Gluten-Free/ Rice/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Garlic Chili Fried Rice

Simple and quick to make, this garlic chili fried rice is vegetarian and easy to make gluten-free. Made with basic ingredients, it's one tasty side dish.
Garlic chili fried rice garnished with fresh sliced chilies and herbs,

Last Updated on October 5, 2021 by Betty Davies

Add some spice and flavor to your table with this Chinese inspired garlic chili fried rice. Seasoned with soy sauce, it comes together quickly and easily and is a super tasty alternative to takeout. Made with simple ingredients and bursting with flavor.

Overhead shot of garlic chili fried rice in a skillet with red chilies and herb garnish.

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Seasoned with garlic, red chili and soy sauce, this fried rice recipe is a flavor explosion! Perfect to serve as a rice side dish for your favorite Chinese mains, and easily turned into a filling main dish, this chili garlic fried rice is hands down delicious.

Simple and quick to make, this is an easy way to add some flavor to your plate.

Be sure to try my Garlic Parmesan Rice and Tomato Basil Rice too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Quick and easy: It takes minutes to cook up this dish, it’s great after a long day when you want something tasty with minimal effort.
  • Simple ingredients: You only need a handful of pantry staples to make this dish, you are likely to have most things on hand already.
  • Make ahead: Fried rice is a great make ahead side, and it’s a great option if you have leftover cooked rice.
  • Dietary info: This garlic chili fried rice is vegetarian and easily made gluten-free and vegan.
Garlic chili fried rice served in a white bowl.

Ingredients

  • Rice: Use long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine for this recipe. Cook the rice ahead of time as it needs to be cold when you fry it.
  • Oil and butter: For cooking. You can use just oil if you prefer.
  • Red chili: Use as much or as little chili as you like to suit your tastes. Rather than use a fresh chili, you can also use a chili paste.
  • Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce adds a nice umami saltiness to the rice.
  • Rice wine vinegar: A little of this mild vinegar adds a freshness and helps to balance out the flavors.

How to make garlic chili fried rice

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Soften the garlic and chili in oil and butter (photo 1).
  • Add the rice, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar (photo 2).
  • Stir to combine and cook until hot (photo 3).
Three step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

It’s easy to adjust the level of spice in this fried rice recipe, simply add more or less chili depending on how hot you can tolerate. The addition of soy sauce makes this perfect to serve up with Chinese mains, but if you omit it, then it works perfectly with Indian dishes. Use Tamari sauce instead of soy to make it gluten-free, and omit the butter to make it vegan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes! Once you have made your garlic chili fried rice, just let it cool before transferring to an airtight container. It will keep well for 4 to 5 days and can be reheated in a skillet or in the microwave.

You can also freeze cooked fried rice. Let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Can you make fried rice with brown rice?

Fried rice is traditionally made with long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine, but you can totally make it with brown or wild rice if you prefer. It will have a nuttier flavor and slightly chewier texture, but it will all be super tasty.

The trick to serving up restaurant quality fried rice is to throughly chill the rice once it is cooked. Where possible, cook it up the night before and chill it in the fridge overnight before cooking it up, or at least cook it eariler in the day to let it chill and absorb as much moisture as you can.

What can you add to fried rice to make it a full meal?

As it is, this rice makes for a tasty side dish, but you can easily turn it into a full meal to feed the family. Quickly cook up some chicken breasts and chop or shred them into the rice, or add some pan fried shrimp or tofu. You can easily cook up some extra veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms to add in.

Overhead shot of garlic chili fried rice served in a white bowl.

Serving Suggestions

This Chinese style garlic chili fried rice is great to serve up with classics like teryaki chicken or Szechwan shrimp. Because it’s so full of flavor, you can easily serve it with a simply baked piece of chicken, fish or steak.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • For the best results the rice should be cooked the night before and chilled in a fridge. Chill the rice for as long as is possible.
  • Chilies can widely vary in spice, so adjust amounts depending on your tolerance. I used one red finger chili and it was fairly mild.
  • Leftovers will keep well for around 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
The fried rice in a silver skillet ready to serve.

More Easy Side Dishes

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Garlic chili fried rice garnished with fresh sliced chilies and herbs,

Garlic Chili Fried Rice

Simple and quick to make, this garlic chili fried rice is vegetarian and easy to make gluten-free. Made with basic ingredients, it's one tasty side dish.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 322kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white long grain rice cooked and cooled. (210g)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red finger chili deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Instructions

  • Cook the white rice according to package instructions. Let cool in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  • Melt the butter and oil in a skillet on a medium high heat.
  • Once melted, add in the chopped garlic and chili.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes, just til fragrant and the garlic has very slightly browned.
  • Add the cooked rice to the skillet along with the soy sauce and white wine vinegar.
  • Stir to combine and cook til the rice is piping hot.
  • Garnish with sliced red chilies and chopped cilantro or parsley if you like.

Notes

  • For the best results the rice should be cooked the night before and chilled in a fridge. Chill the rice for as long as is possible.
  • Chilies can widely vary in spice, so adjust amounts depending on your tolerance. I used one red finger chili and it was fairly mild.
  • Leftovers will keep well for around 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Nutritional values are an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

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