Chilli Garlic Fried Rice – My Food Story

Spruce up LEFTOVER rice with this spicy and flavourful chilli garlic fried rice! Made with fresh, everyday ingredients and surprisingly easy to put together, this one’s garlicky, spicy and a flavour bomb!

Picture of chilli garlic fried rice served on a white and blue plate

When it comes to making Indo-Chinese food at home, that authentic restaurant-style flavour is non-negotiable for me. I need everything to be just perfect – the texture of the rice, the flavours and obviously that typical hint of smokiness that’s so authentic to takeaway Chinese. And I am very happy to tell you that this chilli garlic fried rice is all of those things and more! It is spicy, it is garlicky, packs in a tonne of veggies, comes together in a jiffy and is a total flavour bomb! This one right here is a complete package!  

What I love the most about this spicy fried rice recipe is how delicious it turns out to be, despite using simple everyday ingredients. Every garlic lover’s ultimate dream, this spicy fried rice recipe is definitely one of my go-tos.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this scrumptious chilli garlic fried rice at home: 

Picture of all the ingredients for chilli garlic fried rice with text to identify them
  • Dry red chillies: Soaked in hot water and ground with garlic to form a coarse paste. This paste forms the base of the recipe and lends the whole dish its distinctive spicy and garlicky flavour. 
  • Aromatics: This recipe uses lots of finely chopped garlic, ginger and onions. 
  • Oil: You can use any neutral-flavoured oil with a high smoke point such as peanut, canola and sunflower for this recipe. 
  • Veggies: I have used finely chopped beans, carrots and red and yellow capsicum; you can use anything available to you. Other commonly added veggies to this garlic fried rice recipe are broccoli, corn, cabbage and peas. 
  • Rice: I prefer to use the short-grain variety of Jeera Samba, but you can use Basmati or any other variety available to you. 
  • Soy sauce: For saltiness and umami. Responsible for that distinctive Indo-Chinese flavour. 
  • White pepper: For a dash of heat. 
  • Sugar: Balances out the flavours of the whole dish as well as helps the veggies retain their colour. A little goes a long way.  
  • Spring onion greens: Used as a garnish to add a dash of freshness. 

How to make Chilli Garlic Fried Rice

Here’s a quick step by step to show you how to make this recipe:

Step by step picture collage showing how to make chilli garlic fried rice

1. Soak whole dried red chillies in hot water for 10 minutes

2. Drain and Blend soaked red chillies and garlic with a little soaking water

3. The blended paste should be slightly coarse in texture

4. Saute the paste in hot oil in a wok for 2-3 minutes

Step by step picture collage showing how to make chilli garlic fried rice

5. Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions and saute in the chilli garlic paste for two more minutes

6. Add beans, carrots and bell peppers and saute for 1-2 minutes on high heat

7. Add cooked rice, white pepper, soy sauce and vinegar

8. Toss well for 2-3 minutes on really high heat and top with spring onions before serving

Chilli Garlic Paste

This is a two ingredient paste made with soaked whole dried red chillies and garlic cloves, blended to a coarse texture. It’s the key to that reddish colour, smoky, spicy, garlicky flavour. If you don’t want to make this, pick up a jar of schezwan sauce or chutney at the store and use that instead.

This spicy, chilli garlic fried rice has been a total favourite of anyone who’s ever tried it! While this dish tastes lovely on its own, you can serve it with my easy Chinese Chilli Chicken Dry, Szechuan Chicken, Veg Manchurian or this Street style Chilli Paneer. Oh and don’t forget to make extras, because this one disappears pretty fast!

Watch the Recipe Video

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Picture of chilli garlic fried rice served on a white and blue plate

Chilli Garlic Fried Rice

The best way to turn leftover rice into something special. Key is the chilli garlic paste that’s made from scratch – very low effort but it really adds smokiness and that distinct spicy, chilli flavour to the fried rice.


Course: Side Dishes

Cuisine: Indian Chinese

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 220kcal



  • Wash and rinse the rice at least three times with room temperature water to remove any excess starch. Drain the water and keep aside.

  • Heat water in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Ensure that there is enough water to submerge the rice fully.

  • Once the water is boiling, add the washed rice. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes till rice is 95% cooked.

  • Once cooked, turn off the heat, drain the rice into a strainer and tap a few times to strain well.

  • Transfer onto a tray and spread it out using the back of a spoon. Allow all the extra moisture to evaporate and bring the rice down to room temperature.

Chilli Garlic Paste

  • Soak dry red chillies in hot water for about 10 minutes. They need to be soft enough to grind.

  • Drain the water and grind the chillies with garlic to a fine paste adding little water if necessary.

Stir Fry

  • Heat oil in a wok and add the chilli garlic paste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions. Saute for a minute and add the beans, carrot, capsicum and continue to stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

  • Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and white pepper. Saute on high heat for 2 minutes till everything is combined and tossed well

  • Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.



  • If using leftover rice from the previous day, skip all the steps to cook the rice and jump straight to making the chilli garlic paste.
  • When making any type of fried rice, cold rice works the best. I usually prefer to use rice from the previous day for the best texture. But if you don’t have leftover rice, cook your rice until about 80% done, transfer it to a tray and allow it to cool completely for a couple hours before making fried rice. This gets rid of any extra moisture in the rice and prevents it from becoming gluggy and sticky.
  • Allow the rice to soak for about 20-30 minutes before cooking. This helps in getting rid of all the excess starch and prevents your rice from becoming mushy after getting cooked. 
  • In order to achieve that authentic Indo-Chinese smokey flavour, I would highly recommend using a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or wok. In case you don’t have one, you can use a non-stick pan too. 
  • Once you start cooking, things will move really quickly and you won’t have time to chop or grab things. So make sure to keep everything prepped and ready before turning on the heat. 
  • It is best to cook this entire dish on high heat to make sure the veggies still retain their crunch when you serve it.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 475mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1260IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

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