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Egg fried rice is a delicious dish originating from Chinese cuisine that has an assortment of different variations and sub dishes that have spawned from it over many years. Often a staple of Chinese cooking and a popular option from many a Chinese restaurant or takeaway, many people who love fried rice are eager to try their hand at making it themselves. Now whilst that may seem simple to accomplish, there is something you may be less confident about; what to serve with fried rice. If so, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
- What Is Fried Rice?
- What Goes With Fried Rice?
- What to Serve with Fried Rice?
- Answered: What to Serve with Fried Rice?
- FAQ – What to Serve with Fried Rice?
What Is Fried Rice?
Fried rice, or egg fried rice as it is also commonly known as a rice dish that is made by stir-frying cooked rice in a wok with some scrambled eggs along with potentially some additional ingredients. Some common ones are green onions, fresh veggies, meat and seafood. Additionally, it is also common to add seasonings and sauces to the wok during the stir fry process such as MSG, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and/or hoisin sauce.
The result is a wonderful dish that can easily be thrown together using leftover rice or freshly cooked rice with an assortment of other ingredients for a hearty and delicious dish. Some easy egg fried rice can be a truly wonderful breakfast, main dish or even a side in smaller quantities that are packed with delicious flavours and textures.
Most notably, egg fried rice has deliciously fluffy and distinct basmati or jasmine rice grains, springy and delicate pieces of scrambled egg are the core tastes with crunchy green onion, and salty MSG and soy sauce being common mainstays. These flavours will then be supplemented with other ingredients such as shallots and other aromatics and mushrooms to add some umami flavour. Finally, meat, seafood or another protein source will add extra savoury flavours, with seasoning and extra veggies further diversifying the flavour of the dish.
What Goes With Fried Rice?
With the above in mind, you may be wondering what to pair with your egg fried rice. Naturally, with a dish that can be modified and personalised in as many ways as egg fried rice, it can be slightly difficult to narrow down what dishes work best with it.
That said though, whilst the addition of extra ingredients does complicate matters, you can narrow things down to some easy egg fried rice accompaniment by sticking to basics. The reason for this is that dishes that work with egg fried rice when it is stripped back down to its most basic elements will likely also work with more complex varieties.
With that in mind then, you will want to choose dishes that in some manner are able to best compliment the egg fried rice. Often these will be dishes that in some way playoff the traits that are already present such as fluffy rice and eggs, salty and slightly sharp taste tastes and crunchy green onions.
This can be done in a number of ways but ultimately will come down to the additional dishes in question being able to mirror or contrast the traits found in the egg fried rice in a way that complements rather than clashes.
What to Serve with Fried Rice?
When considering the above you may have found that you already have a few ideas for what you can serve alongside your egg fried rice. However, you may also have found that you still have no idea of where to begin. Fortunately though, like when deciding sides for other dishes, whether it be butter chicken or sushi, there are a wide array of options for your to choose from. Some excellent examples of dishes to pair with your egg fried rice include:
- Fried Egg
- Egg Rolls
- Chinese Dumplings
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Lemon Chicken
- Sweet And Sour Pork
- Hot And Sour Soup
Perhaps the simplest but also one of the best options for pairing with your fried rice is to top it with a fried egg. Now we know that your main dish will already have scrambled egg mixed into the rice. However, the beauty of the fried egg is that it doubles down on the eggy part of the fried rice but in a way that adds some wonderful contrast in terms of taste and texture.
This is accomplished by adding some extra crispiness, along with some sponginess via the egg whites. Meanwhile, a runny yolk will add some silky smooth and creamy mouthfeel for added richness.
When you topping for your fried rice with a fried egg, it is best used in conjunction with a bowl of fried rice that is already rich in protein and veggies. In such a scenario adding a more elaborate side would only complicate the meal unnecessarily. Using a fried egg though is a simple way to add that little something extra though without overstuffing your meal.
Another wonderful eggy option though is to serve your fried alongside some crunchy and crispy egg rolls. These deep-fried egg parcels that are filled with various stuffings from meat to veggies make for an excellent appetiser or side to your egg fried rice.
No matter how elaborate your main dish is these deliciously flavourful rolls will add that little something extra to your meal. The initial crispy crunch of the egg exterior will give way to the delicious filling and whether meaty, veggie or a mix, this will add some extra nuance and flavour to your dish.
Now, these are often served as an appetiser to your main and truly they make for an excellent way to set up the main event. However, when served alongside your main the combination of the fluffy and spongy egg fried rice with the crispy egg roll and flavourful filling creates a truly perfect mouthfeel experience.
In a similar vein to the prior option, some Chinese dumplings (or Jiaozi as they are also known) are another filling stuffed parcel that makes for both a wonderful starter or side dish. That said though whilst egg rolls add some crispy and crunchy texture, dumplings instead are wonderfully soft, juicy and bursting with a variety of sweet and savoury tastes.
Typically, these dumplings will be food with pork, beef or prawns, each of which adds a delicious meaty quality to the overall meal. The result is a wonderful assortment of flavours that perfectly bounce off of those within your egg fried rice whilst providing a diverse array of complementary textures.
