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Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

Last Friday, I started getting a series of texts from Curtis while he was at work. I want ham for Easter dinner. I responded with no, we should have turkey breast like we do every year. Because before Italy last year, I hadn’t eaten pork in over 15 years. I resisted getting a ham because I hadn’t had ham in a long time and because there’s only the two of us. A little bit later, I looked at the calendar and saw that Sunday was going to be April 20th and then counted the years. April 20, 1999 is the day Curtis and I started dating…it’s been 15 years!! That’s when I texted back, okay go ahead and pick up that ham.

He responded by saying, why are you agreeing to ham? And why are you being so nice? Haha I wasn’t going to tell him because then he would think he would have to get me a gift but I told him why. Later that night, he came home with a nine pound ham for the two of us. He insisted that’s the smallest one they had. Oh boy. On Sunday, we cut it up before we even baked the portion we would eat for dinner and froze it. We are going to have ham for a very longggg time.

This ham or pork fried rice we had was the second of three meals we have had with the leftovers from Sunday’s dinner…we haven’t even touched what we froze yet. I have to give credit to Curtis, this was fried rice using the leftover ham was Curtis’ idea. I say he made me do it!

I have been trying to perfect my own fried rice recipe for a while now and I have to say this is the best fried rice I have ever made…you’ll have to keep reading to see what the secret ingredient is!

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

I didn’t make the rice the day before like you should so in the morning, I made the rice in my rice cooker. As soon as it was finished, I poured the rice onto a baking dish and spread it out. I flipped over and mixed the rice a couple of times, let it cool and let it sit out for a while– maybe 30 minutes. Then covered it and stuck it in the fridge until I was ready to make fried rice!

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

You have to make the eggs first for fried rice. I always feel like I’m making an omelet. (I love using OXO’s omelet turner when I’m making eggs.)

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

Cut it up.

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

Then, make the rice. After adding the rice, mix in the soy sauce and the sesame oil really good. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes on medium high.

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

Add the ham, peas and corn. You can add carrots, broccoli, whatever you want.

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

There’s the secret ingredient…butter. 2 Tablespoons of butter heaven. There’s a Japanese hibachi grill place I used to go to a lot when I worked across the street from them and I would watch them put butter in the fried rice…near the end. I had to try it and it makes this fried rice so good. Curtis would argue it’s the ham that makes it so good.

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

Now, add the eggs and sliced green onions.

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

And you’re done. Seriously…amazing. The ham still has the sugary cinnamony glaze which adds a nice sweetness sometimes. The soy sauce is a must have for fried rice and the butter…yes please. Makes great leftovers too!

As long as you have the rice made ahead of time, it doesn’t take that long to put this dish together!

PS Curtis absolutely loved this fried rice recipe…we will be making this again and again! Hope you enjoy it with your family if you try it!

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice Recipe

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes (not including wait time for the rice)

Day old rice, rice that's cooked the day before and refrigerated overnight makes the best fried rice. If it's freshly made, you may get mushy results. There are ways around it if you want to make fried rice the same day you make the rice. Omit ham or sub with crispy fried tofu to make this dish vegetarian or feel free to sub with shrimp or chicken!


  • 3 cups uncooked Jasmine rice, cooked (preferably the day before)
  • 3 Tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin


  1. Cook rice. If you didn't make it the day before. As soon as it's done, lay it out on a 9x13 baking dish or a baking sheet. Allow to cool. Mix and spread out several times. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil into a wok or a large skillet, heat on medium for at least 3 minutes. Swirl the oil to cover the pan. Pour in beaten eggs and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes and flip and cook for another minute. Remove from skillet and allow to cool. Cut into strips and then into smaller pieces, set aside.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of grape seed oil to the wok and add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and mix the rice thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until rice is completely heated through, be sure to mix occasionally so the rice does not burn.
  4. Add ham, corn and peas and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, mixing occasionally. Lower heat and add butter, allow to melt, and mix thoroughly. Add eggs and green onions and stir gently. Season with salt & pepper. Serve immediately.

from The Little Kitchen

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Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice from

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30 Responses to “Secret Ingredient Ham Fried Rice”

  1. 1
    Christine from Cook the Story — April 24, 2014 @ 9:26 am

    I’d never have thought to use ham in fried rice. What a great recipe!


  2. 2
    Andrea Y — April 24, 2014 @ 11:03 am

    Brilliant! I now have another recipe for that leftover ham.


  3. 3
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent — April 24, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    What a fun idea to put ham in fried rice! Looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing.


  4. 4
    Karly — April 24, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

    I absolutely love both ham and fried rice! Must try this. With extra butter. ;)


  5. 5
    Amanda — April 24, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

    I have a lot of extra Easter ham and you just gave me a recipe to use it with! Thanks! :)


  6. 6
    Connie — April 24, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

    Well, of course! Why didn’t I think of this? Butter makes just about anything better. Yummy.


