The Ultimate Southern Fried Rice: A Perfect Comfort Food!

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I always look for recipes that pack a punch of flavor and leave my diners wanting more. And that’s why today, I’m excited to share with you my take on one of my all-time favorite rice dishes: Southern Fried Rice Recipe.

This rice dish is the perfect combination of hearty black-eyed peas, juicy tomatoes, and aromatic herbs that are sauteed to perfection with fragrant long-grain rice infused with savory seasonings such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and a touch of Tabasco sauce to make it spicy. The result is a soulful side dish or the perfect canvas for your main course.

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy rice and get a taste of some good old southern cooking, then this recipe is for you. With its crispy bacon slices, succulent shrimp, or tender chunks of chicken, this rice recipe made spicy southern or mild depending on your preference will taste like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen.

So come along on this culinary journey with me and let’s make some delicious and satisfying Southern Fried Rice that will have you reaching for seconds in no time.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fried Rice
Southern Fried Rice

Prepare to be transported to the deep south with this mouth-watering Southern Fried Rice recipe. Perfect for any meal, anytime, anywhere. Why will you love this recipe, you ask? Let me count the ways.

First and foremost, this recipe is the epitome of comfort food. It’s perfect for when you need something hearty and satisfying to warm up your soul. The combination of rice, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and thyme will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Not only is it incredibly satisfying, but it’s also versatile. You can easily add your favorite protein like shrimp or chicken breast to give it an extra kick. And do not forget to add soy sauce or oyster sauce as a secret ingredient. The southern-style twist makes it unique and an excellent option for those who want to try something new.

What sets this recipe apart from others is its ease of preparation. You don’t have to be a chef in the kitchen to make this dish. Simply follow the instructions closely, and voila! You’ll have a savory bowl of fried rice that tastes like it’s straight from a restaurant.

Lastly, this recipe is healthy compared to traditional fried rice but still includes all the delicious flavors we know and love because using olive oil instead of vegetable oil which makes this dish much healthier than your normal Chinese takeout rice. You’ll enjoy all the mouth-watering flavors without indulging in unnecessary calories.

To summarize why you’ll love this recipe: comfort food at its finest, versatile, easy to make, healthy-yet-flavorful – what more could you want? So go ahead and try this Southern Fried Rice recipe today – it’s sure to become your new favorite dish!

Ingredient List

 Shrimp, sausage, and veggies, oh my! This fried rice is packed with flavor and color.
Shrimp, sausage, and veggies, oh my! This fried rice is packed with flavor and color.

Here’s a list of all the ingredients you will need to make this Southern Fried Rice:

Main Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast, shrimp or a combination of both
  • 1/2 cup chopped slices of bacon
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (secret ingredient)
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients

You can also add any of these optional ingredients if you like:
– Black-eyed peas or tomatoes
– Thai chicken or shrimp stir fry
– Brown rice

Make sure you have all the ingredients before starting to make this Southern Fried Rice Recipe. With these simple ingredients and a few steps, you can create a rice recipe that tastes just like restaurant-style southern fried rice!

The Recipe How-To

 A forkful of this savory fried rice is like a trip to the deep south.
A forkful of this savory fried rice is like a trip to the deep south.


  • 3 cups of cooked long-grain rice
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onions
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce (to taste)
  • Fried chicken or shrimp (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In a large skillet or wok, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside.

  2. Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat it for a minute.

  3. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.

  4. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir well, making sure that each grain of rice is coated with oil.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and cooked bacon into the mixture. Stir well.

  6. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

  7. Add Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce to your liking for extra flavor.

  8. If you want to add protein, throw in some fried chicken or shrimp into the mix at this point.

  9. Cover your skillet or wok and let it cook for about five minutes over high heat until everything is heated through.

  10. Garnish with chopped green onions and fresh parsley before serving.

Here are some helpful tips to make this recipe even better:

  • Use cold cooked rice: You can use leftover rice from another meal, but make sure it is cold when added to the skillet.
  • Cook your protein ahead: If you want to add fried chicken or shrimp to your fried rice, make and cook them ahead of time.
  • Don’t rush it: Cooking this dish on high heat helps to get that classic southern fried rice taste, but don’t rush it. Be patient and let everything cook for just the right amount of time.
  • Adjust seasoning: Make sure you season your fried rice well. Don’t be afraid to add more salt or sauce if needed.
  • Add oyster sauce: If you want to take your fried rice to the next level, a secret ingredient is adding a tablespoon of oyster sauce while cooking. This will give your fried rice an extra savory kick.

