Burnt Garlic Fried Rice is a very popular Indo-Chinese Rice Dish in India. With just a handful of ingredients, you can turn left over rice into this glorious fried rice that taste amazing on its own, or pair it with several other dishes.
Having some leftover rice always comes so handy on weekdays. I love making Kimchi fried rice or the Bengali fried rice that I love pairing with mutton curry. Rice can be transformed to so many delicious dishes. Fried rice has been my go to for ages now.
What is Burnt Garlic Fried Rice?
If you are unaware of Indo-Chinese Cuisine, this dish might sound bizarre to you. How can anything burnt taste good?
Let me clarify by saying that burnt garlic in this dish is not burnt-black-bitter-garlic! Burnt garlic in this dish is basically cooking the garlic a tad bit longer than usual, so it gets caramelized and crispy. The aroma is robust and anybody who loves garlic will love this dish.
The dish pairs best with Gobi Manchurian
Left over cold rice: Fried Rice should always be prepared with cooked cold rice. Left over rice from last night works best. If you use hot or warm rice, it will get soggy or mushy as you toss it in the wok. Cold rice will create the crispy, fluffy texture to the fried rice.
Fresh Garlic: You need a lot of fresh garlic cloves. You could thinly slice or finely chop the garlic.
Assorted Vegetables: Although adding veggies are not mandate, but I like to add some as it makes a complete meal on its own. You could either use fresh veggies or frozen veggies.
Soya Sauce: To keep the fried rice simple, I used only soy sauce for that umami flavor.
Green Onion: In my opinion, no Indo Chinese recipe will be complete with adding green onion in it.
These are just the key ingredients for the simple burnt garlic fried rice recipe. You can definitely switch it up by adding some proteins to it like egg or shrimp or chicken.
Steps to prepare:
- Slice a lot of fresh garlic. You can either thinly slice or finely chop.
- Fry the garlic chips or chopped garlic in oil. Here is a protip - for the best garlic flavor, drop the garlic while the oil is still cold, so the flavor starts to infuse slowly.
3. Add most of the green onions along with the garlic. Save some to garnish at the end.
4. Don't fry the green onions for too long. You can also add shallots if you like.
5. Add assorted veggies. I used frozen veggies, you can use fresh veggies too.
6. Add soy sauce. I kept it very simple with just soy sauce, but you can add white vinegar too and chili sauce for some heat.
7. Add the cold rice and toss it around to mix everything.
8. Freshly cracked black pepper at the end adds a lovely pungent flavor and heat to the fried rice.
9. Scatter extra garlic chips, few green onions and serve.
Variations you can add:
You can toss some air fried tofu and veggies at the end to make it more filling. The dish goes very with shrimp or any other choice of protein.
I kept this dish very mildly spiced, but you can add more heat by adding your choice of spicy sauce. For extra heat, try Bird’s Eye Chili Hot Sauce or mild but super flavorful, drizzle some Chili Oil on top.
Add more vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and edamame.
No matter what variations you add, the only point to keep in mind when cooking fried rice, is to always use cooked cold white rice. If you don't have left over rice, make fresh rice and then layer it on a plate and keep in the refrigerator to cool down completely.
Although the dish says burnt garlic, what it typically means is cooking the garlic a tad bit longer for extra flavor. You make it crispy brown instead of burning it to black.
Always use fresh garlic cloves and add in the oil while it's still cold. As the oil heats up, the garlic will start to release aroma and slowly change to brown color. This ensures maximum garlic flavor is infused.
Non-sticky rice works best for fluffy fried rice texture. Long grain rice gives a more beautiful overall look and that is typically used in India. But you can use short grains too.
The difference is mostly in seasoning that goes in. In authentic Chinese fried rice, you will get flavor of oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil. Whereas in Indo Chinese version, soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce and sometimes ajinomoto is added.
Other rice dishes you can try:
Burnt Garlic Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked cold rice
- 1 cup chopped assorted veggies (fresh or frozen)
- 10 cloves garlic (thinly sliced or chopped)
- 1 bunch green onion (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- freshly cracked black pepper
- In a wok pour the oil and while the oil is still cold add the chopped garlic. As the oil heats up, the garlic will start to infuse the oil and start to get golden. Once done, take off some of the garlic chips to add as garnish.
- Immediately add the green onion and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the assorted veggies and toss it around. Add soy sauce, salt, sugar and cook for a few minutes. Depending on the size of the veggies and the quantity, it might take more or less time.
- Finally, add the rice and mix it around to incorporate everything. Toss it around for a couple minute.
- Add freshly cracked black pepper, taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Garnish with extra garlic chips and more green onion.