Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of those dishes that tastes wonderful and can be a vehicle for many different ingredients. It is a common dish in Asia because it is so versatile, inexpensive, and delicious. It is a great way to use up leftovers or vegetables that are starting to get a little old. We went pretty traditional as we had leftover basmati rice, a whole cooked chicken, and carrots that needed to be eaten. The sesame oil and soy sauce provide the flavor and frying the rice gives a nice mix of textures. Because it is a simple dish to make, it is a great weeknight meal or it can also be used as a side dish if you prefer. We only used two eggs, but the next time we make it, we’ll probably do three eggs instead. It was truly delicious.

Carrots, Celery, and Scallions


  •  2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  •  5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  •  1 tbsp Fresh Ginger – grated
  •  3 cups Basmati Rice – cooked and dry
  •  1 cup Cooked Chicken – cut into bite-size pieces
  •  1 cup Carrots – diced
  •  1/2 cup Celery – diced
  •  3 Scallions – white and light green parts chopped, the green part cut thinly on a bias to use as garnish
  •  2 cloves Garlic – minced
  •  2 Large Eggs
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
Sauté the Vegetables, Ginger, and Garlic
Frying the Rice


Whisk the eggs and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots to skillet and simmer until slightly softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, and ginger and continue simmering for another 3 to 4 minutes, being sure not to let the garlic burn. Add the rice as well as the white and light green parts of the scallion to the skillet. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stirring to coat the rice. Using a spatula, gently press the rice mixture down against the bottom of the skillet. Fry until the rice on the bottom begins to crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat the chicken. Add the eggs and continue to stir the rice mixture until the eggs are set, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish or to individual plates and sprinkle the green scallion over top.

Adding the Chicken
Stir in the Eggs
Chicken Fired Rice



The Food of Hanoi, Vietnam

During our trip to Vietnam, we enjoyed a variety of wonderful meals with different types of food. There were plenty of seafood, pork, and beef dishes, including Bún Chả and Phở. We also had the opportunity to take a local cooking class, which was one of our favorite memories of our time in Hanoi. In addition to eating at several restaurants in Hanoi, we also took several day trips that allowed us to taste food from the countryside as well.

Fried Spring Rolls
Grilled Mekong Catfish
Beef, Eggs, and Bok Choy
Bún Chả

Bún Chả is a traditional Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi and is made with grilled pork and noodles with a dipping sauce. It is usually served with condiment bowls of minced garlic and sliced hot peppers that can be added to your individual taste. Fried spring rolls are also commonly served with Bún chả. We definitely enjoyed eating Bún Chả and even visited the Bun Cha Ta restaurant twice during our stay in Hanoi. Bún Chả was also one of the items that we learned to make during our cooking class and we’ll definitely be making it for ourselves at home.

Spicy Peppers
Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauce
Steamed Shrimp

Phở is a Vietnamese soup that is usually made of beef, broth, herbs and noodles, but it can be made with chicken or pork as well. Unlike Bún Chả where you don’t drink the broth, Phở is a soup and you eat the meat and noodles with chopsticks and use a spoon to eat the broth. Once again you can add hot peppers to your Phở in order to make it spicier, but add them slowly as they are very spicy. Our hotel recommended that Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su, which is in the old quarter near way were staying and based on the lines, it is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.

Egg Coffee
Fried Fish and Vegetables
This was Just for the Two of Us
Goat Stew

Egg Coffee is another traditional Vietnamese item and something that we had a couple of times and also made during our cooking class. It is coffee that is made with egg yokes and condensed milk, which makes it rich and sweet. We also ate seafood at a restaurant on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake as well as during our overnight cruise on Halong Bay. During our tour to Ninh Binh, we were treated to a meal with fried spring rolls and a stew made with goat, potatoes, and carrots. Goat was a traditional dish for the Ninh Binh Province. During our tour of Perfume Pagoda, we were treated to an overwhelming array of local dishes that included beef, pork, chicken, and vegetables.

Steamed Crab in the Shells
Beef Stir Fry
Squid with Celery and Leeks
Cooked Banana with Chocolate and Coconut

Obviously there are plenty of restaurants featuring western food, but we only ate at restaurants featuring local cuisine. Our chopstick skills definitely improved during our time in Vietnam as well since they were often the only utensils offered. We certainly enjoyed trying as much of the famous street food of Hanoi and the surrounding area as possible. We are definitely looking forward to recreating as many of the meals as we can in the upcoming months.

Taking a Cooking Class in Hanoi, Vietnam

One of our favorite memories of our recent trip to Vietnam was taking a cooking class in Hanoi. This was a true cooking class, not a demonstration, where we purchased the food from a local market, prepped all of the ingredients, and did the cooking ourselves with our chef’s instruction. There were only five of us in the class, making it very intimate and interactive. We created a four course meal, which we enjoyed eating family-style after cooking everything.

Cooking Pork Meatballs and Barbequed Pork
Ingredients for the Spring Rolls
Each Cooking Station
Setting the Table
Banana Flower Salad

After buying our ingredients, we went to a local house to prepare our meal. Our dinner included Banana Flower Salad (Nộm Hoa Chuối), which we made from banana leaves, a variety of vegetables, and sautéed beef. Our entrée was Vietnamese Grilled Pork With Rice Vermicelli Noodles (Bún Chả), which originated in Hanoi is a famous dish in the region. We made it with both pork meatballs as well as barbequed pork. To accompany the Bún Chả, we made Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls (Nem Rán), which are often served as an appetizer as well. For our dessert, we made Vietnamese Egg Coffee (Café Trứng), which is rich and delicious and is made with egg and condensed milk.

Frying the Spring Rolls
Making Egg Coffee
Ingredients for the Pork Meatballs
Finishing the Banana Flower Salad
Spring Rolls Before Frying Them

It took about five hours to do our shopping, prepping, and cooking, so we were quite hungry by the time our meal was actually ready. The class is offered in both the morning to create lunch or in the afternoon to create dinner, but we chose to do the dinner class and were glad that we did. Our chef was extremely knowledgeable and shared stories with us while we prepared our meal. It is an experience that we would highly recommend to anyone who visits Hanoi. After completing the class, the chef sent us all of the recipes that we made as well as others, which we are looking forward to cooking and sharing in the near future.

Whisking the Egg and Condensed Milk for the Egg Coffee
Meatballs Ready for the Grill
The House Where We Cooked
Vegetables for the Banana Salad
The Room Where We Prepared the Meal
Soaking the Banana Leaves