Dinner becomes breakfast with this savory recipe for breakfast fried rice. Loaded with fresh veggies and crispy pork bits, each serving of this fried rice gets topped with your choice of eggs and a drizzle of spicy mayo.
Why This Recipe Works
Well, first and foremost, fried rice is the ideal meal for just about anytime of the day—breakfast, lunch or dinner! Loaded with whole grains, fiber, protein and veggies, each bite of this breakfast fried rice recipe is well-balanced and absolutely satisfying.
This recipe for breakfast fried rice is a roadmap for a quick 35-minute meal. Make it as written (which I recommend doing at least the first time around) or mix it up by swapping in bacon or leftover ham steak for the ground pork.
Ingredients in Breakfast Fried Rice
- Ground pork or pork sausage: use whatever you have on hand or like. I like to use ground pork. Depending on how fatty the ground pork is, you may need additional oil for cooking the rest of the dish.
- Kale: I prefer Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato or Dinosaur). Regular kale or Swiss chard will also work.
- Frozen peas: no need to thaw the peas before adding to the pan—they’ll thaw nearly instantly.
- Scallions: also called green onions. When slicing, be sure to separate the dark green parts from the white and light green parts—they’re used in two different stages of the cooking process.
- Garlic: fresh garlic really makes a difference here! You’ll need two large cloves.
- Ginger: fresh or dried work in this recipe but we prefer fresh whenever possible. Find it next to the garlic and shallots or in the refrigerated produce section next to the peppers.
- Cooked rice: any medium- or long-grain rice will work. I love brown jasmine rice but any rice will do. The most important part is that the rice is cooked and cooled.
- Tamari or soy sauce: Either will work, just make sure you’re using low-sodium so you can control the seasoning level.
- Fish sauce: this is optional but it does add an incredible depth of flavor. If you have it on hand, be sure to include it!
- Vinegar: rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar will work. Just a splash is used to balance out the savory flavors.
- Toasted sesame oil: another ingredient that adds depth of flavor. You don’t need much to add a punch of flavor.
- Mayonnaise: I prefer to use avocado oil or olive oil mayonnaise, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Chili garlic sauce: find this in the Asian section of your grocery store or at any Asian market.
- Eggs: top each serving of fried rice with one or two eggs cooked as desired.
How to Make Breakfast Fried Rice
- Brown the ground pork in a skillet until starting to crisp. Set the pork aside and reserve any drippings.
- Cook the kale and scallions whites in some of the drippings (or oil) until the kale is vibrant in color. Add the peas and cook briefly. Set veggies aside.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan with a splash of drippings or oil. Cook briefly then add the rice and cook until crispy.
- Stir in the cooked pork, cooked veggies, sauce and sauce ingredients. Toss everything to combine then serve with fried eggs, scrambled eggs or poached eggs.
Importance of Using Cold Rice
There’s a reason most fried rice recipes use rice that’s been cooked and thoroughly chilled (ideally overnight). Cold rice fries much better than warm or even lukewarm rice thanks to the chilled and hardened starch. Using freshly cooked rice will result in sticky, clumpy fried rice—no good.
If you’re looking to make fried rice and don’t have any pre-cooked rice on hand, I recommend cooking some rice (get it started right away) then spreading it onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Depending on your timeline, either pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10–15 minutes (just don’t forget about it or you’ll have a whole other problem on your hands—been there).
Variations on This Recipe
- Use bacon instead of ground pork.
- Use ham steak instead of ground pork.
- Skip the spicy mayo and serve with sriracha.
- Add diced carrots.
Breakfast Pork Fried Rice with Kale
- 8 ounces ground pork or mild breakfast sausage
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- High-heat cooking oil, such as avocado or grapeseed
- 4 cups finely chopped Tuscan kale, (1 small bunch)
- 1 ½ cups frozen green peas
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled and chilled*
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce, optional
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Sesame seeds to serve, optional
- ¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 4 –8 large eggs, fried or scrambled for serving
- Make sure cooked rice measures 3 cups. If not, cook 1 cup rice according to these instructions, for brown rice, or cook according to package instructions if cooking white rice.
- Meanwhile, add pork to a large sauté pan or wok and cook over medium heat, without moving, 2 minutes; season with ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up pork and continue to cook until very browned and crispy, 5 more minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a bowl. Pour any drippings into a small bowl.
- Meanwhile, slice scallions and separate the dark green parts from white and light green parts; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon drippings (or avocado/grapeseed oil if pork doesn’t have many drippings) in now-empty pan over medium until shimmering. Add kale and white and light green scallion parts; cook 2 minutes; season lightly with salt and pepper. Add peas and cook 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
- Heat 4 teaspoons drippings in now empty pan over medium until shimmering, add garlic and ginger and cook 15 seconds until fragrant. Stir in rice, breaking up any clumps and stirring to coat in oil and aromatics. Season with salt and pepper then press into an even layer and cook, without moving, 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir rice, scraping bottom of pan as needed, continu stir frying until rice is golden brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add cooked pork, cooked vegetables, tamari, fish sauce, and vinegar; stir to combine then stir fry 2 more minutes. Off heat, stir in sesame oil and dark green scallion parts; season with additional tamari and toasted sesame oil to taste.
- Combine mayonnaise and chili garlic sauce; season lightly with salt.
- Top servings with eggs, cooked as desired, and drizzle with spicy mayo.