Preparing The Ingredients And Learning How To Cook The Top-Rated and Best Shanghai Fried Rice

What will you do when you have a low budget, but you need to feed your family, and what you meagerly have are leftovers, including rice? Then, the answer is to figure out how to make Fried Rice Shanghai. This dish is one of the recipes that reflects our being thrifty. It is also one of the recipes that can help you immediately throw your anxiety through the windows because we have this solution that could handle your situation.

Generally, rice recipes are sources of life for Asians, including Filipinos. As a primary contributor to the Philippines’ agricultural production and the people’s primary source of calories and energy, rice is necessary for every important meal of the day. Hence, a rice-dependent population must savor it until the last grain is consumed and enjoy it through various recipes. 

For this reason, it is valuable that we share with you how to make Fried Rice and varying recipes. In doing so, you will discover the profound ideas of why it was invented, learn the exciting cooking methods, and explore the colorful varieties. Thus, you will gain confidence when you recreate your leftovers with a creative touch by applying basic culinary arts strategies.

What is the Best Shanghai Fried Rice and Its Ingredients

The origin of this rice dish is confusing. First, many believed that this fried rice was invented at around 589 – 618 AD/C.E., during the reign of the Sui Dynasty. But, the stir-frying method was already introduced at an earlier period. And ironically, preparing and serving fried rice flourished only at around 1368–1644 AD/CE, within the Ming Dynasty’s lordship. 

shanghai fried rice in a black bowl with spoon
(Photo Credits to: the spruce Eats)

Regardless, it is clear that Shanghai Fried Rice has originated from China. Hence, it is also known as Chinese Fried Rice, which is easily recognizable in its looks. But if you have forgotten, it is just a mixture of rice, carrots, parsley, and ground pork sauteed over some garlic and onions.

We supposed, maybe your parents or grandparents have served you with something like this before. Gladly, nowadays, Fried Rice stands out as a rock-star rice dish alongside other unique rice recipes in most fine-dining restaurants, especially those serving Asian cuisines.

Ways to prepare Shanghai Fried Rice Recipes

shanghai fried rice ingredients

It seems natural to prepare this rice dish based on the description. If you are skillful enough and have orderly prepared your materials, you can surely pull it off. Besides, there are no strict standards or ways to prepare Fried Rice, but we have made this list for starters’ guidance.

Stir-fry or Sauteing

You should know first how to do Shanghai Fried Rice Stir-fry or sauteing for you to have a baseline for innovations. For this cooking style, it is usually done by combining all the ingredients such as meat, veggies, and 1-2 day-old rice over a preheated pan. Be mindful that the recipe will only turn out great when you properly mix and stir everything until it changes in color and the aroma simmers, leaving you craving to eat. 

As a fore-warning, beginners might have a hard time stirring, leaving morsels or spoonfuls of ingredients stuck on the pan. When this happens, just let it sly for once, and enjoy the crunchiness at the moment. Nevertheless, the pain of mistakes will remind you to be careful and become more alert the next time around.  


You might find it crazy imagining Crockpot Fried Rice. On the contrary, it might drive you more nuts when you want to make this without even a bowl of prepared rice since you will need it to make it fried rice.

Of course, preparing rice is no sweat with the presence of a crockpot. Just placed a measure of washed rice grains inside the steamer. However, hot steamed rice is wet and sticky, which is not suitable for frying. Or else, your much-anticipated fried rice will just become a very sticky porridge. 

So, let the hot-steamed rice dry up until the grains are hardened to withstand the frying or sauteing. When it does, follow the same method used in stir-fry or sauteed fried rice.

Instant Pot  

When you’re too busy to do slow cooking, then try the instant pot Shanghai Fried Rice. In making one, you just need some leftover rice. And to make it convenient, when you plan to do this recipe, just double the amount of rice you’re going to cook for dinner and store the excess in the refrigerator for future use. 

When you are ready to fry rice, bring out your leftovers, and thaw it for a moment. Cold lumps of rice can become watery and certainly will turn your fried rice into a horrible nightmare when sauteed or stir-fried. For this reason, when it cools down, use your hand to knead it to separate the grains so that it is easier to mix and stir. 

Nonetheless, leftover rice will cut the chase shorter than usual, making it instant fried rice. Then, you can enjoy your Shanghai Fried Rice right away. 

