Easy Garlic Fried Rice (10 minutes)

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This Garlic Fried Rice is so simple, quick and easy, yet fragrant and tasty. The best part is you will only need 5 main ingredients and 10 minutes to put it together.

a plate with garlic fried rice, garnished with cilantro

Fried rice is a staple in many Asian cuisines, and there are many delicious variations to satisfy even the pickiest eater. This garlic fried rice recipe is probably the most simple one, requiring the fewest ingredients. It also happens to be vegan and can be enjoyed on its own. You can certainly serve it with other savory dishes you like.


Besides salt, pepper and oil, you will need only 5 ingredients to turn plain white rice into fragrant fried rice:

  • cooked rice
  • a lot of chopped garlic
  • white parts from scallion
  • soy sauce
  • turmeric powder

In a good fried rice dish, the grains should barely clump together while still retaining the shape and soft-chewy texture. It shouldn’t be mushy at all. That’s why I like to use long-grain rice (such as jasmine rice) that is day-old and refrigerated.

What to do when there’s no leftover rice? It’s not a terrible idea to use fresh rice, but try to spread them out thinly on a plate or tray to cool them or chill the rice in the refrigerator.

Since the cooking time is very short, I like to mix the rice with turmeric, salt, soy sauce and oil before adding it to the pan. I can also break up the rice while doing this.

a plate with rice being mixed with turmeric powder

You will need to use a lot of garlic in this dish, but the garlic will be cooked so no need to be afraid of raw garlic breath after eating it. Scallions and soy sauce also add subtle flavors to the rice.

In this fried rice recipe, the turmeric powder mostly provides the color and makes it healthy. You won’t really taste the turmeric in the final dish. You may have seen the combination of rice and turmeric powder in my other recipes such as Hoi An chicken rice or one pan chicken turmeric rice. The powder is also used in crispy Vietnamese crepes.

It is possible to customize this dish by adding some other ingredients such as finely diced carrots and green peas.

How to Make Garlic Fried Rice at Home

It is more difficult for home cooks to achieve the perfect texture for fried rice since home kitchens don’t have high power stoves like restaurant kitchens. Here are a few tips to help with this:

  • use day-old, refrigerated long-grain white rice. When cooking the rice, you can use slightly less water than normal.
  • fry small batches of rice in a large and hot skillet (or wok) and be generous with the amount of oil.
  • work very quickly. With this garlic fried rice, the longer you cook the rice in the pan, the softer they may get and form big clumps as a result. 

Once the rice hits the pan, I try to cook it within 2-3 minutes, but that’s because I like mine to be slightly on the soft side. If you want yours to be firmer, you can fry the rice in 1-2 minutes. 

How to Serve this Fried Rice

a serving plate with garlic fried rice, serve with soy sauce on the side.

This is actually an excellent vegan fried rice by nature. I have no problem with eating it on its own. You can put some soy sauce on the side to drizzle more when eating if you want.

If you are a meat eater, this fried rice with garlic can be served with other savory meat dishes. This roasted chicken is an example of what you can serve with it. I will also share another chicken recipe to pair with this dish in the next few days.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

a serving plate with garlic fried rice, garnished with cilantro

Garlic Fried Rice (5 ingredients & 10 minutes)

This Garlic Fried Rice is so simple, quick and easy, yet fragrant and tasty. The best part is you will only need 5 main ingredients and 10 minutes to put it together. Serve it with other savory dishes for dinner or enjoy it as a delicious vegan fried rice.
Author: Sophie
No ratings yet
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 cups cooked rice (day-old, refrigerated)
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped white parts of scallions
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)


  • In a shallow plate (or mixing bowl), mix rice with turmeric powder, salt, soy sauce and 1/2-1 tablespoon of oil. While doing this, use your fingers to break up the rice.
  • Place a wok or pan over medium heat and add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic. Stir and cook over gentle heat for a minute until fragrant. Move the garlic around constantly and be careful to not burn the garlic.
  • Add the chopped white parts of scallions to the pan. Continue to stir and cook for another minute until fragrant and some of the garlic pieces just start to turn golden. Adjust the heat as needed to avoid burning the garlic.
  • Add rice to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir and toss constantly for 1-2 minutes until rice is coated with oil, the inside is heated through and the outside is still firm/crisp. Cook for another 30-60 seconds if you want softer rice.
  • Sprinkle black pepper over rice. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowls or plates immediately.


This recipe can serve up to 3 light eaters. If you need to cook for more people, it’s still best to fry rice in small batches to get good textures. I prefer jasmine rice for this recipe.
Feel free to customize your garlic fried rice by adding some other ingredients such as finely diced carrots and green peas. Just make sure you cook them separately first and add them back with the rice later.
You can put some soy sauce on the side to drizzle over the rice when eating if desired. 


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizers and Side dishes, Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: garlic fried rice, vegan fried rice
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