Bacon Fried Rice


I was recently reading through a People Magazine, for a friend, and in the back was a recipe for bacon fried rice by none other than David Chang.

It initially got my attention, when most recipes in People don’t, because I don’t read People, because I thought bacon fried rice would be perfect for my husband! He doesn’t like fishy fried rice.

David Chang is the chef and host of Netflix’s new food series Ugly Delicious. Most of us are familiar with him as the owner of the Momofuku restaurant group. Perhaps you’ve heard of Momofuku Noodle Bar or the Milk Bar? Now he has his own media empire as well.

In any case, David Chang claims that any fried rice recipe is best made with pre-cooked and cooled rice. “The starches relax so the grains won’t clump up and get mushy.” My Chinese friend confirmed that in her family, extra rice was continually stockpiled just for making fried rice.

The first time I made this rice, I had none leftover, so I simply used sushi rice and followed the recipe. I have to say, it was superb, and the texture was just fine.

This time, I’m using leftover cooked rice.

Bacon and fish sauce? Yes and yes. Try this recipe. It’s superb!

Bacon Fried Rice
By David Chang

4 cups cooked white rice
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
8 bacon slices, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 green onions, sliced

Bring the cooked rice to room temperature; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a shallow pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add the onions, and sauté together for 3-4 minutes more, turning down the heat slightly if too much browning occurs.

Add the peas, and stir to combine. Then gently stir in the rice.

Let the rice mixture heat thoroughly over medium heat. Make a well in the middle, and add the eggs. Stir occasionally to make sure they’re cooking, then stir them into the rice. There should be little bits of cooked egg throughout the rice.

Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce.

Just before serving, stir in the green onions; I used chives.

I also added some black sesame seeds.

And then, yes I did, I added an egg!

Of course it was fabulous. Will I continue making this fried yes? You bet.

Regarding the pre-cooked and cooled rice, it was definitely lighter, and the grains separated easily.

And FYI, this is my favorite fish sauce.


88 thoughts on “Bacon Fried Rice

  1. Never thought to use bacon. My sons would love this! Ugly Delicious is great. David makes a spam and kimchi fried rice that for some reason sounds amazing.

  2. I was wondering about the fish sauce – your husband doesn’t mind that? Because I don’t eat anything fishy either, and it’s often very difficult to find Asian sauces or curry pastes that don’t have fish sauce in it. Could you just replace it with soy sauce? Or is there a better substitute?
    I have to try this recipe – bacon sounds just heavenly in this fried rice!

    • Now that’s funny, and I hadn’t thought about it. He’s eaten this rice twice, and loved it, and it does have fish sauce in it. He’s a little nuts, though. He used to eat lamb and now he claims he hates it. So I just never know.

  3. Huge fan of David Chang, love watching his Ugly Delicious series, and you’ve got Red Boat fish sauce!!! I had it on my Amazon(Italy) list and the next day it was gone and no longer stocked. I’ve heard only positive things about that brand.

  4. Once of the best uses for leftover rice. I’ll confess, we often make more than we need just so we can have something like this the next day. (Okay, or pudding, depends :).) And I’ll add my vote, Ugly Delicious was great — we loved it.

    • I guess I don’t make that much rice, unless it’s risotto. But I might start making some just for fried rice! I need to check out the show, thanks.

  5. Momofuku is rather amazing, as is Red Boat Fish Sauce, and are YOU! I definitely learned a great lesson about cooling the rice here – and, just in case you might be wondering, the starch in cooled rice is digested and metabolized differently (and more effectively) than the carbohydrate is fresh rice (same with potatoes!)

  6. Mimi, I just looked up Red Boat fish sauce on Amazon and they offer several varieties from “extra virgin fish sauce” (?) to bulk to Phamily to plain ol’ fish sauce and premium. (The premium bottle looked most like yours.) Since I’ve never tried fish sauce before (gasp!) I take my friends’ recommendations seriously! Does it contain msg or soy sauce? Unfortunately, both are no-no’s in my book. (Tamari subs well, but I can’t abide by monosodium glutamate.) Any hints you may have are appreciated. By the way, your fried rice does indeed look fabulous!!!