With this recipe and these tips, you will have a perfect plate of southern-style fried rice that tastes like it was made at a restaurant. Enjoy this dish on its own or with Thai chicken or a shrimp stir-fry for an authentic and delicious meal that is sure to please anyone’s tastebuds.

Substitutions and Variations

 Classic ingredients combine with unexpected flavors to create a truly unique fried rice.
Classic ingredients combine with unexpected flavors to create a truly unique fried rice.

We all have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food. So, if you’re looking to add a personal touch to the southern fried rice recipe, here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Meat substitutions: Instead of using chicken breast for your southern chicken and shrimp fried rice, try using shrimp or beef strips. You can also use leftover roast chicken or pulled pork.

– Rice substitutions: If you’re not a fan of long grain rice, feel free to experiment with short-grain brown rice or jasmine rice. Both of them work brilliantly in this recipe and will give the dish a slightly different texture and taste.

– Spice substitutions: Add a bit more heat to your fried rice by using Thai sweet chilli sauce instead of Tabasco sauce. Oyster sauce is another great alternative that gives the rice a sweet and savory kick.

– Vegetable substitutions: Don’t have green onions on hand? Try using chopped bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini instead. If you want to add an extra dose of nutrients to your dish, throw in some shredded kale or spinach.

– Herb substitutions: Fresh parsley is a classic seasoning in Southern cuisine but if you don’t have access to it then feel free to use cilantro or basil as substitutes. Thyme leaves are also an excellent addition if you’re looking for a more earthy flavor.

– Gluten-free substitutions: To make this recipe gluten-free, switch out the soy sauce with coconut aminos instead which has become popular with people who have sensitivities to gluten.

Regardless of the substitution or variation, remember that the key to making a southern fried rice taste like restaurant style Chinese fried rice is high heat and properly scrambled egg! Don’t shy away from experimenting with the ingredients until finding your preferred taste!

Serving and Pairing

 This southern-style fried rice will spice up any ordinary weeknight meal.
This southern-style fried rice will spice up any ordinary weeknight meal.

Once your Southern Fried Rice is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. This recipe made spicy Southern style can hold its own as a main course, but it can also be served as a side dish. It goes especially well with meat dishes like fried chicken, Southern chicken and shrimp fried rice, and brings a wonderful taste to the table with brown rice that has been cooked to perfection.

For best results, I recommend serving the Southern Fried Rice hot and allowing your guests to top it with fresh parsley for added flavor. The addition of green onions and chopped tomatoes will bring out the flavor of the Southern-style rice and provide some much-needed color.

If you’re looking to go all out with the flavors in this dish, try pairing it with a sweet cornbread or hush puppies. The mixture of savory and sweet flavors will make you feel like you’re indulging in your favorite Southern comfort food.

If you’re looking for something lighter to pair with your dish, try serving a fresh green salad with crisp lettuce leaves, chopped cucumbers, and sliced radishes. This will help balance out the richness of the spicy fried rice.

Alternatively, you could consider pairing your Southern Fried Rice with a stir fry or Thai chicken recipe – this will create an explosion of flavors in your mouth as everything mixes together. Finally, if you want to get fancy, consider pairing with some Chinese food network inspired dishes like shrimp fried rice or oyster sauce infused concoctions which can add new dimensions to your experience.

By taking these recommendations into account when serving and pairing up this Southern Fried Rice Recipe made spicy southern style at home, you’ll guarantee yourself an unforgettable dining experience!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Fried rice with a southern twist - perfect for your next summer barbeque.
Fried rice with a southern twist – perfect for your next summer barbeque.

My secret to enjoying southern fried rice any time of the day is to make a big batch and store it for later. This recipe is perfect for meal prep, as it can be made in advance and reheated on busy weeknights.

To store, let the fried rice cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or broth if necessary to loosen it up.

Pro tip: To preserve that oh-so-important crispy texture, place a damp paper towel over the container before reheating. This will keep your southern fried rice tasting fresh even after it’s been stored.

