Do you know what to serve with fried rice? Fried rice is a versatile and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other complementary dishes. Deciding what to serve alongside it can be difficult; it doesn’t have to be complicated. Plenty of tasty dishes pair well with fried rice and can make the meal even more delightful. In this post, we will take a look at 35 delicious side dishes that pair perfectly with fried rice for an excellent meal.
Egg Rolls, dumplings, and crab rangoon
In many Asian cuisines, such as Chinese and Vietnamese, egg rolls and fried rice are commonly served as part of a meal. This traditional pairing has become popular and familiar to many people, further reinforcing the notion that they complement each other.
Egg rolls (or spring rolls) are often considered a good pairing with fried rice for several reasons: These deep-fried rolls typically consist of a crispy outer shell filled with a savory mixture of vegetables and meat. The combination of textures and flavors in the egg rolls, such as the crunchy exterior and the delicious filling, complements fried rice's softer and seasoned nature.
Combining egg rolls and fried rice can create a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Fried rice often includes a mix of vegetables, meat, and eggs, while egg rolls typically contain a combination of vegetables and meat. Together, they provide a well-rounded meal with various flavors and nutrients.
Pan-fried dumplings and crab rangoon are another great choice to pair with fried rice. These golden brown goodies are crispy and, with savory filling, make a fantastic accompaniment to fried rice. Their contrasting textures and flavors add a delightful element to the meal. Additionally, their dipping sauce can add extra flavor to the meal.
The versatility, protein balance, texture and flavor contrast, complementary ingredients, and cultural tradition make chicken a popular and enjoyable accompaniment to fried rice. In Asian cuisines, such as Chinese and Thai, chicken is a common protein used in various dishes, including those served with fried rice. This tradition has influenced the perception of chicken as a suitable pairing for fried rice in many culinary contexts.
Chicken dishes are often a popular choice to pair with fried rice. Because chicken is a versatile protein that can be prepared in numerous ways, such as grilled, roasted, stir-fried, air fryer, and fried, its mild flavor and tender texture make it a great companion to fried rice, which can be customized with various ingredients and seasonings. Fried rice is a carb-rich dish typically containing rice, vegetables, and sometimes eggs. Pairing it with a protein source like chicken helps balance the meal by adding a significant amount of protein.
Sweet and sour chicken and sesame chicken: These are popular Chinese-American dishes with slightly sweet, sour sauce and bold flavors that pair well with fried rice. The tender chicken coated in a flavorful sauce complements the rice and adds a satisfying protein element.
Many chicken dishes incorporate ingredients that pair well with fried rice. For example, dishes like teriyaki chicken (with teriyaki sauce) and lemon chicken often feature sauces or glazes that complement the flavors of fried rice. The combination of these complementary ingredients enhances the overall dining experience.
Stir-fried beef or beef stew often brings a savory element to the meal. The tender and flavorful beef complement the fried rice beautifully. Some popular dishes include Mongolian beef, beef broccoli..etc.
General Tsos tofu feature crispy tofu coated in a savory sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The rich umami flavors and nutty undertones of sesame are a great match for fried rice. Mapo tofu and sweet, sour tofu are well-known popular dishes that pair well with fried rice.
Air fryer char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) is a perfect dish to serve alongside fried or white rice. These protein-rich options add depth of flavor and provide a satisfying contrast in texture. Juicy and flavourful pork belly slices are another popular Asian dish perfect with fried rice.
Stir-fried fresh vegetables
A side of stir fry vegetables with garlic cloves(or garlic powder), such as Chinese broccoli, Taiwanese spinach, bok choy, water chestnuts, and snow peas, provides a vibrant and nutritious addition to the main course. The colorful vegetables complement the fried rice and add freshness and crunch. The fresh vegetables are a perfect side dish to pair with fried rice. If you haven't tried it, try this simplest side dish next time; I promise you will love it!
A vibrant and colorful plate of stir-fried fresh veggies is an excellent accompaniment to fried rice. You can mix vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, and baby corn. The stir-frying process retains the vegetables' crunchiness and brings out their natural flavors, providing a refreshing and nutritious contrast to the fried rice. Do not forget to add a little bit of oyster sauce for extra flavor to this delicious side dish.
Cucumber salad is the perfect easy recipe for summer meals, along with fried rice! The cool and refreshing nature of the cucumber salad can complement the flavors of the savory and often spicy fried rice. The crisp texture of the cucumber can provide a nice contrast to the soft and warm rice.
Believe it or not, a pan-fried egg goes well with fried rice. You can simply fry the whole egg in the pan at high heat, add a pinch of sesame oil and sweet soy sauce.
Coconut shrimp is a delicious dish if you enjoy seafood. The creamy glaze on the shrimp pairs well with the flavors of fried rice. It provides a contrasting taste and adds a touch of elegance to the meal. Blackened cod and salmon stir fry offers a delightful flavor combination alongside fried rice. The savory notes of the cod and salmon enhance the overall meal experience. Lastly, pan-fried belt fish is an authentic Chinese dish if you want to try it!
A warm bowl of hot and sour soup or egg drop soup can be a fantastic starter or side dish to enjoy with fried rice. Its spicy and tangy flavors provide a contrasting taste and add depth to the meal.
Soup can be a good pairing with fried rice because soup can provide a flavorful and aromatic component to the meal. The broth, herbs, black pepper, and ingredients in the soup can enhance the overall taste profile of the fried rice, adding depth and complexity to the dish. Fried rice typically has a soft and somewhat sticky texture, while soup offers a liquid base with various ingredients such as vegetables, meats, or noodles. The contrast in textures can provide a more interesting and satisfying dining experience.
Soups are also generally hydrating due to their liquid content. Pairing fried rice with soup can help balance the meal by providing additional moisture and preventing the meal from feeling too dry. This can be especially beneficial if the fried rice is on the drier side or if you prefer a more moist and comforting dining experience.
Long to short, soup can contribute to the overall nutritional balance of the meal by adding vegetables, proteins, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. Ultimately, pairing soup with fried rice can enhance the overall dining experience by adding flavor, texture, hydration, nutritional balance, and cultural authenticity.
Fresh fruit and Chinese tea
Have you ever tried serving a platter of sliced fresh fruits like pineapple, watermelon, oranges? The refreshing and juicy fruits provide a light and refreshing contrast to the meal.
To complete the dining experience, consider serving Chinese tea, such as green tea, oolong tea, or jasmine tea. These types of tea contain compounds that are believed to aid digestion. It is thought that drinking tea with meals can help to break down fatty or oily foods and facilitate the digestive process. The tea enhances the overall enjoyment of the meal. Most importantly: Drinking tea is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and is associated with hospitality, friendship, and family gatherings. Sharing a pot of tea during meals is a way to foster social connections and strengthen relationships!:)
Fried rice can be a great meal when you know what to pair it with! Finding the best side dishes can make fried rice more enjoyable and bring your whole experience to the next level. I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to explore different combinations to find your favorite pairing. These are just a few ideas for what to serve with fried rice. Try to mix and match based on your preferences to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.