Or while it is still warm. Or sometime within two hours of cooking. Food safety rules apply. πŸ˜‰

Ham Fried Rice

You may also like:

Cilantro-Lime Rice {Cafe Rio Copy Cat}
Cilantro-Lime Rice {Cafe Rio Copy Cat}
Coconut Rice
Coconut Rice
Easy Mexican Rice
Easy Mexican Rice


  1. says

    This fried rice looks absolutely wonderful! I love hoisin and oyster sauces… sesame oil, garlic. These are the perfect flavors of a great Chinese meal. πŸ™‚

  2. says

    Fried rice is my fav – and I won’t even consider a recipe if it doesn’t include sesame oil. Yours does, and hoisin and oyster sauce too! As always, I love your photos! Okay, so now I’m craving fried rice – thank you very much… only n0 leftover rice in my fridge. One tip I use when I don’t want to wait an entire day for fresh rice to dry – I spread it out in a thin layer on a sheet pan and refrigerate it for a couple house. That seems to do the trick nicely. Okay, so no excuse for me not to make your recipe, right?

    • says

      Yeah, well, your food always makes me hungry, too. Just returning the favor. πŸ™‚

      That’s a great tip on the speeding up the drying process on the rice. I actually did that on a batch of rice that I had first made for this recipe, but when I went to use it, it was gone. I asked my daughter if she knew what had happened to the rice and she said, “Yeah, I threw it away. It was dry and I figured you didn’t want it.” I had to laugh at that one. ~Terri

  3. Dalila G. says

    I like your “rice barometer” method……WTG Terri!
    I was raised with rice at every meal and I mean EVERY meal, so I can pretty much judge the rice’s I eat when we go out. There’s really not that many places that can make rice good. πŸ™
    Rice seems to be one of those tricky foods to cook for a lot of people.
    I really like your step by step photo’s, very nice!!
    This recipe will be made soon, hubby likes his fried rice.

    • says

      I’m telling you, the “rice barometer” has never failed me. πŸ™‚ I’m like you, I grew up eating a lot of rice, too…rice and gravy, rice and beans, rice as a side with South Carolina-style pork barbecue, rice with butter–starting to sound like a character from Forrest Gump. ~Terri

  4. xBraz says

    Hi Terri,
    I’m definitely going to try this recipe, without the ham though, probably substitute it with chicken or shrimps.
    oh and for your problem with the about the author block.. wherever the code is for that, just add in this code “display:none” without the “”, so the about author will be there.. but it wont show.

  5. Dorie says

    Made this today, but with cauliflower instead of rice… since rice makes me sick as of late. It’s too hot right now but smells delicious.

  6. Stuart says

    Love this recipe! Very clear and the picture are a great help! I was considering substituting with prawns and was wondering if this could be cooked and eaten with the remaining portions refrigerated and eaten for lunch at work over the next 2-3 days? Thanks again, Stuart.

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