Behind The Butter/ Ethnic Food/ Recipes

Almost Perfect Vegetable Fried Rice

When I was growing up, my favorite “treat” was to drive 45 minutes to the next town over to have dinner at Benihana.

Anyone been to a Benihana? Hand raises high! I love that place.

But what I even loved more than their stacked onion volcanoes and juggling tricks, was their fried rice! It was perfect—loaded with vegetables and fried egg and seasoned with the perfect amount of soy sauce and sesame oil. I always took extras home with me to take to school the next day for lunch. Countless times I’ve tried to recreate such a masterpiece, but time and time again, I’ve fallen short. Too greasy, too dry…not enough sesame or fluffy fried egg strands.

But this, my friends, is almost perfection. I say “almost” because no matter how hard I try, I can never capture the Benihana rice spot on. But it’s a noble try.

I used a combination of coconut and sesame oil, along with plenty of carrots, shelled edamame and sliced green onions for flavor. You could definitely add chicken to this, but I think I like it this way best. Anytime I can get out of handling raw chicken, I do. Unless it’s going straight into this, that is.

Whatever the question is, pot pie is always the answer.

Almost Perfect Vegetable Fried Rice

serves 2

Print this recipe!


1/2 cup short-grained brown rice

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup sliced baby carrots

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup shelled (and steamed) edamame

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp tamari (soy sauce)

1 egg


Bring water to a boil on the stove. Add rice and pinch of salt then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. When done, take rice off the heat, remove top and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

In a large skillet (or even better…a wok!), heat the sesame oil and coconut oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the sliced baby carrots and edamame. Stir-fry for about five minutes, or until carrots have started to become a little tender but are still crisp at the same time. Crack the egg into the pan and fry with the veggies.

Add the rice, soy sauce and green onions and toss to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Drizzle in the sesame oil and serve.


20 minutes



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  • Kathryn
    September 28, 2011 at 4:29 am

    The colours of your rice are so much more vibrant than vegetable fried rice usually looks – you definitely can’t beat home made!

  • Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
    September 28, 2011 at 4:36 am

    I just made fried rice with my boyfriend last night– next time I’m going to persuade him to make brown rice all around πŸ˜€

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    September 28, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I think your fried rice looks amazing and Benihana is over-rated. Who needs shrimp flying through the air anyway πŸ™‚

  • Blog is the New Black
    September 28, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I LOVE veggie fried rice. It’s pretty much the only time I ever want rice! This looks I(almost) perfect!

  • Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray
    September 28, 2011 at 4:45 am

    This looks delicious. I love the addition of edamame.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    September 28, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I think the flare is the magic trick to make it taste so good. Maybe?…Let’s pretend it is.

  • Faith @ For the Health of It
    September 28, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I don’t remember the last time I had good fried rice. Most of the time I order noodles, but when you get GOOD fried rice, it’s all you want for the next couple days. I could go for a huge bowl of this right now!

  • Sarah W
    September 28, 2011 at 4:50 am

    As a fellow Benihana connisour, no wonder you haven’t been able to replicate the flavors…they use a seasoned garlic BUTTER of sorts. I’m sure youve watched them add that generous dollop of BUTTER to the mix!! Good effort with the mixture of oils though!!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    September 28, 2011 at 4:52 am

    This sounds great for the weather right now — chilly and rainy. Nothing like some Asian-style comfort food.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 28, 2011 at 4:57 am

    definitely a noble try and even if you come close it counts for me!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    September 28, 2011 at 5:00 am

    So colourful! This looks hearty and delicious girl πŸ™‚

  • Khushboo
    September 28, 2011 at 5:00 am

    I am not sure if it’s the same franchise but I LOVE Benihana in London! I recently that the secret to perfect egg-fried rice is sesame oil…life-changing!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    September 28, 2011 at 5:06 am

    What a great idea to put edamame in it! I love fried rice, particularly the eggy bits. Great re-creation Jenna!

  • katie @KatieDid
    September 28, 2011 at 5:09 am

    I love the table you have as the backdrop in your photos! The blue chipping paint is really rustic and gorgeous. And YES I’ve been to benihana last year on spring break in Florida! Hibachi is always such a fun time!

  • jenna
    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 am

    i lovvvvvveeee fried rice!!! this sounds amazing with the combination of coconut and sesame oils! yum!

  • Jenn from Much to My Delight
    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 am

    I agree! Benihana fried rice trumps all the other stuff there. There’s a Benihana fried rice recipe floating around on Pinterest–just pinned it yesterday. I hate to tell you this cause it’s so wrong (but oh so right), but the “secret” ingredient is about a half stick of butter. Also, I’ve found that fried rice works best when you use cold refrigerated rice rather than hot out of the pot.

