House special fried rice, also known as combination fried rice, is one of the best fried rice out there! It's loaded with chicken, shrimp, pork (char siu), eggs, and veggies. It's one of the most popular fried rice offered at Chinese restaurants, and it's actually very easy to make at home! Pair this with some sesame chicken or chicken with mixed vegetables and egg rolls to complete the meal!
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What is house special fried rice?
House special fried rice is arguably the best fried rice you can order from Chinese takeout because it's got a combination of different meats — chicken, pork (usually char siu), and shrimps — along with veggies like onion, peas, and carrots.
Depending on the region and which Chinese restaurant you visit, house special fried rice can go by a few different names, most commonly, special fried rice, house fried rice, and combination fried rice.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Day old white rice - Fried rice is the perfect recipe to use up leftover white rice! The chilled day old rice contains less moisture, which helps to prevent the rice from becoming overcooked and mushy.
- Chinese BBQ roast pork - Also known as char siu. Feel free to make your own char siu or use store-bought ones. Just make sure to request for the honey glaze to be on the side and not brushed on the pork.
- Shrimp and chicken - Both of these proteins will be marinate using the velveting technique to ensure that the stay juicy and tender. Ingredients needed for the marinade are water, Shaoxing rice wine, salt, cornstarch, and oil. Also, we recommend using small shrimps.
- Egg - All fried rice tastes better with eggs! It makes fried rice taste more fragrant.
- Onion - Of all of the vegetables, onion is a must-have! Not only does it add texture and natural sweetness, onion is super aromatic on its own. So imagine all the flavor it'd add to any dish.
- Peas and carrots - These are classic veggies in fried rice. They add color and texture. Feel free to use the frozen peas and carrots or use fresh peas and hand dice the carrots.
- Shaoxing rice wine - We highly recommend adding Shaoxing rice wine to the fried rice. It makes the fried rice super aromatic. Besides "wok hei", this is the second secret to why Chinese fried rice tastes so good!
- Oyster sauce and soy sauce - These two are the main seasonings for the special fried rice. Both will add color to the rice, making it golden brown.
- Sesame oil - This is optional to add a mild toasty, nutty flavor.
- Green onion - Optional for adding color and for garnish.
Best kind of rice for making fried rice
The best kind of rice for making any Chinese takeout fried rice is cold, day old long grain white rice. Long grain white rice contains the least amount of starch compared to medium and short grain white rice. This allows the fried rice to stay loose and fluffy, not clumpy.
The concept of using cold, day old rice is because older rice has less moisture and it being cold both helps to prevent the rice from becoming overcooked and mushy. If you want to make fried rice the day of, you can make your white rice with less water to get a similar result.
How to make house special fried rice
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
Prepare the ingredients:
1. Marinate the shrimp and chicken. Combine the shrimps, chicken, water, shaoxing, and salt in a bowl. Mix until most of the moisture is absorbed.
Add the cornstarch and mix until no more dry cornstarch is visible. Finish by adding some oil and mix to combine. Set aside to marinate for a few minutes as you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Prepare the rice. Rub the cold day old rice between your palms and fingers to break them apart. You can also do this in a resealable bag. Set it side until needed.
3. Cook the shrimp and chicken. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the marinated chicken and shrimps.
Once added, immediately stir vigorously with a pair of chopsticks or a fork to break up and separate the proteins. Allow the proteins to cook until the shrimp is bright orangish pink and the chicken cooked. Drain well and set aside.
🌟 Pro tip: Usually once the water comes back to a boil for a couple of seconds, the proteins should be cooked. However, the cook time could differ if you cut the chicken into thicker strips (no thicker than ¼ inch) than recommended or if your shrimps are larger.
Make the house special fried rice:
1. Stir fry veggies and char siu. Into a wok or large pan over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the peas, carrots, onions, and diced char siu. Stir fry until the onions start to turn clear and smells fragrant. Push everything to one side of the wok.
2. Scramble the egg. In the other side of the wok, add a couple tablespoons of oil. Once hot, pour in the beaten egg and scramble until cooked.
🌟 Pro tip: If possible, offset the wok so that only the empty side of the wok sits on the burner. This prevents the veggies and char siu from burning. If you are cooking on a gas burner, you can even keep the wok tilted over the fire so that the oil stays in one area.
3. Add the rice, chicken, and shrimps. To the wok, add the prepared rice and cooked chicken and shrimps. Toss to combine.
4. Add Shaoxing. Drizzle the Shaoxing rice wine around the wok and stir fry for about 15 to 30 seconds, until the alcohol is cooked off and the rice smells fragrant.
5. Season. Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir fry until well combined and the rice is even in color. Remove from heat.
