This Quick and Easy Salmon Fried Rice Recipe is made with brown rice and fresh or frozen vegetables. This weeknight meal is great for when you are in a pinch and wondering what to do with leftover salmon.
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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.
If you have never had fried rice with fish, this may be a concept that will take getting used, too. I first fell in love with Crab Fried Rice (after the typical Shrimp Fried Rice of course). I have been hooked on the combo since!
If you are looking for cauliflower rice, check out my Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice recipe.
What Type of Rice to Use
I use brown rice in this recipe. I find that both long grain and medium grain work fine. Short grain will work, but it is more sticky. I use my Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe to cook the rice.
You can also use white rice if preferred.
Why You Should Use Day Old, Cold Rice?
You can use leftover refrigerated rice or you can cook your rice solely for this recipe and store it in the fridge the night before, which is what I do. You can even use frozen rice.
If you use fresh, warm rice in the dish, the rice will turn out sticky and soggy. Refrigerating it will dry out the grains and give it a nice texture. You can read more about Why Day Old Rice Makes the Best Rice here.
What Type of Salmon to Use
I use fresh, wild-caught salmon. Studies have shown that farm-raised typically has more contaminants. You can use canned salmon if you wish.
Can You Use Frozen Salmon
You can use frozen, as long as you cook it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees using a meat thermometer.
You will struggle with getting tender and flaky salmon if you cook from frozen. I recommend thawing it first. I thaw salmon by placing it in a tightly sealed bag and placing the bag in a large bowl with cold water. It will thaw in a couple of hours.
How to Make Salmon Fried Rice
- Slice your salmon into thick chunks.
- Heat a wok on medium-high heat and spray it with cooking oil.
- Add beaten eggs and scramble for 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add the salmon chunks and sear for 2-3 minutes total. Remove and set aside.
- Add sesame oil and vegetables. Saute for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic, cooked and cold rice, scrambled eggs, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Stir and cook the rice until firm.
Why is Fish Sauce Used?
Fish sauce is made from fermented fish, krill, or anchovies and is fermented for months up to 2 years. It has a salty, slightly sweet taste, and it does smell funky. It is widely used in Asian cuisine. If you dined in an Asian restaurant, you’ve likely consumed it. If you’ve visited one that is really authentic, I am sure you have smelled it.
What does fish sauce taste like? You only need a little bit of it when you use it. This recipe calls for a teaspoon. It’s salty. Do not taste it straight. It’s meant to be used in conjunction with food and other ingredients as an enhancement.
If you omit it in the recipe, the dish will have less flavor.
Do You Have to Use a Wok?
A wok is preferred over a typical frying pan because the typical frying pan is flat on the bottom. You have to make sure you don’t overload the pan. The low sides of a frying pan will make this very tricky.
A wok has a rounded bottom and is much larger. It concentrates heat much better than a frying pan. It cooks vegetables and meat faster and better accommodates all of the rice and vegetable ingredients.
You can use a frying pan, but you will likely have a harder time, trying to fit in all of the ingredients and manage cooking the dish at an even temperature. Consider cooking in batches.
What Goes Well With this Recipe/What to Serve
This dish will work well as main dish since it has protein, rice, and vegetables. Here are the vegetables you can add to the dish, add whatever you want.
- Snap Peas
- Green Onions
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
How Long Will the Dish Last in the Fridge
It will last in the refrigerator (tightly sealed) for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat the Rice
The best way to reheat fried rice is in a pan on the stove or using an air fryer. Drizzle a little bit of oil in the pan when you reheat it.
You can reheat it in the microwave, but the rice will likely soften some.
Freeze the fried rice in tightly sealed containers or bags for up to 3 months. For the best results, reheat in a pan on the stove or in the air fryer (350 degrees) both for 4-5 minutes. Use additional oil if necessary.
More Salmon and Seafood Recipes
Quick and Easy Salmon Fried Rice Recipe
- oil spray
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups cooked and cold brown rice I used long-grain. Use what you prefer. Use previously cooked and refrigerated cold rice. It works best for crisping.
- 12 oz salmon fillets Skin Removed, I use wild caught salmon
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning.
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 package Trader Joe's Asian Vegetable Stir Fry
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce Add more to taste if necessary.
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 5 green onions, chopped Seperate the white ends from the green pieces.
Stir Fry Veggies (if using your own and not Trader Joe's)
- 1 cup sliced or chopped onions
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
- 1 cup broccoli florets fresh or frozen
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- Slice and cut the salmon into large chunks about 1 1/2 inches each.
- Season the salmon with seafood seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Heat a wok or large skillet on medium high heat. Spray with cooking oil.
- Add the beaten eggs and scramble the eggs in the wok for 1-2 minutes. In a wok, things cook faster than in a frying pan. Be careful not to overcook the eggs. Remove the eggs and set aside.
- Add the seasoned salmon chunks to the wok on medium high heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes (flipping) and then remove the salmon and set aside. The salmon should cook fast. Be careful not to overcook it.
- Spray the wok or pan with additional cooking oil and add the sesame oil and the sliced veggies and white portions of the green onions on medium-high heat.
- Saute the veggies for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
- Add in the garlic and cooked brown rice and stir. Allow the rice to cook for about 3-5 minutes until the rice browns. If rice or veggies stick to the wok at any time, spray it with more oil.
- Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, cooked salmon, and cooked eggs, and stir. Allow the fried rice to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve topped with the remaining green onions.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- You can use frozen vegetables if you wish. Adjust the cook time as necessary and cook until the veggies are soft.
- If you use fresh, warm rice in the dish, the rice will turn out sticky and soggy. Use cold rice.
- Fish sauce is made from fermented fish, krill, or anchovies and is fermented for months up to 2 years. It has a salty, slightly sweet taste, and it does smell funky. If you omit it, the rice will lack in flavor.
- You should use a wok for this recipe. You can use a frying pan, but you will likely have a harder time, trying to fit in all of the ingredients and manage cooking the dish at an even temperature. Consider cooking in batches.
- Food will cook fast in a wok. Keep a close watch. Salmon is really easy to overcook. If the salmon starts to turn white on the outside, a white gunk of protein forms when it is being cooked too long. This will dry out the salmon.
- You can whatever rice you wish. Medium and Long gain typically works best, as short grain is softer and can clump.
- You will struggle with getting tender and flaky salmon if you use frozen salmon. I recommend thawing it first. I thaw salmon by placing it in a tightly sealed bag and placing the bag in a large bowl with cold water. It will thaw in a couple of hours.
- You can substitute shrimp or chicken if you wish. Shrimp will have a similar cook time. Chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.