Basil Fried Rice – Connoisseurus Veg

This basil fried rice is quick, easy, and full of flavor! It’s versatile and delicious on it’s own, paired up with some protein, as a main or side. Ready in under 30 minutes!

White wooden surface set with wok, lime slices, and bowl of Basil Fried Rice.

Fried rice is the latest dish on my list of ways to use up lots of basil from the garden, along with pesto, stir-fried tofu, and tomato gnocchi soup.

In this recipe, basil really is the star ingredient of the dish. Fried rice is pretty basic. It’s delicious, but simple, with most of the flavor coming from aromatics like garlic and ginger. Adding basil to the mix totally changes things up, taking an already delicious but simple recipe and transforming it to an absolute flavor bomb.

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Soy sauce. Liquid aminos or tamari will also work.
  • Dark mushroom soy sauce. This might be available in the international aisle of your supermarket. If not, you can get it at an Asian grocery store. Additional regular soy sauce will work as a substitute if dark isn’t available, but you may need to use a bit extra. Vegetarian oyster sauce is another alternative that will work.
  • Brown sugar. Use organic brown sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Chinese five spice. This is a spice blend that includes cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorns. You can find it in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Sambal oelek. This will add heat to the recipe, so feel free to leave it out if you’d like to keep your dish mild. You should be able to find it in the international aisle of the supermarket, but if not, sriracha will work as a substitute.
  • Peanut oil. You can substitute another high-heat oil for this if you’d like. Coconut oil, vegetable oil, and avocado oil are all fine options.
  • Shallot. Red onion can be substituted if needed.
  • Red bell pepper.
  • Carrots.
  • Garlic.
  • Cooked rice. As with all fried rice dishes, this one works best when you use rice that’s a day or two old. Leftover rice dries out a bit in the fridge, so it crisps up better when fried. You can also use just about any variety of rice, but I’m personally partial to jasmine rice for this dish.
  • Basil. You can really use any variety of basil here. I’m using Thai basil, which works really well with the flavor profile of the dish, but Italian basil is just fine!
  • Lime wedges. These are for serving your fried rice. Garnish each dish with a lime wedge or two so that your guests can squeeze on as much juice as they’d like to balance out the sweet and salty flavors of the dish.
Sprig of fresh Thai basil on a white wooden surface.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Begin by doing all of your prep work. This is always a good idea when making fried rice, because once it starts cooking things will move fast. So mix the sauce, mince the garlic, slice the shallots, and chop the veggies and basil.

Sliced shallots sautéing in a wok.

Heat your oil in a large skillet, or better yet, a wok. Add sliced shallots and cook them for a few minutes, just until they start to soften.

Carrots, bell pepper, and shallots being stir-fried in a wok.

Now turn up the heat and add diced red bell pepper and carrots. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes, making sure to keep them moving the whole time so they don’t burn.

Minced cooking in a wok with stir-fried peppers and carrots.

Push the vegetables aside to make a little room, then add minced garlic. You’re just going to sauté it very briefly. Once it becomes very fragrant you can stir it in with the pepper and carrots.

Hand pouring sauce into a wok filled with stir-fried peppers and rice.

Add your cooked rice, then pour the sauce over the rice. Be careful not to pour the sauce directly on the cooking surface or it will sputter.

Fried rice cooking in a wok.

Mix everything up and stir-fry the mixture. Again, keep things moving to avoid burning anything. Keep going until the rice gets crispy in spots. This should only take a few minutes.

Fried rice in a wok with chopped fresh basil on top.

Take the wok or skillet off of heat and quickly stir in the fresh basil. Keep stirring until the heat from the rice causes the basil to wilt.

Basil Fried Rice in a wok with lime slices and sprig of fresh basil.

Your basil fried rice is ready to serve! It’s excellent on it’s own, or paired up with some plant-based protein like fried tofu. Be sure to garnish each plate with some lime wedges.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover fried rice will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Bowl of Basil Fried Rice with wok in the background.

Prep-Ahead Tips

  • The sauce can be mixed in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • The shallot can be sliced in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • The bell pepper and carrot can be diced in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Since this recipe works best with leftover rice, I like to prepare a dish that includes rice a few days earlier in the week and make extra rice. Try this red curry or this tofu stir-fry.

More Fried Rice Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Bowl of Basil Fried Rice with chopsticks, lime wedges and sprig of fresh basil.

Basil Fried Rice

This basil fried rice is quick, easy, and full of flavor! It’s versatile and delicious on it’s own, paired up with some protein, as a main or side. Ready in under 30 minutes!


  • 2
    soy sauce
  • 2
    dark mushroom soy sauce
  • 2
    organic brown sugar
  • 1
    Chinese five spice powder
  • 1
    sambal oelek,
    optional, or to taste
  • 2
    peanut oil
  • 2
    medium shallots,
    sliced into half rings
  • 1
    medium red bell pepper,
  • 2
    medium carrots,
  • 2
    garlic cloves,
  • 4
    leftover cooked rice
  • 1
    fresh basil leaves,
    roughly chopped and loosely packed
  • Lime wedges,
    for serving


  1. Stir the soy sauce, dark mushroom soy sauce, brown sugar, five spice, and sambal oelek together in a small bowl.

  2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the shallot. Cook the shallot for about 3 minutes, until it becomes very soft, stirring frequently.

  4. Raise the heat to high and add the bell pepper and carrot. Stir fry the vegetables for about 3 minutes, until they brighten in color and become tender-crisp.

  5. Push the vegetables to the side to make some space on the cooking surface. Add the garlic and sauté it for a few seconds, stirring constantly, until it becomes very fragrant.

  6. Stir the garlic in with the pepper and carrots. Add the rice to the wok or skillet, then pour the soy sauce mixture over the rice.

  7. Stir-fry the rice until the sauce dries up and the rice begins to get crispy in spots, about 3 minutes, stirring and flipping constantly.

  8. Remove the wok or skillet from heat and stir in the basil. Keep stirring until the basil wilts.

  9. Divide onto plates and serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Basil Fried Rice

Amount Per Serving (1.25 cups)

Calories 241
Calories from Fat 64

% Daily Value*

Fat 7.1g11%

Saturated Fat 1.2g6%

Sodium 889mg37%

Potassium 292mg8%

Carbohydrates 40g13%

Fiber 1.7g7%

Sugar 6.2g7%

Protein 4.1g8%

Calcium 37mg4%

Iron 9mg50%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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