One thing to note is that seafood ingredients like shrimp do not freeze well and I would recommend avoiding this ingredient when making the recipe ahead of time. However, all other ingredients in this recipe freeze well so feel free to make a large batch and enjoy southern fried rice anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Hearty, filling, and absolutely delicious - this fried rice will satisfy even the biggest of appetites.
Hearty, filling, and absolutely delicious – this fried rice will satisfy even the biggest of appetites.

If you want to make the perfect southern fried rice, there are a few tips and tricks that you should keep in mind. These tips will help ensure that your rice turns out delicious, flavorful, and just like the restaurant-style rice that you know and love.

First off, be sure to use cold cooked rice in this recipe. Using freshly made hot rice simply won’t work well for this dish, as it will turn into a mushy mess when fried. Cold cooked rice is firm and holds its shape better, making it the perfect base for this dish.

Another important tip is to cook your rice on high heat. Rice cooks better on high heat as it allows the moisture to escape quickly, which is crucial when making fried rice. This helps prevent the rice from becoming too sticky or soggy when mixed with other ingredients.

When adding sauce and seasonings to your rice, be sure to taste as you go along. Depending on the brand of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce used, the flavor of the dish can vary greatly. To ensure that your rice tastes just like you want it to taste, adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different protein options besides chicken or shrimp! You can add beef or tofu to your southern fried rice if you’re feeling adventurous or if you want to mix things up a bit.

Lastly, if you have leftovers after making this dish (which is unlikely), be sure to store them properly in an airtight container in the fridge. When reheating, add a splash of water or chicken broth before microwaving to help keep the rice moist and prevent it from drying out.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you’ll be able to make the best southern fried rice of your life – guaranteed!


As you read through the previous sections, you might have some questions about this delicious Southern Fried Rice recipe. That is why I’ve created this FAQ section to answer some of the most common queries that you might have while preparing or serving this amazing dish. Let’s dive right in!

What is the secret ingredient in Chinese fried rice?

One key ingredient that I swear by for my fried rice is butter. Typically used by hibachi restaurants to give their fried rice the perfect touch, butter not only adds rich flavor but also helps to create a golden brown crust on the rice.

What makes restaurant fried rice taste so good?

One of the secrets to achieving the perfect flavor and texture in Chinese fried rice is through the use of high heat, precise tosses, and the elusive concept known as ‘wok hei.’ This expert technique, typically executed on a gas range, is what sets restaurant-made fried rice apart from homemade versions. J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats attributes the superior taste and quality of restaurant fried rice to the skilled use of a wok.

What gives Chinese fried rice its taste?

When it comes to making fried rice, there are some essential seasonings that are a must-have. Specifically, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce are the key players that add immense flavour to the rice. However, it’s crucial to use these sauces in moderation, as too much of them can overpower and ruin the dish.

How do you make fried rice taste like restaurant?

For an authentic restaurant-style taste, it is recommended to briefly stir the rice in a pot over high heat before cooking. This process helps the rice grains stay separate, resulting in a less sticky texture that closely resembles restaurant-style rice.

Bottom Line

As a true lover of southern cuisine, I must say that this southern fried rice recipe is one for the books. It combines the classic flavors of black-eyed peas, fresh parsley, and tomatoes with a twist of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. The secret lies in some of the finest rice ingredients like cold cooked long-grain rice, finely chopped onions, and thyme leaves that add depth and complexity to the dish.

When you make this dish at home, you’re not only indulging in a tasty meal but also opening yourself up to a richer culinary experience that will awaken your taste buds. You can make it a chicken fried rice by adding some diced chicken breast or transform it into a Thai chicken or shrimp fried rice by adding different stir-fry ingredients.

This dish is versatile enough to cater to your personal preferences and taste buds. No matter how you choose to make it, this southern fried rice recipe tastes like restaurant-style Chinese fried rice with its own unique twist. So why not take the plunge? Experience an exciting burst of flavors right at your table today!

Southern Fried Rice

Southern Fried Rice Recipe

Fried rice heads south.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 283.2 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cold cooked long-grain rice (white, brown, or Texmati rice)
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained if canned)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


  • Let the oil get hot in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in the onion; stir/saute 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add in the rice, tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt, and pepper; stir-fry for 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps of rice.
  • Stir in black-eyed peas and parsley; cook, stirring, until the peas are hot.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 320gCalories: 283.2kcalCarbohydrates: 52.6gProtein: 8.5gFat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 0.7gSodium: 585mgFiber: 4.9gSugar: 3.5g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice, Stove Top
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