Thursday, October 4, 2012

Amazing Fried Rice ($0.49 per cup)

$0.49 per cup          67% savings          save $60.80 yearly

Ready to add a new favorite meal to your list? I've got just the one! 

I call this fried rice "amazing," because whenever I make it, some truly amazing things happen:

   1. My kids willingly shovel vegetables into their mouths and (insert *gasp*) ask for more!

   2. The phrase, "Three more bites," never leaves my mouth.

   3. My leftover-shunning husband will eat this the next day... if I don't beat him to it.

   4. It's a complete meal in one dish! Rice, plenty of veggies, meat and eggs

I know. Amazing!

I came up with this fried rice about a year ago when I found myself, once again, stumped by the "what's for dinner" question. A quick scan of the contents of my refrigerator, and the knowledge that my kids loved rice resulted in this absolutely delicious, easy to make, family favorite meal.  

This is a great way to use up those last few carrots, or that poor little onion that's been around for weeks. Fried rice is very versatile. In the past, I've used brown rice, chicken, shrimp, pineapple, peas, corn, celery, and peppers. Basically, whatever ingredients I have on hand that I don't want to waste are fair game. The low-sodium soy sauce adds great flavor without introducing way too much sodium to the dish.

So, I repeat: If you're ready to add a shoe-in favorite meal to your list... look no further. 

You're going to love this!

Amazing Fried Rice
Printable Version

*Makes 6 large servings

(Note: This fried rice is a little stickier than restaurant-style fried rice because I use less oil for frying, and an over-abundance of vegetables. If you're not a fan of sticky rice, be sure to use pre-cooked cold rice to combat the stickiness.  If you don't have any rice sitting in the refrigerator, you can make fresh rice. It'll just be stickier. This recipe is versatile. Different vegetables or varieties of rice, or meat may be substituted: brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, corn, peas, mushrooms, peppers, chicken, shrimp, beef etc. Really, whatever you have in your fridge that needs to be used up.)

3 cups cold cooked rice (1 cup dry long-grain rice yields 3 cups cooked)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup ham, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp jarred minced garlic (or 2 minced fresh cloves)
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small head broccoli, stem discarded, florets chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the ham. Cook, stirring occasionally till ham is lightly browned.

Add onion. Cook for 2 minutes until onion is fragrant, then add the garlic, and cook an additional 30 seconds or so.

Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push the ham and vegetables to the sides of the skillet with your spoon, and add the eggs, scrambling them, then incorporating them with the vegetables.

Add the rice, and stir everything together. Add the soy sauce, and stir till rice is hot, and everything is mixed together.

Serve immediately.
~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown
20 lbs. long grain white rice - $11.86 = 50.25 cups = $0.236/C = $0.236
1 dozen eggs - $1.79 = $0.150/egg = $0.300
32 oz. jar minced garlic - $4.48 = 181 tsp. = $0.025/tsp = $0.025
3 lbs. bagged onions - $1.96 = $0.245 ea. = $0.245
2 lbs. bagged carrots - $1.48 = 10 carrots/bag = $0.148/carrot = $0.444
Broccoli - $1.78/lb - 1 small head = $0.88
Pre-cooked sliced ham - $1.79/lb = $0.498
15 oz. light soy sauce - $1.82 = 30 T = $0.061/T = $0.244
Total Recipe Cost = $2.92
Cost Per Cup = $0.49

The Contender:
Panda Express Fried Rice (small) = $2.25
Cost Per Cup = $1.50


"Over a Year" Scenario:
Make Fried Rice 10 times = $29.20
Buy equivalent Panda Express Fried Rice = $90.00

*Money Saved: $60.80


  1. I do a very similar sort of recipe, but like to add a bit of complexity to the sauce by mixing the soy sauce with a bit of rice vinegar and honey. If you have any Chinese five spice powder, although it's a bit of niche ingredient, it's also quite nice in a dish like this.

    1. Mmmm... sounds delish! I do add different things to the sauce from time to time, but this is the basic (cheapest) version of the sauce. I've never tried Chinese five spice powder. Where could I find it in a store?

    2. It's located with all the other spices. Normally only the more expensive spice brands carry it.

  2. OKAY. So this was awesome! Not that I should expect anything different, apparently! You rock! My not-a-veggie-fan fiance loved this dish! That in itself deserves a medal. I've also made the corn bread (YUM!!) and (shamefully) have made the pizza dough recipe 4 times...but in my defense, we had people over!! Yum yum yum-- I love everything about this blog and about your recipes! I am eating through our last few cups of yogurt and I can't wait to try the crockpot yogurt!! Again, this was to die for! (also, A side note...can you list your pizza dough in the recipe index? I love it and printed it, but tried to have my mom come check it out and she had to scroll through to find it as it wasn't listed on the index...just a heads up!)

    You go, girl!

    1. Thanks, Kate! It always gives me a thrill to know that someone enjoys these recipes. :) I was unaware that the pizza dough recipe wasn't in the index. I'm not sure how I overlooked that, but I'll get it up asap. :)

  3. Making this for the second time in a week tonight! Love it! Thank you!!

  4. This recipe was so good! Even my picky kids ate it. Thanks so much!

    1. Yay! I love it when that happens. :) I'm glad you all liked it.

  5. So good! This is my favorite kind of, easy, and uses up little leftovers that are laying (lying?) around. Thank you for sharing! One note, I halved the amount of soy sauce because I did not have the low sodium kind and it was just the right amount!


  6. I made this today, except with sausage instead of ham and frozen broccoli instead of fresh (it was on sale.) It was soooo good, easy, and cheap!!

  7. My family loves fried rice. I've never done it with ham. And I've seen the five spice in the "Asian" section of my local Fry's (which is a Kroger affiliate)

  8. Hello Andrea,

    Do you really discard the broccoli stems?? I always peel the tough outer of my broccoli stems and then chop into little matchstick pieces for use in stir-fry and also in soup or even salad. They are only bitter on the outer layer (skin) but lovely sweet and tender inside.


  9. Hey there, this fried rice looks great...I've only recently "rediscovered" it for my own family. One thought: this is a perfect dish to add some finely cut Kale or will go nearly unnoticed but add so many nutrients.


  10. We made this tonight and it was delicious. I had a ton of ham leftover from Thanksgiving. I had never thought of using in fried rice! Thanks for another recipe that's a winner. :)


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