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Beef Fried Rice - Dinner at the Zoo

This beef fried rice is cubes of marinated steak cooked with eggs, vegetables and rice in a savory sauce. A quick and easy dinner option that tastes like it came from a restaurant!

My family loves when I make our take out favorites at home including coconut shrimp curry, hearty teriyaki chicken bowls and this rendition of beef fried rice.

A bowl of beef fried rice topped with green onions.

Whenever we go to our local Chinese restaurant, we order a bowl of fried rice. It pairs perfectly with so many dishes, and when you add some protein it becomes a main course! This beef fried rice features tender steak and is a great way to use up leftovers.

Fried rice ingredients

Bowls of ingredients including steak, rice, vegetables and seasonings.

For this dish you will need steak, sugar, sesame oil, corn starch, soy sauce, vegetable oil, onions, carrots, peas, garlic, eggs, cooked rice, salt, pepper and green onions.

How do you make beef fried rice?

Start by making a simple marinade, then add cubes of steak to the marinade. While the steak is in the marinade, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When you’re ready to start cooking, brown the meat in a little oil in a large pan. Remove the steak from the pan, then add the vegetables and eggs. After the veggies and eggs are ready, return the steak to the pan along with cooked white rice, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Cook until everything is coated in sauce. Next, add a sprinkling of sliced green onions, then serve and enjoy.

Process shows showing steak being marinated and vegetables and eggs cooked.

Tips for the perfect dish

  • Fried rice works best with cold rice, so this recipe is the perfect way to re-purpose leftover rice. When you use cold rice, the grains are all separated and firm, which creates a better texture than you would with fresh cooked rice. Beef fried rice made with newly cooked rice will be softer, and won’t have any of those delicious crispy bits.
  • I recommend using long grain white rice for this dish. You can use a regular white rice, or else try a fragrant variety such as jasmine rice.
  • Frozen peas work perfectly in this fried rice, I always keep a bag in the freezer to add to stir fries, soups and pasta. That being said, I don’t recommend using canned peas as they don’t have as nice of a color or texture.
  • Fried rice will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, which makes it great for meal prep.
Process shots showing rice and vegetables and sauce being added to a pan.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of beef is used for fried rice?

I use flank steak in this recipe, as it’s naturally tender and relatively inexpensive. Other tender cuts of beef will also work such as sirloin, New York strip or rib eye. I typically cut my meat into cubes because I find it’s less likely to overcook that way, but you can cut it into thin slices if you prefer.

What is the secret to great fried rice?

The absolute best way to ensure perfect fried rice is to use leftover rice. Cold cooked rice will have the perfect consistency when stir fried with all the rest of the ingredients.

What gives fried rice its flavor?

The primary flavoring components in fried rice typically include soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Other flavors that are sometimes added are ginger, chili sauce or oyster sauce.

A pan of beef fried rice with a serving spoon in it.

Beef fried rice flavor variations

This recipe is fabulous as-is, but you can add other ingredients you have on hand to make your own creation.

  • Protein: Swap out the steak for ground beef for a different flavor and texture. You can also use other types of meat such as pork, chicken or even shrimp.
  • Low Carb: Watching your carbs? Feel free to use cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice, or do a mix of half and half.
  • Veggies: You can add more veggies to the mix, some great options include corn, broccoli, snow peas, cabbage or mushrooms.
  • Toppings: Finish off your rice with a drizzle of sriracha, toasted sesame seeds or even cooked crumbled bacon.

Skip the take out and make your own beef fried rice at home instead. You’ll be glad you did!

More Asian inspired recipes you’ll enjoy

A bowl of beef fried rice topped with green onions.


Beef Fried Rice

This beef fried rice is cubes of marinated steak cooked with eggs, vegetables and rice in a savory sauce. A quick and easy dinner option that tastes like it came from a restaurant!

Marinating Time 10 minutes


For the beef

  • Place the steak, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and corn starch in a bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

For the rice

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the steak to the pan in a single layer and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally. You may need to work in batches.

  • Remove the steak from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan, along with the onion and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Remove the vegetables from the pan, then cover with foil to keep warm.

  • Pour the remaining teaspoon of oil into the pan; add the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are scrambled and cooked through. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

  • Add the rice, steak, cooked veggies and peas to the pan. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil and mix gently until everything is thoroughly combined and warmed through, 3-4 minutes.

  • Sprinkle green onions over the top of the rice mixture, then serve immediately.


  1. Long grain, leftover rice works best in this recipe.
  2. You can use other types of steak such as sirloin, New York strip or rib eye.


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 296mg | Sodium: 760mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2855IU | Vitamin C: 7.1mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 2.9mg

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