Japanese fried yakimeshi rice: reduce waste & use leftover rice!
Many of us have eaten fried rice. But what about yakimeshi fried rice? If you haven’t traveled to Japan, you may not even know what this is.
Yakimeshi fried rice is basically Japanese fried rice. It translates to pan-fried rice.
It’s made with Japanese 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.
If you’re thinking of cooking up some Japanese 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 Japanese fried rice yakimeshi, and how it differs from other Asian fried rice recipes.
Let’s start with a basic, but delicious, Yakimeshi fried rice recipe!
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Yakimeshi fried rice recipe
- 2 Japanese garlic yakimeshi recipe
- 3 What can you pair with yakimeshi fried rice?
- 4 Yakimeshi: the origins of this Japanese fried rice
- 5 Enjoy this version of Japanese fried rice
Yakimeshi fried rice recipe
- 325 g cooked Japanese 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 the 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 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.
Japanese garlic yakimeshi recipe
- 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 the pan and heat on medium high. Fry garlic slices until golden brown. Don't add garlic slices when the oil's hot or they'll 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 it. Once it's coated in garlic, add soy sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure it's seasoned to your liking.
- Add the chopped parsley and mix.
- Serve by putting the rice in a rice bowl, pressing to make sure it's packed. Invert the bowl and serve in a domed shape.
- Unlike the other recipe, this one doesn’t recommend using stale rice. In fact, it recommends adding warm rice to the recipe. That’s because if the rice is added cold, it’d take too long to heat up and the garlic might burn.
- Like most Japanese garlic recipes, this recipe doesn’t 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’re serving it as a side dish, it’s best to keep it simple.
What can you pair with yakimeshi fried rice?
This type of Japanese 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:
- Shrimp skewers: Shell shrimp and put them on the skewer. Add salt and pepper seasoning and grill to make a healthy and delicious meal.
- Japanese hamburger steak: This is a steak made from ground beef. It’s typically served with rice instead of buns.
- Japanese chicken curry: Recipes can vary, but a Japanese chicken curry typically features chicken, carrots, and potatoes cooked in a thick curry sauce. It tastes great served over rice.
- Keema curry: This type of curry originated in India but it’s become popular in Japan. It’s made with ground meat and mixed vegetables.
- Loco moco: This classic Hawaiian dish features hamburger steak, fried egg, and smooth mushroom curry.
- Omurice: This variation on the dish wraps the rice in a thin omelet.
- Pressure cooker Japanese seafood curry: Seafood curry is full of tasty seafood and flavorings, including squid, shrimp, kombu dashi, scallops, and spices.
- Seafood gratin: This seafood and cheese dish will taste delicious over your yakimeshi fried rice.
- Sous vide Japanese-style steak: This medium rare steak is typically prepared with scallions, grated daikon, and ponzu sauce.
- White stew: White stew consists of chicken and vegetables served in a creamy sauce. This Japanese fried rice makes a great base for the dish.
Yakimeshi: the origins of this Japanese fried rice
It’s 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 differ from other Asian fried rice recipes?
Yakimeshi also goes by the name chahan. Though many people think these are two different dishes, they’re actually the same. Chahan is simply a variation of Chinese fried rice, or chaofan.
As compared to other rice dishes, the biggest difference that you’ll 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 leftover rice or at least cooked rice that’s been 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.
Enjoy this version of Japanese fried rice
Now you have everything you need to make a delicious Japanese fried rice dish. How will you be preparing it in your kitchen? However you choose, you’ll have delicious Japanese fried rice to munch on!
Read next: how about a great Teppanyaki Fried Rice Recipe in 11 simple steps?
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.