    • I have the extra virgin, whatever that means. No MSG, no soy, just fermented fish. Whatever you do, when you get it, don’t smell it, just use it. It’s sort of like super stinky cheese. It tastes so much better than it smells…

  7. What a great idea, coz who doesn’t have a little bacon around. I usually have some stuck in the freezer…I don’t really eat it but do use it in recipes and this looks like a winner! I watched the show…I was a little surprised about Chang’s attitude towards some foods. So open about so many but then there was this bit of snobbishness about some things. I suppose that’s what the show’s about, though.

    • Aren’t we all like that, though? I mean, I feel like an adventurous eater, but when I’m in Peru next year, I won’t be eating grilled guinea pigs. And, I totally look down on velveeta. It’s so much about how I was raised, not by an American. My birthday dinner was always brains in a white sauce in pastry shells!!!

      • I normally HATE Velveeta – we didn’t grow up on it, but I used to eat Velveeta grilled cheese sandwiches at a friend’s house and I have to have it for those. With ketchup, lol~!! So then I have got to figure how to use the rest of that jiggly cheese log!! Wow, brains!! My Mom tried to get us to eat tongue once, from this huge cookbook, Great Dishes of the World, I think it was! My brother was suspicious and clued us all in. lol. Poor mom! I think I’d try the guinea pig if someone would take it off the stick and de-bone it!

  8. I’d totally forgotten about using pre-cooked or left over rice to make fried rice. I used to do that and now I just heat up any left over rice as a side for the next day’s meal. No more though. Thanks for the reminder and for this delicious recipe Mimi!

    • It did make a difference, which I wasn’t aware of. The first time I made the recipe I made this like a pilaf, using uncooked rice and beef broth. It was really good, but definitely not the same texture.

    • I bet it’s good, but I have no good source for kimchi. I could make it, but my husband would probably move out!

  9. I bet you can make your husband eat a lot just by putting bacon in it. Even fish sauce apparently! Think I will stick to the little shrimp, which we love, but this does look great.

  10. You are such a good friend to read People for someone! Never heard of bacon fried rice, but what a great idea! I’ve tried a handful of Momofuku recipes, and they’re always amazing.

    • I am a good friend! I like real fried rice, but this is fun. And boy it was good with an egg on top… I need to check out that cookbook.

  11. You can actually freeze leftover rice if you don’t have enough to make a batch of fried rice. Anyway, what a neat recipe! Who doesn’t like bacon? Love that egg garnish, too. This is perfect fare for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

    • Good to know! I wouldn’t have thought it froze well at all. As I’m reading your comment, I just finished a breakfast of this fried rice, but with an avocado. It’s truly delicious!

  12. Sounds wonderful and something I will definitely try when we finish our current ‘veggie’ period, ie after this week. I often have some cooked rice ‘left over’ from making curry and never know what to do with it. Fish sauce? I often use it in place of salt – doesn’t seem to give a fishy taste at all.

    • What’s your brand of fish sauce? I saw Anthony Bourdain visit a fish sauce factory once on a show, and there were giant vats of rotting fish that were stirred occasionally. Can’t imagine any fish sauce not being fishy! But it is good! Definitely make a fried rice next time you have extra rice – it’s a great texture!

    • I’m not a bacon freak, but I do love recipes with just a little bacon, like this one. It’s a wonderful recipe.

  13. I have to tell my husband about that fish sauce. He loves it and puts in many Asian dishes he cooks, but I’m not sure which brand he gets, As for the fried rice, we both love it, and with leftover rice is superb. He would love the bacon in it!

    • I would imagine that if the fish sauce is from either Vietnam or Thailand, it will be good. The ingredients, if you can read them, should only be fish and salt. If you have access to an Asian grocery store, then whatever you can get there the product will be excellent! And this recipe is excellent, even without the little shrimp!

  14. My fella would love this dish, he is a bacon fanatic. No good for me, being vegetarian but he would still love to see it on the table.

  15. I need to check out “Ugly Delicious” on Netflix! I like David Chang and the concept of the show a lot. Also, I love fried rice. It’s such a childhood comfort food for me. Love the addition of bacon and peas! Yum.

  16. I’m glad you are enjoying ‘Ugly Delicious’… I binged on it and loved every moment. I started watching it on the treadmill but had to stop as it gave me so many ideas which I had to write down :-)

  17. I grew up eating bacon fried rice – my mom made it all the time. It wasn’t until I was an adult and eating out in Chinese restaurants that I discovered there was more to fried rice than just bacon.

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