Fried rice is a dish of steamed rice stir-fried in a wok, often mixed with other ingredients, such as eggs, vegetables, and meat. It is sometimes served as the penultimate dish in Chinese banquets, just before dessert. As a homemade dish, fried rice is typically made with leftover ingredients (including vegetables and/or meat) from other dishes, leading to countless variations.
Many popular varieties of fried rice have their own specific list of ingredients. In Asia, the more famous varieties include Yangzhou and Fujian fried rice. Elsewhere, most restaurants catering to vegetarian or Muslim clientele have invented their own varieties of fried rice including egg fried rice and the Indonesian spicy nasi goreng (fried rice).
Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold in a street or other public place, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable food booth, food cart, or food truck. While some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. Most street foods are also classed as both finger food and fast food, and are cheaper on average than restaurant meals. According to a 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day.
Fried rice is a common staple in American Chinese cuisine, especially in the form sold as fast food. The most common form of American Chinese fried rice consists of some mixture of eggs, scallions, and vegetables, with chopped meat added at the customer’s discretion, and usually flavored with soy sauce instead of table salt (more typical for Chinese-style fried rice). Fried rice made in American Chinese restaurants can vary in appearance, from a dark brown appearance often seen in East Coast establishments, to a light brown appearance often seen in Midwestern American Chinese restaurants. Fried rice is also seen in other American restaurants, even in cuisines with no native tradition of the dish. The dish is also a staple of Chinese restaurants in the United Kingdom (both “sit-in” and “takeaway”), and is very popular in the West African nations of Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, both as restaurant and as street food.