Japanese fried yakimeshi rice: reduce waste & use leftover rice!

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 8, 2021

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Many of us have eaten fried rice. But Yakimesi fried rice? If you haven’t traveled to Japan, you may not even know what this is.

Yakimeshi fried rice is the Japanese version of fried rice. It translates as pan-fried rice.

It is made with short-grain rice, seasoned meat, and egg. While many professional chefs prepare the dish in a teppan, it can also be made in a frying pan at home.

Yakimeshi fried leftover rice

If you are thinking of cooking up some yakimeshi fried rice for your guests, this article will give you some great recipe ideas. I’ll also dive into pairing suggestions to make a complete meal with yakimeshi.

For a bit of background, I’ll explain the origins of yakimeshi fried rice, and how it differs from other Asian fried rice recipes.

Let’s start with a basic, but delicious, Yakimeshi fried rice recipe!

Yakimeshi fried leftover rice

Yakimeshi fried rice recipe

Joost Nusselder
Now, here is a simple recipe for making Yakimeshi fried rice.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2


  • 325 g cooked short grain rice stale will work best
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 70 g. ham
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 scallions chopped


  • Crumble rice with your hands.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil and tilt pan to ensure it’s coated.
  • Add egg. Allow to bloom, then scramble.
  • Add crumbled rice to the egg before it becomes cooked. Use a spatula to break up any clumps.
  • Add ham tossing to distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss rice to make sure seasonings are distributed and to keep it from sticking.
  • Drizzle soy sauce on the edge of the pan and toss the rice to ensure it’s coated.
  • Add sesame and scallions. Toss to combine.
  • Press rice into a bowl to mold it. Release from bowl and serve.



  • To give this recipe a protein boost, add an extra egg.
  • Putting the rice in the egg beforehand will coat the rice making it less sticky and easier to work with.
  • The soy sauce is put on the edge of the pan as this caramelizes the sauce instantly.
  • Two spatulas can be used to mix the ingredients but tossing them in the pan is a more efficient way to cook.
  • Scallions and sesame oil are great for adding color and flavor.
  • Variations include adding curry powder to make curry fried rice. You can also add chicken instead of ham and season it with ketchup.
Keyword Fried rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Yakimeshi fried leftover rice

Japanese garlic yakimeshi recipe

Joost Nusselder
Here’s another version of the recipe. This one has a garlicky, buttery twist.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2


  • 2 rice cooker cups uncooked short grain rice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 stalks parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  • Cook rice using your preferred method. Set aside for about an hour to remove the moisture.
  • Cut half of your garlic cloves into thin white round slices. Mince the remaining half.
  • Remove parsley leaves from stems and mince.
  • Add olive oil to pan and heat on medium high. Fry garlic slices until golden brown. Do not add garlic slices when oil is hot or they will burn. Rather, let the garlic and oil heat together.
  • Add minced garlic and heat until golden brown.
  • Add butter swirling it around so it coats the pan. Then add warm steamed rice.
  • Break up the rice to separate. Once it is coated in garlic, add soy sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.
  • Add the chopped parsley and mix.
  • Serve by putting the rice in a rice bowl pressing to make sure it is packed. Invert the bowl and serve in a domed shape.


  • Unlike the other recipe, this one does not recommend using stale rice. In fact, it recommends adding rice to the recipe warm. That’s because if the rice is added cold, it would take too long to heat up and the garlic might burn.
  • Like most Japanese garlic recipes, this recipe does not require an excessive amount of garlic. If you want to add more for a stronger taste, that’s perfectly acceptable.
  • You can substitute the rice for a lower-calorie alternative if desired.
  • You can substitute parsley with scallions.
  • You can add an egg to the dish but if you are serving it as a side dish, it’s best to keep it simple.
Keyword Fried rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Also read: Rice to water ratio in a rice cooker | White, Jasmine, Basmati

What can you pair with yakimeshi fried rice?

Yakimeshi fried rice goes well with protein dishes including red meat, white meat, and seafood.

Here are some suggestions that may inspire you to make a complete meal:

Yakimeshi fried rice origins

It is believed that yakimeshi originated in the 1860s and was first prepared by Chinese immigrants living in the port of Kobe.

It went on to become a staple dish in many Japanese households.

How does Yakimeshi different from other Asian fried rice recipes?

Yakimeshi also goes by the name Chahan. Though many people think these are two different dishes, they are actually the same. Chahan is simply a variation on the Chinese name for fried rice, chaofan.

As compared to other rice dishes, the biggest difference that you will find with Yakimeshi rice is that it’s made with short-grain rice as opposed to long grain.

Long grain is commonly used in fried rice dishes because it has a high amylose to amylopectin ratio. This formula keeps the rice from sticking together when it’s stir fried.

Even though the short-grained rice means Yakimeshi is harder to make, it has a chewy texture that makes it delicious.

However, because the rice is hard to work with, it’s best to use leftovers, or at least a rice that’s been cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days.

Leaving it in the refrigerator makes the rice become dry, brittle, and easier to manage. Once the rice is heated, the soft, sticky texture returns.

Now you have everything you need to make a delicious Yakimeshi fried rice dish. How will you be preparing it in your kitchen?

Read next: how about a great Teppanyaki Fried Rice Recipe in 11 simple steps?

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.