  7. 7
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 24, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

    Ham and BUTTER in fried rice?? I think I’m in love.


  8. 8
    Terri C — April 24, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I’ve only had it with bacon and that’s really good!
    Such a great way to use leftovers, thanks!


  9. 9
    Tieghan — April 24, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

    Oh I wish I had some leftover ham for this! The ham and the butter sound incredible!


  10. 10
    Mademoiselle Gourmande — April 25, 2014 @ 7:20 am

    I want some leftover ham now…. It looks really good! I mean, fried rice – always great! I’m a bít jealous now..


  11. 11
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — April 25, 2014 @ 7:35 am

    That looks so good! I must try fried rice with ham and extra butter :-)


  12. 12
    Katie — April 25, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    Omg too funny. I always get a 4/5lb ham and I sent my mom out to get ours and she brought me an 8lb ham! Mind you I still have ham frozen from recipe projects 2 months ago! Great idea on Curtis’ part to make ham fried rice! I might have to do the same. And I also add butter to mine at the halfway point and end because of the hibachi places! Lol


  13. 13
    Rodney Gustafson — April 25, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

    I thank you so very much for the recipe, as being a fried rices lover, It was great to see it another way with ham! I love pork or chicken fried rice, but it does get old after while, now with ham, or dried real bacon bits, it is a new world for fried rices!


  14. 14
    Medeja — April 26, 2014 @ 5:49 am

    I like fried rice for lunch.. :) easy and so delicious!


  15. 15
    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — April 26, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    You are a genius! I love that you used a leftover ham for this recipe. Pinned!


  16. 16
    ami@naivecookcooks — April 30, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Butter in fried rice?! Brilliant! will be trying soon.


  17. 17
    Paula - bell'alimento — May 3, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    Hooray for Ham! Next time we have leftover rice I’m so making this.


  18. 18
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — May 7, 2014 @ 8:38 am

    Ahhhhhhh…it’s the butter! :) Looks like an awesome recipe, a really great fried rice just can’t be beat. (And so happy that Curtis finally got some ham!)


  19. 19
    Catherine — May 7, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    I remember back in 1977 when we got married living in a tent, we made hotdog fried rice, lived on this for many weeks, now its better with pork or shrimp.
    My husband lived in Japan and learned to cook Japanese food, hotdogs just did not cut it after moving into our new home.
    Thank-you for the recipe with ham.



  20. 20
    Kim — May 12, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    First off, I am a fried rice Connoisseur! I could absolutely eat it everyday. This is by far the very best fried rice recipe on the planet! I used Spam instead of ham, well because we love Spam and my husband is Hawaiian :-), I put two over-easy eggs on top and wa-laa, the most onolicious breakfast since our last trip to HNL! This is only the 2nd recipe from Julie that I have tried, but both were outstanding and I can’t wait to try the next recipe….. on to my next recipe from the little kitchen. Thanks Julie, you rock with your recipes.


  21. 21
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — May 13, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    Looks delicious! I’m so impressed that you went so long without eating ham.


  22. 22
    Candace — May 14, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    OMG Julie you are speaking my language, I am seriously wanting to throw ham in my fried rice now!


  23. 23
    Catherine McCord — May 18, 2014 @ 1:19 am

    Totally making this for the kids! Just calling it “secret” rice will make it that much more endearing!


  24. 24
    shelly (cookies and cups) — May 21, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    We LOVE fried rice for quick dinners at our house! Totally going to try this!!


  25. 25
    Julie — June 2, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

    Aw happy anniversary… that’s a sweet story. This recipe looks awesome and reminds me of my mama’s home cooking. :)


  26. 26
    Pat — June 22, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    I was surprised to see that you used jasmine rice. I think I’ e only ever had fried rice with long grain white– although I love jasmine rice! How did that work with the dish?


    • Julie Deily replied: June 26th, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Growing up, my Mom always made fried rice with Jasmine rice. Of course it turned out great, that’s why I shared the recipe!


  27. 27
    Adella Gonzalez — July 17, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

    It’s been at least 7 or 8 years since I had some ham fried rice. OMG-That is my all-time favorite rice dish, next to rice and beans.

    This dish looks so good. I’m definitely going to make this. :)


  28. 28
    Alfred — January 5, 2015 @ 12:40 am

    have you tried frying frozen peas carrots and corn mix with the rice then adding finely shredded iceberg lettuce right at the end before turning off the fire? Really helps to lower the sodium oil load as well as introduce vegginess to the dish.


  29. Pingback: Shrimp & Bacon Fried Rice | the little kitchen

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