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Easy Island Fried Rice

Easy Fried Rice

Everyone in Hawaii has their own version of fried rice. This is mine.  And I think it’s way better than any Chinese take-out. This homemade version is also healthier and less expensive!  Add some diced spam if you want to make it authentic Hawaiian.  It’s one of the popular side dishes at our luau.

Like shrimp, chicken or pork?  Go for it.  As for the veggies, nothing’s easier than a frozen package of peas & carrots!


Easy Fried Rice

The last secret to success in serving rice to a large group is you MUST fluff it right before serving.  Simply take a couple forks or serving spoons and fluff it to break up any larger clumps.   Also, if you’re transporting this rice after cooking it, make sure you don’t stack anything on it.  Doing so will compress it into a somewhat gummy block…


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Easy Fried Rice

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Large Group


Easy Island Fried Rice for a Crowd of 75
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
49 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A great side dish for your next luau, girl's camp, youth conference or family reunion.  Makes 30 cups. Yields 75 servings of 2.75 ounces (the size of 1 large serving spoon).

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 75 (2.75 ounce) servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 7 cups white rice, long grain UNCOOKED - NOT minute or instant
  • 2 white onions chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen peas & carrots
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 4 cups cooked ham diced – or 2 cans spam, diced
Special Equipment
  • 1 (20-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 4") disposable aluminum pan (this is a full-size) steam table pan
  1. In a large stock-pot, combine water, broth and salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly spray a 20-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 4" roasting pan with cooking spray.  Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil large enough to easily cover the top of the roasting pan.   Set aside.

  3. Place 7 cups UNCOOKED rice, chopped onion, frozen carrots and peas and minced garlic in roasting pan, spread evenly. Set aside.

  4. Once water and broth is boiling, carefully pour over rice and stir to mix thoroughly.

  5. IMMEDIATELY cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Press foil tightly around pan to ensure a tight seal around ALL the edges, crimping along edges.  Carefully place the roasting pan in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender.

  6. 15 minutes before rice is done, in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook meat if including.  When meat is browned and cooked, whisk eggs, add to pan and scramble eggs for several minutes.  

  7. When rice is done, remove from oven and remove foil.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, distributing evenly over rice.  Add scrambled eggs and meat if including.  Fluff with a large wooden spoon to mix in soy sauce and oil & serve.

  1. Can be kept warm in the oven, covered with foil, at 150 degrees or put in a covered slow cooker on LOW. Add a little water if necessary to keep from drying out.

Recipe Notes

It's important to select a roasting pan which holds 15 quarts to allow plenty of room for rice expansion. The 4 inch deep steam pan enables the rice to cook more evenly. 



Family Size


Easy Island Fried Rice
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Better than take out, you can add a taste of the Islands to this easy fried rice by including some diced Spam.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 8 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
For the Rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 and 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons butter
For the Fried Rice
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil divided
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 1/4 (16 ounce bag) frozen peas & carrots
  • 2 cloves medium garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cups cooked ham , diced - or
  • 1/3 can spam , diced
Make the Rice
  1. In a large sauce pan, combine rice, water and butter. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Rice can be cooked fresh, spread on a tray, and allowed to cool for five minutes, or alternatively transferred to a loosely covered container and refrigerated up to three days.
  1. When ready to cook the fried rice, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Remove onions to a large bowl and set aside.

  2. If using day-old rice, transfer rice to a medium bowl and break up with your hands into individual grains before proceeding. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the large skillet or wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until the rice is pale brown, toasted, and has a lightly chewy texture, about three minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

  3. Return all the rice and onions to the skillet or wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the space. Add frozen peas and carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  4. Push rice to the side of the wok and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Break the eggs into the oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble the eggs, breaking it up into small bits. Toss the egg and the rice together.
  5. If including the optional ham or spam, add and continue to toss and stir until the rice grains are mostly separated and ham or spam is hot.




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