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Japanese fried rice, known as “Yakimeshi” in Japan, is such a flavourful and delicious recipe that is super easy to make! It doesn’t require any special ingredients, and you can create it with things you probably already have in your kitchen.
It’s a particularly great dish to make with leftovers because you can use nearly any vegetables or meat, then all you need to do is cook the rice (or use leftover rice too!).
Yakimeshi, which literally means “fried rice”, is another staple dish for Japanese people just like Nikujaga (Japanese Beef & Potato). It’s a common dish we make during the week because it’s so quick and easy to make. Usually we always have leftover rice that needs to be used, so it’s the perfect mid-week meal!
My Mom often made this fried rice for lunch on Saturdays. She had to work that day, and Yakimeshi was something she could quickly make for us because we always had leftover rice. Even if my Mom doesn’t know what she’s going to cook for lunch or dinner, she’ll always make rice in the morning and leave it in the cooker just in case. If you already have rice cooked then making fried rice doesn’t take long at all.
But have you ever thought when you cook Japanese fried rice Yakimeshi: “Although fried rice sounds so simple and easy to cook it never same as the take away store?” Japanese fried rice Yakimeshi from Japanese restaurants or take away stores always have their rice grain separated perfectly (we describe this as “Para para”, which means it has a loose, crumbly texture) so each single rice grain is fried individually. You never find one or more grains sticking together, and the rice is never soggy.
The rice needs to be cooked on a very high temperature and constantly flipped like a chef does with a wok. I don’t have a big wok nor the muscles to keep flipping the rice by tossing my wok around. But! There is an amazing trick for people like me have no muscles, and don’t have a gas cook top with high temperature setting (you have greater control over the frying temperature)
My trick to get super tasty and non-sticky fried rice is to add Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise. I know! I use a lot of mayonnaise for many recipes. I read a tweet somewhere about the technique of using mayonnaise in making pancakes which went viral recently, and I thought finally the world is catching up with using mayonnaise for everything!
This isn’t a paid ad by the way, I’ve just really loved this mayo ever since I was little. I hope you try it out in the fried rice and enjoy the recipe!
Japanese mayonnaise really separates the rice grains because the egg yolks and emulsified vegetable oil coat each grain of rice when it is fried with mayonnaise. The amazing thing is that you can’t even taste the mayonnaise and it makes the fried rice much richer in flavour. I have been using this trick and it never fails to achieve that “para para” fried rice, just like something you would buy at a restaurant.
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Easy Japanese fried recipe using a secret ingredient "Japanese mayonnaise"
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 2 tbsp Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise
- 2 slices short cut bacon
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup green shallots
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise well with the cooked rice.
Chop the green shallots and bacon into small pieces.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over high heat then add the rice and fry for a few minutes.
Put the rice to one side of the pan and add the eggs and scramble them.
Once the egg is half cooked, stir it into the rice.
Add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the shallots and salt and stir for a bit.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle a bit of pepper and serve!
Usually fried rice is cooked with left overs so cooking rice time is not included.
You can also replace bacon with ham, shrimp, salmon bits, and replace or add different veggies like onion, carrots, green beans, green peas etc.