Make incredibly tasty Singapore Fried rice with chicken, juicy prawns/shrimp, nutritious veggies, and fluffy pieces of scrambled egg with a distinctive Singapore-style spice mix and yummy umami sauce. Whether you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner, a way to use leftovers, or a cheaper and healthier alternative to takeaway, this 30-minute one-pan dish is sure to hit the spot.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
✅ 5 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Quick & easy
- Puts leftover rice to a good use
- Cheaper, healthier and tastier than takeaway
What is Singapore fried rice?
Singapore fried rice is a popular fusion dish that you will find on most UK Chinese takeaway and restaurant menus. The addition of curry powder makes it distinct from other fried rice dishes and gives the dish its name. Although its origins cannot actually be traced to Singapore, its flavours are reflective of diverse Singaporean cuisine. If you like the sound of this, you may also like to try my Singapore Chow Mein (Singapore noodles), a delicious stir-fried noodle dish that is also inspired by the vibrant flavours of Singaporean cuisine.
🛒 What do I need to make this recipe?
So what does Singapore style fried rice contain? Here's a quick rundown of the key ingredients and some possible swaps you can make if you don't have them all or want to adjust the recipe to suit your taste.
Which type of rice should I use?
Day-old long-grain rice is what you need to get the best results. This is because the rice will harden a little as it cools, allowing the grains to separate and prevent them from going mushy. The recipe will work fine with freshly cooked rice, but you will get a better texture if you cook the rice the night before.
Jasmine rice is my go-to but other types of long-grain rice like basmati or brown rice will work well. You can also use microwaveable precooked rice if you are in a hurry.
Which curry powder is best?
A mix of curry powder, sugar, chicken stock powder and white pepper gives the dish a distinctive flavour that sets it apart from other fried rice dishes.
Curry powder is the main ingredient in the spice mix, so you might be wondering which one to choose. A good curry powder will make all the difference. S&B curry powder is one of my favourites but another quality curry powder will work well. When it comes to spice level, feel free to choose mild, medium or hot based on your preference.
There are some Singapore fried rice recipes that don't have a sauce but I've found these can be a little dry. In my recipe, there is a simple sauce made from soy sauce, sesame oil and Shaoxing wine. You can swap the Shaoxing wine for sake, dry sherry white wine or chicken stock for an alcohol-free option.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
When it comes to veggies I've gone for onion, cabbage and carrot. I love how cabbage adds additional umami flavour to the dish. Feel free to change things up. This dish is great for using up veggies that are lingering in your fridge.
Prawns/shrimp, chicken and egg add protein to the dish. You can omit the chicken and prawns to make the dish vegetarian, or switch them for tofu.
🧑🍳 How to make Singapore Fried Rice
1. Sauce and spice mix
Mix the curry powder, chicken stock powder, sugar and white pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Then make the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, sesame oil and Shaoxing wine in another small bowl.
2. Cook the chicken & prawns / shrimp
Place a wok or large frying pan on a medium to high heat and add oil. Add the chicken pieces when the oil is hot and fry for a few minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Then add the prawns/shrimp and toss in the pan for 1-2 minutes until they turn opaque. Remove everything from the pan and set aside.
Top tip: prawns/shrimp are done as soon as they turn opaque. They will be juicy and tender if you remove them from the pan at this point, but if you leave them for longer they will become tough and rubbery.
3. Fry the veggies
Add the onions and fry for a few minutes until translucent. Then fry the white parts of the spring onion/scallions, carrot and cabbage for a few minutes until tender. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and cook for one more minute until fragrant. Then stir in the spice mix.
4. Rice and egg
Add the cooked rice to the pan and toss for a few minutes until hot. Then push the rice to one side, add the beaten egg and scramble with a spatula or chopsticks as soon as it begins to set.
Pour on the sauce, add the cooked chicken and prawns/shrimp and toss everything together. Serve immediately, topped with the green parts of the spring onions/scallions.
What to serve with Singapore Fried Rice
Packed with meat, seafood and lots of tasty veggies no one will disagree that Singapore Fried Rice is a meal in its own right. If you're feeling particularly hungry you might want to serve it with some prawn crackers or a bowl of my Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup.
If you're feeding a crowd you can serve Singapore fried rice alongside other Chinese restaurant and takeaway classics including honey chilli chicken, sweet and sour chicken or salt and chilli chicken.
👍 Top tips
- Use day-old rice. The grains will harden and separate as they cool giving you the best texture and reducing any risk of mushiness.
