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Sweet and Spicy Ham Fried Rice Recipe


Are you craving ham fried rice from your favorite restaurant? Or maybe you’re just searching for a quick and easy yet fulfilling recipe? Whichever of the two you may be, here’s one recipe you’ll be thrilled to make. Ham fried rice is loaded with flavor and only takes about 20 minutes to cook. This is a great recipe that the whole family will love.

What is the Secret to Great Fried Rice?

You don’t have to go to a restaurant every time you want to eat fried rice. Making fried rice is very simple and easy, especially if you use this secret main ingredient in your recipe. The key to having the best fried rice right in your kitchen is none other than using leftover chilled rice.

That’s right; you have to make the rice ahead of time. Your fried rice will be even better if you use day-old leftover rice.

Why use leftover rice, you ask? When the rice is first cooked, it is soft, fluffy, and warm. That’s nice to eat, sure, but fresh rice is not ideal to use in fried rice. You will end up with a big gooey and mushy mess. Using rice that has cooled down and dried out a little gives fried rice the consistency that we all love. 

Do You Boil the Rice Before You Fry It?

Not at all! If you boil the rice before frying, you will end up with a dish that is mushy and gooey. It is best to use rice grains that have been chilled and slightly dried.

What Is Ham Fried Rice Made Of?

Implied in the name, ham fried rice is a dish composed of two main elements: ham and fried rice. Apart from the two primary ingredients in this recipe, items such as scrambled eggs and vegetables like peas and carrots are added to it. Others also garnish it with green onions.

Can You Fry Canned Ham?

Yes, you can fry canned ham! It is a popular food item that can be fried, cooked in the oven, or boiled on the stovetop. Aside from fried rice, you can use canned ham in other similar recipes.

Is Fried Rice with Ham a Main Dish or a Side Dish?

Most people think of ham fried rice as a side dish served with Chinese food. While that isn’t wrong, ham fried rice can also be considered a main dish. The recipe has elements from all food groups, making ham fried rice a complete meal on its own. You can also use it to complement other great recipes and side dishes.

Sweet and Spicy Fried Rice with Ham Recipe Ingredients

This easy ham fried rice recipe only requires simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard or you can easily buy at the nearest store. You can even use the leftover ham and rice that you have in your fridge! Here are the ingredients that you’ll need for this great recipe:

  • 3-4 cups cold rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped ham
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 large red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped (optional)

How To Make Ham Fried Rice Recipe

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the pan, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes or until completely cooked. 
  3. Remove the eggs from the pan. Chop the eggs, and set them aside. 
  4. In another skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the teaspoon of sesame oil as well. Heat the pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion, and bell peppers. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant or lightly browned.
  6. Add ham. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden.
  7. Add veggies such as frozen peas and carrots. You can also put in other veggies like bean sprouts, corn, or mushrooms. Stir gently.
  8. Add the eggs, rice, and soy sauce to the mixture in the pan. Stir well to distribute the soy sauce throughout the rice. Cook for 5 minutes until the rice is heated through.
  9. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Add green onions if desired. Toss to combine.
  10. Add more soy sauce if desired.
  11. Serve immediately.

Ham Fried Rice Recipe Tips

  • Like other fried rice recipes, make sure to use cooked rice that has been chilled in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, you won’t get the proper texture necessary for this dish.
  • This particular recipe calls for the use of white rice, particularly long-grain rice. You may also use brown rice instead. Similar to white rice, brown rice should also be cooked and chilled beforehand to get the best texture.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables such as baby corn, green beans, bok choy, bean sprouts, or broccoli.
  • Instead of frozen peas, you may also use a frozen vegetable mixture.
  • Do not thaw the peas beforehand. Frozen peas are already cooked. If you put thawed peas in this recipe, they will turn into mush. 
  • You can use leftover ham for this recipe.
  • For a vegetarian twist to this recipe, you can skip the meat altogether. The eggs can be replaced with sauteed tofu.
  • You can skip the green onion at the end of the recipe. However, if you’re adding green onions, make sure that they are thinly sliced.
  • Aside from soy sauce, you can also pour oyster sauce into this rice recipe.
  • Sesame oil is a staple in Asian recipes such as ham fried rice but if you don’t have any on hand, you can also use olive oil.
  • To freeze ham fried rice, allow it to cool completely after cooking. Store it in a freezer-safe bag and push out all the air or as much air as you can before zipping it closed. You can also use an airtight container.

Final Note

Ham fried rice is a delicious dinner recipe that can satisfy the hungry bellies of the entire family! It’s easy to make and it uses fuss-free ingredients. Try it out now!

Looking for other leftover ham recipes or rice recipes? Check out the popular recipes on our website.


Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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