Variations of Shanghai Fried Rice Recipes

There are no strict standards for cooking this recipe, but the same goes for the variations of Shanghai Fried Rice. We presume that you might want to have your own as well. Nevertheless, we strongly suggest that you take a look here for more insights. 

Classic yet the Top Style of Cooking

classic shanghai ingredients on a large white plate

The Classic Shanghai Fried Rice is the version we have previously described at the beginning of this article. By its ingredients alone, you can safely say it is delicious. You are assured that the blending of the different tastes is produced by rice, ground pork, scrambled egg, parsley, carrots, and seasoning. 

Without a doubt, you can eat this without any additional side dish or partner food. But, if you wish to add something, like any fried meat and a hot drink, it will become more satisfying.

With Healthy Scallions   

shanghai fried rice with scallions on a rectangular plate

If you want a more aesthetically appealing rice dish, then try Shanghai Fried Rice with Scallions. It serves as garnishing on your fried rice, which you may put before you serve it. Interestingly, the glaring green color can stimulate freshness in your sight. 

More than the garnishing, scallions have abundant vitamin K content that can provide you with many health benefits. It is an antioxidant veggie that fills you with fiber, protects you from cancer and other diseases, and prevents infections.  

With Salt Pork and Bok Choy as Additional Ingredients

shanghai fried rice in a bowl with salt pork and bok choy

So much for the garnishing, you can also try something more flavorful such as Fried Rice with Salt Pork and Bok Choy. It is one of the recipes that are full of meat, ideal for meat lovers. You put salt pork and bok choy (white cabbage) instead of the ground pork, carrots, and parsley in this version. Thus, pork and cabbage blending may trigger stimulations to all of your senses from sight to taste. 
Nutrition-wise, salt pork contains cholesterol, protein, and sodium, while bok choy is packed with vitamins C, A, K, and B6. Hence, this cuisine is a healthy yet palatable combination of materials.

With Shrimp and Scallops as Complementing Ingredients

shanghai fried rice with shrimp and scallops in a bowl

Seafood always has a unique role in most Filipino and Chinese cuisines due to the burst of flavor it infuses in the dish. Fittingly, fried rice is a perfect candidate to absorb such a mix of flavors. Therefore, you must also try Shanghai Fried Rice with Shrimp and Scallops.

In this variant, you have two options. One is by replacing the ground pork with shrimp and scallops during the stir-frying or sauteing. Through this alone, the fun is just more than enough. 

But if you want to level up further, then add the seafood along with the ground pork and veggies. Then, it has doubled the fun! Healthwise, you just contributed iodine and omega-3 on top of the over 300 kcal it contains. 

Troubleshooting your Recipes

Although Shanghai Fried Rice has no strict rules, mishaps related to taste or ruined finished products are still inevitable. To mitigate those, here are some troubleshooting suggestions.

  • When the mix of meat and veggies does not impact the overall taste, you may enhance it by adding butter and extra seasoning (fish sauce or soy sauce). The butter adds just enough moisture and cream to make the seasoning stick with fried rice grains. 
  • But, if the flavor becomes overwhelming instead, then you can decrease it by adding butter again and putting extra veggies. The butter can moisten the rice helping it to sweat the juice of the flavor, and then the vegetables will absorb it. 
  • Meanwhile, when the ingredients are stuck on the pan in the process, you may add more cooking oil or butter to solve it. The grease produces moisture on the pan, enabling you to scrape it gently with your spoon by continuous mixing and stirring without ruining the Teflon. 
  • Ultimately, when your rice turns into the nightmare porridge-look, just add either sardines or whatever saucy food. It might not revert the rice grains, but somehow eating sticky rice that blends well in the sauce is more entertaining.


Did you know that Shanghai Fried Rice emerged almost as garbage before it reached the pedestal status it has at present?

Although it is not sure when this was invented, the reason for its emergence is evident. Historically, a typical Chinese family would enjoy eating hot, steamed white rice, and a variety of cuisines in every meal. Usually, dishes served are either mixtures of fish or meat or seafood with fruits or vegetables, along with a couple of soupy dishes.

However, during that time, poor peasants could not afford to prepare such an abundant cuisine in every meal. Sadly, they were left with the only choice of making the best out of leftover rice, scraps of meat, and vegetables, and fish or soy sauce. In other words, Shanghai Fried Rice was invented due to poverty in ancient Chinese history.

