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Bacon fried rice – the best fried rice

If you are looking for the best fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice. 

There is an excellent idea that you can elevate your ordinary fried rice to the next level.

Here is why. 

Imagine You have the fragrant oil rendered from the bacon, the fresh button mushrooms with high umami, coupled with the traditional Chinese style roaring heat stir-fry method to generate the wok aroma. These are the ingredients for a winning fried rice recipe.

This recipe is not conventional Chinese-style fried rice. Crispy bacon and fresh button mushrooms are not common ingredients in the Chinese family. However, they work so well with rice when stir-fry over roaring heat, generating the signature wok aroma and bursting with the incredible flavor of bacon. 

Let’s get into the details right away.

Bacon fried rice. If you are bored eating the regular egg fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice.  If you are bored eating the regular egg fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice.

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How to prepare bacon fried rice with mushroom

1. Bacon- the ultimate flavor for fried rice

The traditional Chinese fried rice mainly used pork, char siu, or shrimp beside the egg. I substitute it with bacon, which makes it taste entirely different. 

Here are the steps:

  • Cut the bacon into 1.5cm squares.
  • Fry the bacon over low heat until it turns crispy. The size of the bacon will shrink, and the oil will render in the process.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan. 
  • The oil rendered from the bacon is exceptionally flavorful. Saute the chopped garlic and diced onion with the bacon oil until the onion starts to change color and become translucent. You can add some vegetable oil to it if it is not enough.
  • Add the carrot and sliced mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms and carrot turn soft, about two minutes. 
  • Remove from the pan. 

Note:

  • Please note that the bacon will shrink after frying. Therefore you need to cut it slightly larger than the intended size to take the shrinkage into the calculation. 
  • Fry the bacon slightly longer if you want it crispy. 
  • If you use the bacon oil to fry the rice, it will look dirty. Therefore, I usually use clean oil to fry the egg and rice in the wok separately to keep the rice clean. The bacon oil is only used to saute the onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. You then add these ingredients to the rice in the last step of cooking. 

2. Choose some less common vegetables for fried rice, which work well

The vegetables for fried rice vary considerably between different countries. Scallion is mainly used in Chinese fried rice, crispy garlic for the Japanese fried rice, and kangkung (water spinach) is a must for Nasi Goreng. 

I use celery, button mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers to create fried rice with some western elements. They complement well with bacon as anticipated since this combination is widely used in western cuisine. 

These ingredients are cut into small pieces so that they can cook quickly during stir-fry time. The only exception is to slice the mushrooms slightly bigger to give a better appearance. 

Another factor to consider is the texture of each component. For example, since the bacon is meaty (and crispy), it is good to have some crunchy vegetables to offer a more balanced mouthfeel.

Finally, the multicolor combination of these ingredients – egg, red bell pepper, green onion, carrot, and brown mushrooms ensure a colorful and visually stunning presentation. 

3. Keep the seasonings simple 

I use only light soy sauce, ground white pepper, and salt to season the bacon fried rice. First, since bacon is immensely flavorful, there is no need to use a long list of seasonings. Secondly, I want to keep the color fresh and vibrant. Most Chinese seasonings (dark soy sauce and oyster sauce) will make the fried rice look dull and darken the color of the rice. 

If you are bored eating the regular egg fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice.  If you are bored eating the regular egg fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice.

4. The complete stir-frying process explained – step-by-step

There are different ways to fry the rice, but I will stick to my time-tested two-step method, i.e., to start with low heat and end with high heat. 

a. Start with low heat

Let me continue the process discussed in section 1. Assuming that you have already crisp up the bacon and remove it from the pan, we can continue the stir-frying process without a break. 

Here are the steps:

  • Add some vegetable oil to the wok over medium heat. Crack two eggs and spread thinly. When the eggs are nearly cooked, separate the egg into pieces with the wok spatula.
  • Pour the cooked rice into the wok, break up the lumps with the wok spatula. At the same time, keep flipping the rice so that all the rice grains are coated with the oil. This step helps prevent it from sticking to the wok surface when applying high heat in the following step.
  • Season the rice with soy sauce, some salt, and ground white pepper.
  • Add the bell pepper and celery to stir-fry for one minute. 

b. Finish with high heat

  • Increase the heat gradually while stirring and flipping the rice. 
  • Return the bacon, garlic, onion, carrot, and mushroom to the wok.
  • Set the heat to high. You will expect the oil will start to smoke. This moment is when the magic happens. The high heat creates the signature wok aroma through the Maillard reaction, and the aroma should have drifted into your dining room by now.
  • Flip and stir-fry the rice non-stop with a quick and continuous motion. The rice will get char if you leave it in the wok unattended. 
  • Stir fry over high heat for half a minute. The exterior of the rice grain will turn slightly brown, and the interior should remain moist. That is how a good bowl of fried rice should be.
  • Finally, add the green section of the scallion and give it a quick stir. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Bonus tip: How to maintain a seasoned cast iron wok

I stir-fry the rice with my well-seasoned wok (please watch the video). The cast-iron wok is non-stick even at the highest possible heat generated from the high-power stove.

