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Mom’s Fried Rice



  • 7 cups cooked sticky Japanese pearl rice, cooled completely (see tips below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion yellow or white
  • 1/2 lb chopped ham about 1 1/2 cups or two thick deli slices
  • 2 cups cabbage sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons butter separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 bunch green onions chopped white and green parts


  1. Using a large non stick pan, cook each of the vegetables, separately*, in a small amount of oil and butter. I use about 1 teaspoon for each vegetable/meat. Salt and pepper each vegetable.
  2. Transfer to a bowl or plate. It’s OK to let the vegetables and meat inter-mingle at this point
  3. After cooking all of the vegetables and meat, add about 2 tablespoons of butter to the Teflon pan. Over medium heat, add the cooked and cooled rice a little at a time, breaking apart clumps with two wooden spoons until the rice is evenly distributed in the pan, and the butter is mixed in well.
  4. Add all of the vegetables and meat to the rice. Toss lightly in pan. Season again with fresh ground pepper.
  5. Add the soy sauce, a little at a time. We don’t like to drown the rice in soy sauce, so I only use about 2-3 tablespoons to 7 cups of rice. Taste, add salt and more pepper, if desired. After heated through, add fresh chopped green onions. Turn the heat off. If you continue to leave the heat on, your beautiful fried rice will end up as gummy rice.

Recipe Notes

-Make sure the rice is cooked and cooled completely before starting to make fried rice. It is best to make the rice the day before. If you use hot rice when making fried rice, your dish will turn out to be a sticky, gluey mess.
-Make sure to use Japanese, or pearl rice, which is short and plump, not a long grain rice.
-*It is important to cook the vegetables separately. I used to cook them all at once and then add to the rice. My fried rice was never as good as my mom’s. This is one of her tried and true methods.
-When “mixing” the rice and other ingredients together, do not stir this like it’s a cake batter- toss the ingredients, like you would a salad.