Recipe: Crispy Rice Stir Fry

We went out for take-out at a local Thai restaurant one day last week when we were tired of cooking, and smartly ordered an extra order of brown sticky rice for the future.  This brown rice was re-purposed into the best fried rice I have personally made, and I’m excited to share the recipe with you all!

My journey to make home-made fried rice probably goes back to college.  I’ve always loved fried rice in restaurants (my sister almost always made us order it when it was available).  Over the years, I’ve tried many methods – using leftover rice, cooking the rice with some soy sauce (don’t do that), adding all of the ingredients into the pan at the same time and expecting them all to cook – the list goes on.  Needless to say, all of these trials ended up with something mediocre but edible, but never achieved my vision of take-out fried rice.

Enter this weekend.  I watched a video of Molly Baz from Bon Appetit make “crispy rice”, which is essentially leftover rice that is reheated in a saute pan with a layer of oil on the bottom, cooked slowly and never stirred until the bottom layer of rice becomes crispy in the oil.  This became the base of my stir fry, with lots of added veggies and some nicely caramelized ham cubes.  I will warn you that this is not my usual one-pot wonder (this requires three different pans – but it’s worth it). It takes about a half hour total with some multitasking, and the result is a fried rice that I am actually, dare I say, proud of.

Recipe down below, along with some pictures!

Crispy Rice Stir Fry


  • 1-2 cups of leftover rice
    • White, brown, or sticky rice could all work
  • ½ cup of ham, chopped into small dice
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped into thirds
  • ½ cup fava beans, shelled
  • 1 carrot, cut into small dice
  • 1 green onion or scallion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Canola oil or other neutral oil would also work great
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, chili crisp, or chili oil


  1. Wash and chop vegetables (carrots, green beans, and fava beans) into small dice or bite sized pieces.  Bring a pan of water up to a boil over high heat, and add the vegetables to blanch for about 5 minutes, or until tender.  When tender, remove vegetables and run under some cold water in a colander to cool slightly.
  2. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a large sauté pan, and swirl to coat the bottom of the entire pan.  Add rice, and cook, undisturbed (no stirring!) for about 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat.  Add the lid to the pan and continue to steam the rice for another 5-10 minutes, still keeping the pan on medium-low heat with no stirring.
  3. Heat another tbsp of oil in another sauté pan, and add the chopped ham.  Sauté over medium high heat until nicely browned on all sides, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. When ham is cooked and the rice is steamed (I did steps 2 and 3 at the same time), add the ham to the top of the rice to set aside.  Still, do not stir anything!
  5. Add vegetables to the pan that the ham was cooked in.  Add the soy sauce and chili paste to the vegetables, and toss to combine.  Cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add vegetables to the pan with the rice and ham.  Now you can stir it all together!
  7. Serve immediately after stirring.  Enjoy!

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