After a quick fix of Asian cuisine? This Singapore fried rice recipe beautifully combines seafood, rice and spices to give you a truly unique dish.

singapore fried rice

Fried rice is one of the first dishes that comes to mind when we think of Asian comfort food. Not only that, but its versatility in terms of ingredients makes it such a favorite with natives and culinary tourists alike.

It takes mere minutes to make so it’s perfect for lazy chefs like me. Plus it’s cheap and can even make use of leftovers. In essence it’s my soulmate… in food terms.

One favorite take on it in particular is this Singapore fried rice recipe.

Confusingly – and bear with me here – Singapore fried rice does not actually hail from the famous city-state in Asia. Quite why this dish has been so strongly associated with Singapore I’m not sure (probably an instance of lazy food labelling by people outside the continent) but fried rice has its history firmly rooted somewhere north of the island, in China.

Like this take on fried rice? Try our spring roll recipe here

However, there are differences among fried rice dishes so here’s a breakdown of two of the key ingredients in Singapore fried rice.


Leftover Rice

It goes without saying that this recipe should strongly feature rice, however it’s integral to the authenticity of the dish that it features one or two-day-old rice.

Why? Newly cooked rice can be a bit wet and sometimes clumpy. Leaving it for a day or two will help dry it out a bit and make it a little more fine.


Prawns or Shrimp

The difference between the two can sometimes be blurred depending on where you are in the world, but essentially we’re after the large variety. So in essence we’re after king prawns or shrimp.

The inclusion of these gives Singapore fried rice a beautiful sea-based flavor that is very different to a lot of fried rice dishes in mainland China, which often are comprised of chicken, lamb or beef.


Other things to note for this recipe

For a long time I cooked fried rice by adding the egg straight to the mix. It might sound strange, but after seeing my Chinese roommate in Nanjing do it I thought that was the best way. Perhaps it still is, but for me I’ve found I do a lot better if I make a ‘mini-omelette’ to one side and then add it near the end. Perhaps just a case of personal preference but I’d definitely recommend it (unless you’re my ex-roommate, in which case… carry on).

Not everyone is huge on anise seed or star anise, so if you’re cooking for anyone then perhaps best to gauge opinion prior to cooking. Personally, I’m hit and miss with it but have included it for the sake of this recipe.

Finally, despite being fairly seafood focused, this can also work with other meats on top of the prawns or shrimp. Like I say, fried rice is all about leftovers, so if you have any chicken or pork at hand that you need to make use of then by all means chuck it in! It will suit it much better than you might think.

So now you know what to expect, it’s on to the recipe!


Singapore Fried Rice
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Servings: 2 people
  • 4 oz king prawns
  • 2 spring onions roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic sliced
  • 1 large red chilli sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups leftover rice long grain
  • a handful of garden peas
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ star anise ground
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • cooking oil
  1. Heat up some oil in frying pan or wok over a medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, spring onions and chili. Cook for one minute before turning the heat to high and flash frying the prawns with the garlic, spring onions and chili. Remove pan from heat and set to one side.
  3. Whisk the eggs. Add some oil to a new small frying pan and heat up over a medium heat. Add the eggs and fry to make a small, simple omelette. Once cooked, roughly cut into small strips and set to one side.
  4. Heat up some oil in a wok at a medium-high heat. Throw in the prawns, garlic, chilli, spring onions, peas and rice.
  5. Add the ground anise, chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala. Immediate follow with the omelette strips. Combine everything thoroughly.
  6. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve fresh out the wok and enjoy!

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