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Make use of leftover ham from your holiday meal and cook up a batch of this easy Ham Fried Rice. This flavorful fried rice takes just 15 minutes to prepare!
One of the best things about cooking ham for Easter is looking forward to those wonderful leftovers. This incredibly easy Ham Fried Rice has become one of my favorite leftover ham recipes in recent years. I love that the flavors are a complete departure from the holiday meal so it becomes something completely new and seriously delicious!
Smoky, salty ham is quickly stir fried with cooked rice and seasoned with the classic Asian flavors of ginger, garlic, sesame, and soy to create this easy fried rice. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare, from start to finish, and makes a fun post holiday lunch or ridiculously easy dinner.
- Ham – Use leftovers from your holiday meal. If you don’t happen to have leftover ham in your fridge, pick up a ham steak at the store.
- Rice – For the best result, you want to use cooked, refrigerated long grain white rice, like Jasmine rice. Cook the rice a day or two in advance, allow it to cool, and promptly refrigerate it in an airtight container. Rice loses moisture when it is refrigerated and this drier texture is exactly what you want. It will rehydrate and absorb flavor during the stir fry process. It’s important to use cooked rice within 4 to 5 days.
- Eggs – You’ll need 3 large eggs.
- Salt and pepper – This dish is loaded with so many flavorful ingredients that you will only need a touch of salt and pepper to season the eggs.
- Oil – Both canola (or vegetable) oil and sesame oil are used to fry and season this dish.
- Ginger – Use a microplane zester to grate fresh, peeled ginger root. I store ginger root in a plastic bag in my freezer. It stays fresh for months and is far easier to grate from the frozen state.
- Garlic – Freshly minced or from the jar – either will work!
- Carrots – I like to use diced sweet baby carrots in this recipe.
- Peas – Frozen peas add great color and flavor. There is no need to thaw them in advance; they’ll cook up quickly after added to the skillet.
- Green onions – Thinly slice the green onions and divide the white and green parts so they can be used at different times in the cooking process.
- Soy sauce – Always go with low sodium soy sauce so that you can season your recipes to taste.
How to Make Ham Fried Rice
This recipe cooks quickly so be sure to prep all of your ingredients before beginning and place them next to your skillet within easy reach.
- Dice the baby carrots.
- Thinly slice the green onions and separate the green and white parts.
- Peel and grate the ginger and mince the garlic.
- Chop the ham.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Add canola oil and sesame oil to a large non-stick skillet or wok and place over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until it begins to form soft curds, about 30 seconds. Transfer the soft-cooked eggs to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet and return it to the heat. Add the carrots, and whites of the green onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are fork tender. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the cooked rice, peas, ham and cooked eggs to the skillet. Pour in the soy sauce.
- Cook, stirring until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the green parts of the green onions and serve with Sriracha on the side.
FAQs and Tips
Leftover cooked rice works best but freshly cooked rice can be used in a pinch. Spread the cooked rice out on a baking sheet or plate and allow it to cool for 20 or 30 minutes. Rice loses moisture quickly as it cools. If time allows, cover and refrigerate it for an hour or two to give it some time to dry out a little before proceeding with the recipe. Never allow cooked rice to sit out at room temperature for more than 1 to 2 hours at the most.
Yes! Brown rice is a more nutritious alternative and has a nice chewy texture that I think works really well in fried rice.
Storing Fried Rice
Allow the Ham Fried Rice rice to cool and then package it in airtight containers and refrigerate it immediately. Use leftover fried rice within 4 days for the best quality and for food safety concerns.
This Easy Ham Fried Rice is hearty enough to serve as a meal in itself but also makes a delicious side dish choice. And, don’t forget the Sriracha! Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve with fried rice.
- Cashew Chicken
- Baked Chicken Teriyaki
- Sesame Noodles with Chicken
- Orange Sesame Ginger Glazed Salmon
- Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Ham Fried Rice
- 3 large eggs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil divided
- 1/3 cup diced baby carrots
- 3 green onions thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated ginger root
- 3 cups cooked and refrigerated long grain white rice I use Jasmine rice
- 1/2 cup frozen peas no need to thaw
- 1 cup chopped ham (leftover holiday ham or ham steak)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free
- Sriracha for serving, optional
- Beat eggs in a small bowl with a large pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Add the canola oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to a large non-stick skillet or wok and place over MEDIUM heat. Add the beaten egg to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until it begins to form soft curds, about 30 seconds. Transfer the soft-cooked eggs to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the skillet (if skillet seems very dry, you can also add a little additional canola oil) and return it to MEDIUM heat. Add the carrots, and the white parts of the green onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are fork tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the cooked rice, peas, ham and cooked eggs to the skillet. Pour in the soy sauce and cook, stirring until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the green parts of the green onions.
- Serve immediately with Sriracha on the side.