Fried rice is already fantastic as it is, but if you serve it with these savory side dishes, your casual dinner will quickly transform into an unforgettable meal.
Fried rice is a hearty and colorful Asian dish, packed with scrambled eggs, peas, carrots, green onions, and peppers.
Reading: how to serve fried rice
But to make this dish truly shine, you need a few seasonings. Add a bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, and oyster sauce and you’ll be instantly transported to your favorite Asian restaurant.
You can certainly enjoy fried rice all by itself. But why not add a few Asian-inspired side dishes for a variety of flavors and textures that are sure to delight your guests!
From egg drop soup to Chinese dumplings, here are 13 of the best side dishes to serve with fried rice.
1. Fried Egg
Okay, let’s start this list with the simplest one: top your fried rice with a fried egg. This is perfect when you’ve got a fully loaded fried rice, since you won’t need a lot to enhance it.
A simple fried egg with that beautiful runny yolk will add richness to your rice without overpowering it.
2. Egg Drop Soup
Egg drop soup is a staple in Chinese cuisine. Again, since fried rice is already hearty and flavorful on its own, you don’t need to add much.
That’s why this appetizer is excellent: it has very mild flavors and it’s not overly filling. It’s the perfect starter dish.
3. Chicken Teriyaki
Another Asian staple is chicken teriyaki. The dish has such a wonderful sweet and smoky flavor that will complement the savory rice well. And oh how I love topping my fried rice with that wonderful sauce, too!
Now, since chicken teriyaki is already meaty, you don’t want to add too much protein to your fried rice. Stick to veggies such as carrots, peas, broccoli, onions, leeks, and garlic. You may also want to go easy on the oyster sauce for this one.
4. Hot and Sour Soup
Another popular soup in Asia is the hot and sour soup. It has just the right balance of acidity from the vinegar and spiciness from the red pepper. Tofu gives it that silky consistency, while carrots add a nice crunch.
Together, these simple ingredients make a light and delicate soup and a perfect appetizer to fried rice.
5. Chinese Dumplings
Called Jiaozi, Chinese dumplings are sweet, savory, juicy, and oh so delicious. And whether it’s beef, pork, or shrimp, it doesn’t matter – they all taste great with fried rice.
Another Chinese dumpling I love to eat with rice is the xiao long bao. It’s a lot like Jiaozi, except it’s got some savory soup inside the wrapper, along with the filling. Yum!
Speaking of dumplings, here’s another scrumptious one! Gyoza is a half-moon shaped dumpling from Japan. It usually has a minced pork or vegetable filling, then boiled or deep-fried.
However you cook it though, one thing’s for sure: it needs the company of fried rice to make a wonderful meal.
7. Egg Rolls
Egg rolls are my go-to order in any Chinese restaurant. These guys are just so addictive!
These deep-fried rolls are typically served as appetizers, but I also enjoy eating them with fried rice. Together, they make a fabulous meal.
Just picture it – crunchy egg roll wrappers filled with ground meat, cabbage, and carrots plus tender and savory fried rice. Spectacular.
8. Sesame Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Sure, brussels sprouts aren’t Asian, but if you infuse them with Asian seasonings, they taste amazing with fried rice.
What’s the best Asian seasoning to use with Brussels sprouts, you ask? To me, nothing can flavor Brussels sprouts better than sesame oil. The oil has a wonderful nutty and earthy flavor that’s guaranteed to make your sprouts taste amazing.
Drizzle the sprouts with some honey, too, for added sweetness, then roast them in the oven. Your left with crisp, tasty brussels sprouts with a beautiful Asian flair.
9. Chinese Broccoli
Gai Lan, or Chinese broccoli, is a much leafier version of the cruciferous veggie we know and love. The fat leaves and stems are super crunchy and have mildly bitter and sweet flavors.
To prepare them, just steam and serve with fresh mushrooms. It’s perfect with fried rice because it gives it a light and healthy contrast. Plus, it adds a pop of color too! How lovely.
10. Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and sour pork is another Asian dish that is oh so rich and flavorful! It’s got that thick sweet sauce that you can mix with fried rice to make it even more delightful.
11. Hoisin Roasted Asparagus
Just like Brussels sprouts, asparagus is not a staple in Asian cuisine. But you can give those healthy spears an Asian touch by coating them in hoisin sauce.
Careful, though – hoisin sauce is thick and super sweet, so you don’t need a lot! Just coat the asparagus with a little bit of sauce and roast it in the oven. So good with fried rice!
12. Lemon Chicken
Lemon chicken is a Chinese dish that has a delightful sweet and tangy sauce. It’s so flavorful though that you will need a starchy companion to soak up some of that scrumptious sauce. And that’s why it pairs beautifully with fried rice.
The last item on our list is one of my favorite Japanese dishes: ebi tempura!
True, all this deep-fried battered shrimp needs is that sweet and flavorful tempura sauce, but I enjoy eating mine with fried rice. It’s just more filling that way!
Plus, I love how the sweet shrimp and savory rice contrast each other. Such a heavenly Japanese meal!