    • Heather
      September 28, 2011 at 6:21 am

      I was about to say the same thing – butter!! Plus, there’s a general amount of sake too.

  • Jennifer
    September 28, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Perfect timing on this recipe. I just was looking up good dinner meals with fried rice in it last night!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    September 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

    This looks so yummy. I love one-pot dishes πŸ˜‰

  • Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy
    September 28, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I love Benihana and I do agree with you they have some of the best fried rice! This rice you made looks amazing!

  • Amanda at the red table
    September 28, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Looks fantastic. I LOVE fried rice. Never thought about putting edamame in there though!

    Photography question: I love the wood thing you have goign on in your last several posts. Is that just an old piece of (formerly) blue painted wood?

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg
    September 28, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I love fried rice but it never tastes as good as it does in restaurants — I’m sure they add a ton of oil or butter to get that really good flavor.

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    September 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I love the colors and using edamame was so creative! I love making fried rice (the best batches are made from left-over rice!!).

  • Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance
    September 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Benihana’s fried rice is seriously delicious. I always attributed it to that glob of unknown tan stuff they throw in. I still haven’t figured out what it is!

  • Cait's Plate
    September 28, 2011 at 6:20 am

    There doesn’t seem to be anything “almost” about this dish. It looks pretty darn perfect to me! Love the edamame addition – is that standard? Either way, brilliant.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    September 28, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I love Benihana!! My grandparents always take me there for my birthday!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    September 28, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I had never even heard of Benihana until a recent trip to California for work. Apparently, I’m missing out, huh?

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    September 28, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Gahhh, I love fried rice, and Benihana’s! I’m definitely flagging this recipe because try as I might, I too have been unable to recreate the delicious flavor captured in the restaurant.

  • Steph
    September 28, 2011 at 6:58 am

    looks great. We did one w quiona and added celery as an additional filler. πŸ™‚ it wasn’t truly the same but still tasted great. We cooked the quiona in vegetable broth

  • Lori
    September 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Looks delicious… that a baby blue speckled placemat that you are displaying your meals on?

  • Shannon @ Her dog Blog
    September 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Looks delish! Dare I say I might try this next week!

  • Leah
    September 28, 2011 at 7:21 am

    This looks delicious! Another trick to make your fried rice amazing is to use day-old rice or cook the rice in a bit less water so it’s drier. It gives it a bit better texture.

  • Kelsey @ aslolife
    September 28, 2011 at 7:23 am

    yum–love the edamame!

  • Kelly
    September 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

    This looks so delicious, what a great recipe!! πŸ™‚

  • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso
    September 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Fried rice will forever remind me of my college roommates who used to come home after a night of going out and make fried rice, EVERY TIME. Something tells me they might enjoy this recipe!

  • Lauren from Lauren's Latest
    September 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I’ve never been to Benihana, but have heard lots of great things! Now, I have to scout one out and try their fried rice!

  • Leslie Means Her View From Home
    September 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I just love the background you are using to take these pics! You make rice looks gorgeous!

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    September 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

    This looks delicious—I like the idea of coconut oil. Will have to try! πŸ™‚

  • Marguerite Miller
    September 28, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I have never been to an actual Benihana…but I LOVE hibachi restaurants! And yes, the rice is amazing! I can’t wait to try this! I will have to pick up those oils!

  • d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo
    September 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Looks delicious! I love the idea of adding edamame! I make a similar veggie fried rice and I always just add in whatever veggies are around the house! Must*must*must use day-old-brown rice!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    September 28, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Yum. I love fried rice but never can make it as tasty as it is in a restaurant. I think it’s because I always skimp on the oil.

    BTW, I’m loving the weathered wooden board you’ve been using as a photo background lately.

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb
    September 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

    my husband is going to go gah-gah over this recipe. i love, jenna, how you make seemingly complex and “restaurant-only” recipes accessible to us novice chefs πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    September 28, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I love making homemade fried rice! I was a little intimidated at first, but now I’ve got it down to an art πŸ™‚

  • Lara @ TresLaLa
    September 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Aaahhhh!!! I love Japanese steakhouses! We used to go to celebrate a good report card! Good times. And yes, those are the only places that I’ll eat fried rice. Which is weird, because I usually don’t like seeing the amount of butter / oil, etc. that goes into my food… (If you don’t see it, it didn’t happen.)