- Prep the ingredients beforehand - Things will move quickly once you start stir-frying so make sure you have all ingredients, chopped and laid out before you start cooking.
- Use a wok - It allows you to toss everything together quickly at a high heat. If you don't have one use a large frying pan with high sides.
Special fried rice is typically made with pork, chicken and seafood like prawns/shrimp and sometimes egg and crab meat. Singapore fried rice also contains prawns/shrimp, chicken and egg, but is seasoned with curry powder unlike other fried rice dishes.
Singapore fried rice is a nutritious and balanced meal containing a good balance of protein from chicken, prawns/shrimp and egg and a mix of veggies like carrots, cabbage, and peas. However, it is high in carbs and can also be high in fat and sodium so is best eaten in moderation.
Typically Singapore fried rice contains a mix of meat and seafood such as chicken, pork and prawns/shrimp. You can adapt it to make it vegetarian/vegan-friendly by swapping the meat and egg for more veggies or tofu.
The addition of curry powder differentiates Singapore Fried rice from other Chinese fried rice dishes and gives the dish its name. It's a diverse dish, like Singaporean cuisine, although it does not originate from Singapore.
Singapore fried rice tastes best when fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours to enjoy the next day. Ensure any leftovers are refrigerated as soon as they are cool and reheated until piping hot on the stove or in the microwave.
😋 Check out my other fried rice recipes
Fried rice is tasty, nutritious, speedy and a great way to use up your leftover meat, veggies and rice. If you enjoyed my Singapore fried rice you should check out my other fried rice recipes including Kimchi Fried Rice, Thai Basil Fried Rice and Prawn/Shrimp fried rice.
Did you try this recipe? It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
Don't forget to tag #knifeandsoulrecipes on Instagram or @knifeandsoul on Pinterest!
Singapore Fried Rice
- 1 wok or large frying pan with high sides
- ½ tsp chicken stock powder equivalent to ½ stock cube (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp curry powder (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (Note 3)
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (can also use sake, dry sherry or chicken stock for an alcohol-free option)
- 2 tbsp neutral oil (Note 4)
- 1 large chicken thigh approx 100g, cut into small 2cm or 1-inch pieces (Note 5)
- 100g (3.5 oz) prawns/shrimp peeled and deveined
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 spring onions/scallions finely chopped with green parts and white parts separated
- 120 grams (1 ¼ cups) white cabbage finely shredded
- 1 carrot cut into matchsticks
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 eggs beaten
- 350 grams (12 oz) cooked long-grain rice preferably cooked the day before - equivalent to 150g or 5.3oz/1 ¾ cups uncooked rice (Note 6)
- Combine the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in another small bowl
- Place a wok or large frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the oil.
- Add the chicken pieces when the oil is hot and fry for a few minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the prawns/shrimp, cook for another 1-2 minutes until opaque and set aside.
- Add the onions when the oil is hot and cook for a few minutes until translucent.
- Add the white parts of the spring onions/scallions, carrot and cabbage to the pan and cook for a few minutes until tender.
- Reduce the heat of the pan to medium, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Then stir in the spice mix.
- Add the rice and toss until the grains are hot.
- Push the rice to one side and pour in the beaten eggs, wait a few seconds for them to begin to cook, and scramble using chopsticks or a spatula.
- Pour on the sauce, add the cooked chicken and prawns/shrimp and toss everything together.
- Serve immediately, topped with the green parts of the spring onions/scallions.
- Chicken stock powder: I use Oxo, but any brand of generic chicken stock powder is fine.
- Curry powder: Any brand of generic curry powder is fine. I use medium but hot is also fine if you like spice.
- Soy sauce: Use light or all-purpose soy sauce. Avoid dark because it will make the flavour too intense.
- Oil: Choose an oil with a high burn point. Neutral oils like sunflower, vegetable or ground nut oil will all work well. Do not use olive oil.
- Chicken: Equivalent to (100g or 3oz). I use thighs because they are juicier and more succulent than breast but you can also use breast or add leftover cooked chicken. Chicken is cooked when it is white in the centre. Cut into a piece to check if in doubt. If the flesh is still pink it needs longer.
- Rice: Cooking the rice the night before and storing it in the refrigerator once it's cool ensures that the grains separate and harden a little so the rice does not go mushy. I recommend doing this if you have time, but don't worry if you don't. I've often skipped this step and the results are still tasty as long as you don't overcook the rice.
- How to tell if prawns /shrimp are cooked: raw prawns/shrimp are translucent and turn pink and opaque when cooked. Remove them from the pan when they become opaque to avoid overcooking them.