Cast iron is long-lasting. My mom purchased one when I was young, I inherit it and continue using it daily for over four decades. It is definitely worth getting one.

There is a catch, however. You need to maintain the wok each time after cooking. Otherwise, the non-stick coating on the surface will eventually warn off, causing it starts to rust and loss its non-stick property. 

Fortunately, the maintenance step is relatively easy. Here is the method I use daily in my apartment. It does not cause plenty of smoke, and the process is straightforward:

  • Wash the wok without soup after stir-frying. Do not use any abrasive substance to rub the surface. Instead, I use a kitchen cloth to clean it, which works well.
  • After washing, wipe the wok dry, then place it on a stove over medium heat.
  • When the wok is completely dry, soak up a small piece of paper towel with cold oil, then apply a thin layer of oil to cover the entire wok.
  • Continue heating the wok until it starts to smoke. Then, switch off the stove to avoid excess smoke to keep your kitchen clean.
  • Let the wok cools for five minutes, then wash again with water. Finally, dry and store the wok for future use.

More tip: How to prevent the rice from sticking to the wok

This problem can happen even to the most experienced cook if they are not careful. Here are my tips to prevent it from happening every time.

  • If you boil the rice specifically for preparing fried rice, wash the rice until the water runs clear. The purpose is not to clean the rice but to remove as much starch as possible.  The starch is the culprit causing the sticky problem during stir-frying.  Also, cook the rice with slightly less water than usual to yield rice that is relatively dryer. Rice that is dryer tends not to stick to the wok surface.
  • If you do not have the luxury to cook the rice solely to make fried rice, you can still make it happen by leaving it overnight in the refrigerator. The rice will become dryer the next day.
  • How about you do not have any overnight rice and running short of time? You can spread the freshly cooked rice as a thin layer on a large tray, then place it in front of a fan to blow it dry for twenty minutes.
  • Lastly, a well-seasoned wok is the best utensil to guarantee that the rice will not stick to the surface.  Non-stick pan is the next best thing because although it is non-stick, it is not suitable to cook over high heat to generate the much-needed wok aroma.

Other related recipes that you should try

If you like this recipe, I want to recommend some related rice recipes to you. Here are my picks:

Have you ever tried tomato rice? Malaysian tomato rice is prepared with a plethora of spices, and fresh ingredients transform the ordinary ingredients into a rice dish heavily scented with spices. Give it a try.

If you want to try a more elaborate dish, chicken biryani rice is just right for you. It is not surprising people crave biryani rice, as it has a complex that love by everyone. Moreover, you can make the seemingly complicated process of preparing biryani rice in an instant once you know the method. 

Yield: 2 servings

Bacon fried rice

bacon fried rice square

If you are bored eating the regular egg fried rice, try this bacon and mushroom fried rice. Fragrant oil rendered from the bacon, fresh button mushrooms with high umami, and the traditional Chinese style roaring heat stir-fry method to generate the wok aroma are all the ingredients for a winning fried rice recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g bacon, cut into 1.5cm squares
  • 2 tbsp diced celery
  • 3 tbsp diced carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks scallion, cut into small rings
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 cups overnight cooked rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon into 1.5 cm squares.
  2. Fry the bacon over low heat until it turns crispy. 
  3. Remove the bacon from the pan. 
  4. Saute the chopped garlic and diced onion with the bacon oil until the onion starts to change color and become translucent. You can add some vegetable oil to it if it is not enough.
  5. Add the carrot and sliced mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms and carrot turn soft, about two minutes. 
  6. Remove from the pan. 

Low heat 

  1. Add some vegetable oil to the wok over medium heat. Crack two eggs and spread thinly. When the eggs are nearly cooked, separate the egg into pieces with the wok spatula.
  2. Pour the cooked rice into the wok, break up the lumps with the wok spatula.
  3. Add the carrot and celery to stir-fry for another minute. 
  4. Increase the heat gradually while stirring and flipping the rice. 
  5. Season the rice with soy sauce, some salt, and ground white pepper.
  6. Add the bell pepper and celery to stir-fry for another minute. 

High heat 

  1. Return the bacon, garlic, onion, carrot, and mushroom to the wok.
  2. Set the heat to high. Flip and stir-fry the rice non-stop with a quick and continuous motion for half a minute. 
  3. Finally, add the green section of the scallion and give it a quick stir. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 2098mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/20/2021

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