Jiaozi are not the only form of dumping that pairs wonderfully with your egg fried rice though. Another excellent Chinese variety is xiao long bao which comes with a small side savoury soup for dipping, Meanwhile, a Japanese option that is also delicious is gyoza which is similar to jiaozi but are crescent-shaped and can be quite crispy if deep-fried rather than boiled.
Speaking of Japanese cooking though, another wonderful option to serve with your egg fried rice is some deliciously sweet and smokey teriyaki chicken. Chicken teriyaki is truly a wonderful option for pairing with a simple savoury fried rice dish that is filled with aromatics and vegetables but lacking a meaty protein. Especially so if seasoned with garlic powder as this will truly make all the flavours involved sing.
This is especially true when you make the teriyaki chicken particularly saucy and use chicken thighs as the flavourful sauce and fatty juices will seep through to the rice and flavour it in a truly unique way. As a result, whilst the oyster sauce is pretty much always a staple ingredient of egg fried rice, you should probably go slightly more easy with it when planning to top the rice with teriyaki chicken.
In terms of veggies to include in your fried rice, there are a few options that will pair perfectly with chicken teriyaki. In particular though, carrots, green onions, shallots, leeks, peas, broccoli, and of course garlic make for an excellent selection.
Another deliciously flavourful and saucy chicken dish to serve alongside your egg fried rice is of course some sweet, tangy and zesty lemon chicken. Like teriyaki chicken, this is best served with a simple fried rice dish that has some deliciously flavourful veggies but is lacking a protein.
The beauty of lemon chicken is that it combines the savoury, juicy and deliciously crispy fried chicken thighs with a rich sauce that is wonderfully tart, sweet, slightly sour and slightly sticky, yet surprisingly refreshing. The result is truly fantastic and is a dish that can easily be eaten by itself. However, alongside a simple fried rice dish, lemon chicken is simply heavenly.
Once again, the fusion of sweet and tangy plays off the savoury rice seamlessly with the fluffy grains and spongy. The former of which will soak up some of the deliciously sticky sauce and become infused with its delicious flavours.
Sweet And Sour Pork
Carrying on with the rich, saucy and flavourful proteins, some sweet and sour pork makes for another perfect dish to serve with fried rice. However, here the chicken is swapped out for some incredibly rich and flavourful pork. When combined with the signature sweet and sour sauce, the result is truly irresistible and as a result, this dish is a mainstay of Chinese takeaways and restaurants the world over.
Once again, you are best off pairing this with a simple or veggie-heavy fried rice dish so that the pork can really shine as the primary protein of the meal. Additionally, when you make the sauce nice and thick, like with the prior options it will mix in with and be soaked up by your rice in a delicious and satisfying way.
Back to another iconic Japanese dish now, tempura is a delicious and wonderfully crispy option that will add some sweet and meaty prawns to the meal, along with that delicious uniquely fried tempura batter. The result being truly scrumptious as the contrasting textures and tastes will complement and accentuate each other perfectly
Now, typically tempura will be served with a pot of tempura sauce for dipping the crispy battered prawns in. Honestly, though, the way that they play off the rice makes for a dish that is much more filling and hearty whilst still being incredibly flavourful. That said though, having the sauce on the side to soak some of your rice in and dip your tempura will add even more wonderful flavour to the dish.
Hot And Sour Soup
For a perfectly light and flavourful appetiser before serving a hearty main like egg fried rice, a hot and sour soup makes for an excellent choice. This soup has a bit of a kick to it due to the inclusion of red pepper along with a subtle acidity due to the inclusion of vinegar, Both of these are then contrasted by the silky smooth tofu and wonderfully crunchy carrots.
When served in advance of the fried rice, this soup is a wonderfully light appetiser with wonderful favours and textures that your palette will find satisfying. These lingering tastes will then be contrasted by and compliment those found in your egg fried rice.
Answered: What to Serve with Fried Rice?
When deciding what to eat with your egg fried rice, there are truly a wide array of options that you can explore. From dumplings to soup to fried eggs or lemon chicken there is an assortment of delicious tastes and textures that will contrast, reflect and complement those found in your main rice dish.
Naturally, with a dish as versatile and delicious as fried rice, your options aren’t limited to those found above. No, along with these there is literally a whole culinary world of options you can play with. So if you’ve got any ideas of your own don’t be afraid to use the above as a springboard to mix and match an assortment of sides with this wonderful rice dish.
FAQ – What to Serve with Fried Rice?
What goes good with egg fried rice?
A wide variety of different foods will pair excellently with fried rice. Some great options include a fried egg, teriyaki chicken, tempura. sweet and sour pork and dumplings. However, this is truly only scratching the surface of the possible options.
What sides go with chicken fried rice?
A wide variety of different foods will pair excellently with chicken fried rice. Truly though, due to this already having a protein within the dish keeping it simple is best. As such, some great options include a fried egg, egg rolls, hot and sour soup and dumplings.
What foods pair well with rice?
Rice is truly a staple food in various countries all around the world. As such all sorts of dishes can work wonderfully with a variety of different rice dishes. Some examples of which include but aren’t limited to beef stroganoff, enchiladas, sweet and sour pork and chicken tikka masala.
Is fried rice a main dish?
Fried rice is an incredibly versatile dish that is often made using leftovers as a delicious main dish. That said though, fried rice can also work perfectly well when served in smaller portions as a side to accompany a larger main meal.