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Healthy Fried Rice

Who doesn’t love takeaways? And even better when you can enjoy them more often by making healthier versions at home. By adding extra veggies, choosing lean protein sources, and using less salt and oil, it is possible to recreate your favourites!


2 cups rice, cooked; ideally leftover from the previous night

3 eggs, beaten + pinch of salt

1 small onion

120g frozen cooked prawns; run in cold water to help defrost

2 cups mixed frozen vegetables; can defrost in microwave 

Extra vegetables like diced celery, capsicum or cucumber 

Spring onions and/or chilli flakes for garnish

1 tsp salt 

Vegetable oil

Soy sauce


  1. Heat a glug of oil in a non-stick pan, and scramble the eggs. 
  2. Transfer to a bowl, then heat more oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Fry off onion, then add and prawns. Some water will be released as this cooks, so keep stir frying until this water is mostly gone. Season the vegetables. 
  3. Add the rice, and start stir frying around to get rid of the clumps. You must be quick in this step, because the rice sticks easily to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down a little if the rice browns too quickly. Taste and season again, this time with soy sauce which also gives it colour. 
  4. Add the egg back in, and give it a final stir fry around. 
  5. Garnish with spring onions if you wish, or a sprinkle of chilli flakes for some heat. 

Key points

  • Using leftover rice is the best! I used a combination of brown and white rice. Two cups cooked rice = 2/3 cup uncooked. 
  • Frozen prawns are super convenient to have on hand in the freezer – it is a good source of protein, and low in saturated fat. 
  • For a vegetarian version, use cubed tofu; can also use edamame for extra protein. 
  • Try to use at least equal amounts of vegetables to rice! This helps make this a nutritious meal, that helps meet your 5+ A Day of vegetables! 
  • Frozen vegetables are another staple in my household; they are affordable, last ages so you don’t have to worry about them going off, and versatile. I love using a combination of fresh and frozen in my meals, which keeps the cost down. Also, frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones! 
About the author

Kathy Xu

Kathy is a qualified nutritionist and soon-to-be dietitian, who just finished her Master’s degree at the University of Otago. She chose this career path because she loves talking about food – from the science behind nutrition to new recipes and even the more boring details of your grocery shop!

Kathy’s goal is to make evidence-based suggestions to help individuals find what ‘healthy’ looks like to them. Her Instagram page (@balanceyourplate) aims to show people that eating well can be simple, affordable and delicious.



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