  • Moni'sMeals
    September 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I would take this over Benihana and Pf Changs.

    Great recipe. πŸ™‚

  • Shane
    September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am

    This is such funny timing b/c I went to Gasho last Saturday, which is owned by Benihana’s and I LOVED IT. The rice and the soup were my favorite parts of the meal (maybe you can try and mimic the soup too?). I’m going to try and make this soon!

    • Jen
      September 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      I grew up near a Gasho in NY! Loved loved loved!
      (Though I don’t think it is owned by Benihana)…I like Gasho better anyway!

  • Katie
    September 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    The secret to really great fried rice is day old rice. If you can, plan ahead and make rice the day before, it’s how all the Chinese food restaurants do it. Maybe that will help you achieve perfect fried rice πŸ˜‰

    • Lisa
      September 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      I agree!

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    September 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    OMG! Benihana. I loooved that place. Those dipping sauces were amazing.

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition
    September 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

    This looks amazing. I love fried rice, it can be a whole meal!

  • stevie
    September 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I’m confused about the time when you said it takes 20 minutes? But it takes 30 minutes alone to boil the rice.

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian)
    September 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Love Benihana’s! The rice is amazing. Can’t wait to try this one out. It looks so good and I love how there is edaname in it!

  • Corey @ Learning Patience
    September 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve had 2 horrible fried rice experiences with fried rice and one good one. I think I will give another go with this recipe. My husband loves fried rice!

    THANKS… xoxo from Houston

  • sally kate
    September 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    don’t they use garlic butter at benihanas? their fried rice is almost even better the next day!!

  • Clara
    September 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Hey Jenna!

    I’m Asian and the trick to perfect fried rice my mum and grandmother and all the chinese restaurants do is to use leftover rice because that way the rice doesn’t break up quite as much when you fry it (:

    Love your blog! xo

  • Aimee
    September 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve never been to Benihana so this was perfect to me. My husband and I really enjoyed it. I will be making it again…soon! Thanks.

  • Lily
    September 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Jenna!
    I remember craving Benihanna and having to make the long haul through ft. pierce from Vero with my friends. It was always worth it, such a show. Now in Vero there is a hibachi type place but it really doesn’t compare. Your fried rice looks great.


  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)
    September 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    My family loves Benihana. We go there usually when we are celebrating birthdays!

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  • Lara @TresLaLa to TinyLaLa
    September 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I made this tonight! Well, you were my inspiration, but I didn’t follow your recipe. Just a boatload of veg, brown rice, and 2 eggs. But, I suppose I should have read your instructions a bit closer – I added the egg after I’d added the rice. No biggie, but it was definitely not your normal eggy fried-rice… Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

  • jenna k
    September 29, 2011 at 12:34 am

    this was the perfect thing for me to read last night towards the end of my class! i was pondering what to have for dinner, and just happened to have some cooked rice in the fridge along with frozen veggies. making fried rice carried me through junior year, so thanks for the reminder of how wonderful it is!!

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  • Katrina
    September 29, 2011 at 5:05 am

    This sounds lovely!

  • Liz
    September 29, 2011 at 7:09 am

    That looks delicious! And it looks like you made it with my favorite rice – Lundberg short grain brown πŸ™‚

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  • Dee
    September 29, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Oh, I love Benihanas. LOVE. I swear we have all of our big ticket celebrations there. I don’t know whether to be proud of that or not. Scratch that, I’ll take the proud. πŸ™‚

    Your version looks super yum too!

  • Jen
    September 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I TOTALLY started making fried rice because I loved the fried rice at Benihana, (and our local hibachi join growing up, Gasho).
    I make it all kinds of non-healthy though—and it is pretty close!
    egg, rice, peas, corn, butter, sesame seeds, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce

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    October 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Absolutely love fried rice! As someone who’s Chinese and whose parents own a Chinese restaurant, I grew up eating plenty of it. Fave is bbq pork. Definitely try making fried rice with day-old rice. It creates the perfect fried rice texture, not soggy, perfectly chewy. πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca
    October 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Try some rice wine vinegar in that recipe and it might do the trick.

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  • Fiona
    October 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Jenna, I LOVE this fried rice. I’ve made it at least once or twice a week, not including the times that I eat the leftovers. It’s so easy, yummy, and healthy. I haven’t been able to find coconut oil (I live abroad), but based on people’s comments about how Benihana uses butter and garlic, I add a garlic and a smidge of butter instead. Thanks for the great recipe! I too will do almost anything to avoid dealing with raw chicken, and this is still so delicious and substantial without it!

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