Benihana Fried Rice Recipe


Benihana is a well-known Japanese steakhouse and fried rice is a beloved staple of their teppanyaki-style dining experience. With its tantalizing blend of flavors and satisfying texture, it’s no wonder that many people crave this dish long after they’ve left the restaurant. Fortunately, with the right ingredients and a bit of skill in the kitchen, you can recreate the magic of Benihana fried rice in the comfort of your own home with this perfect copycat recipe.

Why Does Benihana Fried Rice Taste So Good?

Benihana fried rice has a reputation for being incredibly delicious, leaving many diners wondering what makes it so special. The secret lies in a combination of factors, starting with the freshness of the ingredients. Benihana emphasizes using high-quality, fresh ingredients in all of their dishes, and their fried rice is no exception. From the vegetables to the protein, everything is carefully selected and prepared to ensure maximum flavor.

Benihana also uses safflower oil as it has a very high smoke point and has no flavor when used in a dish. Its properties make it ideal for cooking fried rice.

Aside from fresh ingredients and neutral oil, the secret component that makes Benihana’s fried rice delicious is none other than garlic butter. The Benihana garlic butter only requires very few ingredients and it’s simple to make too. The best part is that you can keep the garlic butter in your refrigerator and use it in other recipes too.

What Brand of Rice Does Benihana Use?

While Benihana keeps its exact recipe and ingredient suppliers under wraps, it’s widely believed that they use high-quality, short-grain rice for their fried rice. Short-grain rice is preferred for dishes like fried rice because it has a higher starch content, which helps it stick together and create that distinctively fluffy yet sticky texture that is characteristic of restaurant-style fried rice.

Although the specific brand of rice used by Benihana remains a mystery, home cooks can achieve similar results by using their favorite brand of short-grain rice. Look for varieties like sushi rice or Calrose rice, which are readily available in most grocery stores and are well-suited for making fried rice and other rice recipes.

Benihana Fried Rice Ingredients

  • 2 cups day-old rice (jasmine rice)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 pound chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Garlic Butter Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 lemon juice

How to Make Benihana Chicken Fried Rice

  1. Cook rice the day before. Follow the steps and cook the rice according to package directions. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Marinate the chicken in garlic powder, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 6 hours.
  3. Mix together the ingredients for the garlic butter then set aside at room temp. 
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, scramble the eggs with 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from the hot skillet and set aside.
  5. Using the same large pan, cook the chicken in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Sauté until cooked through and then remove from the pan. Set aside.
  6. Pour the remaining spoons of sesame oil into the hot pan. Add diced onion pieces and carrots. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened.
  7. Mix in the chopped green onion pieces and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Heat another large skillet or wok. Add the rice and garlic butter, and mix.
  9. Add the scrambled eggs and the chicken. Break up the eggs into small pieces and mix throughout. 
  10. Season with soy sauce, salt, pepper, and more garlic butter if desired. Stir-fry until everything is mixed together.
  11. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before serving.

Recipe Tips

  • If you can’t find green onions, fear not, you can use scallions instead. In actuality, scallions and green onions are the same thing. 
  • Cold rice is the best rice to use for this dish. 
  • Feel free to switch the chicken out and use other proteins in this dish.
  • To make this dish vegetarian, leave out the chicken and add in mushrooms or your veggies of choice instead.
  • Aside from carrots, you can add other vegetables such as mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, bell pepper, peas, and the like.
  • If you want to increase the flavor of the sesame seeds in this dish, you can toast them in an oven. Simply place them in a shallow pan and bake until golden brown, shaking the pan occasionally for even color. 
  • If you have leftovers, you can freeze them for up to three months in the freezer. 
  • If you don’t have sesame oil, you can also use vegetable oil or canola oil. Olive oil isn’t the best as it doesn’t have a high smoke point.

Final Note

With these simple steps and a few basic ingredients, you can enjoy the irresistible flavors of Benihana fried rice right in your own kitchen. Experiment with different vegetables, proteins, and seasonings to customize the recipe to your taste, and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a restaurant-quality dish at home.

If your family loved this recipe and you want to cook more dishes to impress them, check out our recipe collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret ingredient to restaurant fried rice?

The most important component to cooking fried rice similar to a restaurant’s is to use rice cooked the day before. Never use warm, freshly-made rice as it will clump and turn mushy when stir-fried. If you don’t have precooked rice, you can cook the rice the same day but cool it down and place it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to dry it out.