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Japanese Fried Yakimeshi Rice: Reduce Waste & Use Leftover Rice!

Posted on the 24 March 2021 by Sp00kje

Many of us have eaten fried rice. But Yakimesi fried rice? If you haven’t traveled to Japan, you may not even know what this is.

Yakimeshi fried rice is the Japanese version of fried rice. It translates as pan-fried rice.

It is made with short-grain rice, seasoned meat, and egg. While many professional chefs prepare the dish in a teppan, it can also be made in a frying pan at home.

Yakimeshi fried leftover rice

If you are thinking of cooking up some yakimeshi fried rice for your guests, this article will give you some great recipe ideas. I’ll also dive into pairing suggestions to make a complete meal with yakimeshi.

For a bit of background, I’ll explain the origins of yakemeshi fried rice, and how it differs from other Asian fried rice recipes.

Let’s start with a basic, but delicious, Yakemeshi fried rice recipe!

Yakimeshi fried leftover rice Print

Yakemeshi fried rice recipe

Now, here is a simple recipe for making Yakemeshi fried rice. Course Side DishCuisine JapaneseKeyword Fried rice Prep Time 2 minutesCook Time 5 minutes Servings 2 Author Joost Nusselder Cost $5


  • 325 g cooked short grain rice stale will work best
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 70 g. ham
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 scallions chopped


  • Crumble rice with your hands.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil and tilt pan to ensure it’s coated.
  • Add egg. Allow to bloom, then scramble.
  • Add crumbled rice to the egg before it becomes cooked. Use a spatula to break up any clumps.
  • Add ham tossing to distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss rice to make sure seasonings are distributed and to keep it from sticking.
  • Drizzle soy sauce on the edge of the pan and toss the rice to ensure it’s coated.
  • Add sesame and scallions. Toss to combine.
  • Press rice into a bowl to mold it. Release from bowl and serve.


  • To give this recipe a protein boost, add an extra egg.
  • Putting the rice in the egg beforehand will coat the rice making it less sticky and easier to work with.
  • The soy sauce is put on the edge of the pan as this caramelizes the sauce instantly.
  • Two spatulas can be used to mix the ingredients but tossing them in the pan is a more efficient way to cook.
  • Scallions and sesame oil are great for adding color and flavor.
  • Variations include adding curry powder to make curry fried rice. You can also add chicken instead of ham and season it with ketchup.
Yakimeshi fried leftover rice Print

Japanese garlic yakimeshi recipe

Here’s another version of the recipe. This one has a garlicky, buttery twist. Course Side DishCuisine JapaneseKeyword Fried rice Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutesCook Time 30 minutes Servings 2 Author Joost Nusselder Cost $5


  • 2 rice cooker cups uncooked short grain rice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 stalks parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  • Cook rice using your preferred method. Set aside for about an hour to remove the moisture.
  • Cut half of your garlic cloves into thin white round slices. Mince the remaining half.
  • Remove parsley leaves from stems and mince.
  • Add olive oil to pan and heat on medium high. Fry garlic slices until golden brown. Do not add garlic slices when oil is hot or they will burn. Rather, let the garlic and oil heat together.
  • Add minced garlic and heat until golden brown.
  • Add butter swirling it around so it coats the pan. Then add warm steamed rice.
  • Break up the rice to separate. Once it is coated in garlic, add soy sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.
  • Add the chopped parsley and mix.
  • Serve by putting the rice in a rice bowl pressing to make sure it is packed. Invert the bowl and serve in a domed shape.


  • Unlike the other recipe, this one does not recommend using stale rice. In fact, it recommends adding rice to the recipe warm. That’s because if the rice is added cold, it would take too long to heat up and the garlic might burn.
  • Like most Japanese garlic recipes, this recipe does not require an excessive amount of garlic. If you want to add more for a stronger taste, that’s perfectly acceptable.
  • You can substitute the rice for a lower-calorie alternative if desired.
  • You can substitute parsley with scallions.
  • You can add an egg to the dish but if you are serving it as a side dish, it’s best to keep it simple.

Also read: Rice to water ratio in a rice cooker | White, Jasmine, Basmati

What can you pair with yakemeshi fried rice?

Yakemeshi fried rice goes well with protein dishes including red meat, white meat, and seafood.

Here are some suggestions that may inspire you to make a complete meal:

  • Shrimp skewers: Shell shrimp and put it on the skewer. Add salt and pepper seasoning and grill to make a healthy and delicious meal.
  • Japanese hamburger steak: This is a steak made from ground beef. It is typically served with rice instead of buns.
  • Japanese chicken curry: Recipes can vary but a Japanese chicken curry typically features chicken, carrots, and potatoes cooked in a thick curry sauce. It tastes great served over rice.
  • Keema Curry: This type of curry originated in India but it has become popular in Japan. It is made with ground meat and mixed vegetables.
  • Loco Moco: This classic Hawaiian dish features hamburger steak, fried egg, and smooth mushroom curry.
  • Omurice: This variation on the dish wraps the rice in a thin omelet.
  • Pressure cooker Japanese seafood curry: Seafood curry is full of tasty seafood and flavorings including squid, shrimp, kombu dashi, scallops, and spices.
  • Seafood gratin: This seafood and cheese dish will taste delicious over your Yakemeshi fried rice.
  • Sous Vide Japanese style steak: This medium rare steak is typically prepared with scallions, grated daikon, and ponzu sauce.
  • White stew: White stew consists of chicken and vegetables served in a creamy sauce. Yakemeshi fried rice makes a great base for the dish.

Yakemeshi fried rice origins

It is believed that yakemeshi originated in the 1860s and was first prepared by Chinese immigrants living in the port of Kobe.

It went on to become a staple dish in many Japanese households.

How does Yakemeshi different from other Asian fried rice recipes?

Yakemeshi also goes by the name Chahan. Though many people think these are two different dishes, they are actually the same. Chahan is simply a variation on the Chinese name for fried rice, chaofan.

As compared to other rice dishes, the biggest difference that you will find with Yakemeshi rice is that it’s made with short-grain rice as opposed to long grain.

Long grain is commonly used in fried rice dishes because it has a high amylose to amylopectin ratio. This formula keeps the rice from sticking together when it’s stir fried.

Even though the short-grained rice means Yakimeshi is harder to make, it has a chewy texture that makes it delicious.

However, because the rice is hard to work with, it’s best to use leftovers, or at least a rice that’s been cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days.

Leaving it in the refrigerator makes the rice become dry, brittle, and easier to manage. Once the rice is heated, the soft, sticky texture returns.

Now you have everything you need to make a delicious Yakemeshi fried rice dish. How will you be preparing it in your kitchen?

Read next: how about a great Teppanyaki Fried Rice Recipe in 11 simple steps?

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