6. Finish. Drizzle in some toasted sesame oil and add some green onions. Toss briefly to combine.
7. Serve. Enjoy the house special fried rice while hot and garnish with more green onions if desired.
- Use cold, day old rice and break up the rice before cooking. Day old rice is best for making fried rice because it helps prevent overcooking the rice, which would yield mushy fried rice. Also, cold rice rice can be easily separated by rubbing it between your palms. This will help prevent having clumpy rice while cooking and prevents you from having to smash the rice, which increases cook time and likely resulting in having clumps of rice that are unseasoned.
- Avoid using char siu glazed with honey. Char siu is often brushed with a honey glaze at the last steps. But honey (the extra sugar) burns easily, especially over high heat. So if you're making your own char siu, skip brushing honey on the pieces that you'd like to use for fried rice. If you're buying it from the store, ask to see if they can give you the honey glaze on the side instead of brushing on the char siu.
- Don't use stick rice! Never use stick rice to make fried rice, unless that is the texture you're going for. Sticky rice clumps very easily and is not meant for most stir fries. Instead, opt of long grain white rice.
Leftover house special fried rice can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Make sure allow the fried rice to cool completely and cover well or store in an airtight container.
The easiest way to reheat leftover house special fried rice is using the microwave, but you can also simply reheat on the stovetop.
Microwave method: Keep the fried rice covered and microwave until heated through. Fluff and stir the rice as needed to evenly reheat.
Stovetop method: To a pan over medium high heat, add a small amount of oil. Once the pan is hot, add the leftover fried rice and stir fry for a few seconds to break up any clumps. Drizzle in a tablespoon or more of water (depending on how much rice) and stir fry until the fried rice is hot and the rice is tender.
House special fried rice is typically made of chicken, pork (usually char siu), shrimp, eggs, and vegetables, such as onion, peas, and carrots.
Every region and Chinese restaurant has their own variation of names for certain dishes, house special fried rice is no different. The most common alternative names are: special fried rice, combination fried rice, and house fried rice.
It's always best to use cold, day old long grain white rice for making fried rice. Long grain rice has the least amount of starch compared to short and medium grain rice, which will give fried rice the fluffiness. Cold day old rice helps to prevent the rice from becoming overcooked and mushy.
House Special Fried Rice
For the fried rice:
- 2 cups cooked white rice preferably long grain and cold day old rice
- 3 ounces Chinese BBQ roast pork small diced (also known as char siu; either homemade or store-bought)
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ large yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoons frozen peas and carrots thawed (you can also use fresh pea and diced carrots too)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (optional but highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce light sodium
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 taespoon toasted sesame oil optional
- 1 stalk green onion thinly sliced (optional)
- Oil as needed for cooking (any neutral oil)
For the marinated protein:
Prepare the marinated proteins:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the thin strips of chicken, small shrimps, water, shaoxing rice wine, and salt. Mix until well combined and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the cornstarch and mix until evenly combined and no more dry cornstarch is visible. Finish by adding the oil and mix evenly. Allow the proteins to marinade for 5 to 10 minutes as you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Once ready to cook the protein, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the marinated proteins to the boiling water and immediately break them up by stirring vigorously with chopsticks or a fork.
- Allow the proteins to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the shrimps are a vibrant pink/orange.
- When the proteins are cooked, strain well and set aside until needed.
Prepare the rice:
- Break apart the rice by gently rubbing it between your hands. You can do this with gloves on or in a resealable bag. Set aside once done.
Make the house special fried rice:
- In a wok or large pan over medium high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced Chinese roast pork, onion, peas and carrots. Stir fry briefly until the onion starts to turn clear and the pork fragrant, about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Push the pork and veggies to one side of wok and add a couple tablespoon of oil to the other side. Let the oil heat up until hot, then add the beaten egg and scramble until just cooked.*If possible, tilt or offset the wok/pan so that only the side with the oil is getting heated. This will help prevent the pork and veggies from burning.*
- Add the prepared day old rice and cooked shrimps and chicken. Toss and stir fry briefly to combine. Drizzle the Shaoxing rice wine around the wok and stir fry for about 15 to 30 seconds or until the rice is fragrant and the alcohol is cooked off.
- Season the house special fried rice with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir fry and toss everything until evenly combined and the rice is even in color.
- Finish by adding sesame oil (if desired) and sliced green onions. Stir fry the fried rice for a few more seconds.
- Serve and enjoy the house special fried rice while it's hot and garnish with more sliced green onion if you wish.
- Day old long grain white rice - This is the best choice for making fried rice. Long grain rice has the least amount of starch, which ensures the fried rice stays loose and day old, cold rice ensures the rice doesn't become mushy and overcooked.
- Char siu - Feel free to use homemade char siu or store-bought ones. If you're using homemade char siu, don't brush on the honey. If you're purchasing from the store, ask them to reserve the honey sauce on the side. The extra sugar from the honey glaze will make the char siu burn much faster, possibly creating an undesired amount of char (bitterness) in the fried rice.
- Shrimps - We recommend using small shrimps for this recipe because small shrimps have the closest cook time to the thin strips of chicken. Larger shrimps will take too long to cook.