Understandably, fried rice is not a daily staple for a typical Chinese family living a healthy and balanced life. This holds especially when you have grasped the very heart of the Chinese philosophy Yinyang (yin-yang), which means balance. Unfortunately, on that paradigm, fried rice does not possess a balance.

To further explain, yin foods are those with fresh colors, usually green, and highly moistened, such as green vegetables, and soy sauce. While yang foods are those with warm colors, commonly red, orange, and yellow with sweet and spicy tastes, these include meat, eggs, mangoes, etc. 

Practically speaking, yin-yang is present when there is a proportionate distribution of hot and cold, sweet, salty, light, and dark. This denotes that a bowl of steamed white rice is proportionate to a variety of dishes. On the contrary, there is disproportionately more rice than meat and veggies in a bowl of fried rice.

Therefore, the belief in eating fried rice is like a person who over-indulges in some aspects but neglects other areas of life. But eating rice with other dishes resembles a person who has maintained balance. Thus, the former is doomed to suffer sickness and death while the latter is blessed to live longer and more prosperous.


To prevent mishaps from happening and further enhance your cooking of Shanghai Fried Rice, we recommend you to follow these tips.

  • Use the long-grain rice, particularly jasmine variant, because it is firm and suits frying. Likewise, leftover rice that has passed two days is the best for Shanghai Fried Rice.
  • Thoroughly scramble the eggs before frying it to thicken its constitution and then make sure it is cooked well before putting the rice. The same goes for the meat and other variations you like to add.
  • Make sure that vegetables are fresh when you put them in the mix.
  • Lastly, just quickly mix everything well until it is done.

Ideally Served With

So much for the yin-yang; fried Rice recipes at the Filipino meal table is always like a fiesta because we love to share our food over a cheesy conversation. More so, fried rice is more ideally enjoyed when paired with the following.

  • Egg and Bacon/Corned Beef/Hotdog/Longganisa – Fried Rice is a perfect breakfast meal, especially when there is a pair of hotdogs or longganisa or strips of bacon, a serving of corned beef, and a sunny-side-up egg. These pairings are always the favorites at eateries.
  • Fried or Grilled Chicken/Pork Chop – any fried meat deserves to be a co-star with a cup of Fried Rice, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Pares/Adobo – Fried Rice is also enjoyable with saucy dishes like beef or pork pares (beef or pork stew) or adobo (chicken and pork marinade).  
  • Fried Daing na Bangus (milk-fish cut in halves)/ Tilapia (St. Peter Fish)/ Dilis (Anchovies)/ Tuyo (dried fish)/ Tinapa (smoked fish) – if your diet is restricted from meats, then fried fish can equally match our featured fried rice.
  • Grilled seafood – rice is still rice even if it is the best Shanghai Fried Rice. It can also match so well with grilled shrimp or prawn, squids, clams, and scallops.
  • Coffee or hot chocolate – Fried Rice that is eaten on breakfast suits compatible with a hot coffee or chocolate.

Cold drinks – meanwhile, when fried rice is munched on either lunch or breakfast, it is better to quench your thirst with cold-like fruit juices or any carbonated beverages.


Fried Rice Shanghai belongs to a league of its own. It is a rice dish with a trashy beginning and harsh philosophical underlying. But at present, it ranks with a bunch of royalty recipes in the most privileged dining experience. 

With this, we are confident that you will find this dish simple to execute. Primarily, this is wrapped with varieties that are aesthetically and lusciously attractive. It may not be easy-to-do at all, but it’s worth exploring.

Without a doubt, there is nothing that will hold you back in trying to make the Fried Rice out of meager leftovers. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Superb Shanghai Fried Rice Recipe

This dish uses steamed rice, but it's advisable to use day-old rice for the ultimate result. It is loaded with vegetables and has pork meat, and you can enjoy this even without other dishes. Do not forget to prepare your notebook to list this as one of your recipes for future references!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Rice Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 321kcal
Cost $3-$5


  • 4 cups Cooked Rice
  • 1 pc Carrot diced
  • 1 pc Scrambled egg
  • 1 bunch Parsley chopped
  • 1 pc Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Ground Pork
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1/4 cup Water


  • Heat oil in a pan. Sauté garlic and onion until light brown.
  • Add the ground pork in the pan and sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Mix well.
  • Then put the soy sauce and water. Add the carrots and parsley. Mix continuously.
  • Add the cooked rice on the pan over medium heat. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the scrambled egg over the rice on the pan and mix well for another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer on a plate. Eat while hot!


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1242IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
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