Japanese Chicken Fried Rice (Chicken-rice, チキンライス)

“Japanese Chicken Fried Rice” is generally ketchup-seasoned rice and different from Hainanese Chicken Rice. It contains chicken, onions, and other vegetables.
It has been a very familiar dish to people in Japan that can be eaten both at home and in restaurants since childhood.

Level: Easy Yield: 2 servings
Prep time:10 minutes Cook time:15 minutes


  • 14 ounces (400 g) steamed short-grain Japanese rice
  • 5 ounces (150 g) boneless thigh, diced into 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) cubes
  • 1/2 onion (4 ounces or 120 g), roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoon canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (1/3 ounce or 10 g) salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper

To serve

  • Fresh or dried parsley


  1. Prepare the chicken and rice: Chop the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the chicken and stir to combine. Set the chicken aside for about 10 minutes.

    Spread hot cooked rice on a platter and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. Cook the chicken and onions: In a large frying pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onions and cook for about 4 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the seasonings: Turn your heat to medium-low heat and add ketchup, soy sauce, and butter. Cook for about 5 minutes until it loses moisture a little.
  4. Add the rice: Add the rice and stir to combine. Using a spatula, break up any large chunks of rice and toss in the seasonings evenly. Sprinkle 1/4 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper and stir briefly to combine. Taste, and add more salt if desired.
  5. Serve on a plate and sprinkle parsley on top.


  • What are tips for making the chicken rice tasty without too gummy?:
    1) Evaporate the moisture from the ketchup and soy sauce properly before adding the rice.
    2) Cook the rice to a slight hard. When cooking, reduce the amount of water by about 10% from usual.
    3) It is better to use slightly cooled cooked rice than hot one. Spread hot cooked rice on a platter and set aside for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to let it cool too much or the seasonings will not coat the rice well.
  • About the taste of Japanese ketchup:
    Japanese ketchup has the characteristic of not having much sweetness. If you make this Chicken Rice with Japanese ketchup, the taste will be closer to real Japanese Chicken Fried Rice. A famous brand of ketchup in Japan is Kagome. You can get it at Japanese grocery store around the world.
  • About ingredients:
    You also can add green peas, green bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms, etc, if desired.


  • About “Japanese Chicken Fried Rice”:
    This is an iconic symbol of kids meals, with a small decorative flag on top of the chicken rice platter.

    Western cuisine was introduced to Japan around the Meiji era (About 1870). However, at that time, it was difficult to find all ingredients for Western cuisines, and often substitutes were used and evolved independently in Japan. They are called Western-style Japanese dishes (Yo-shoku), and this chicken rice is one of the typical dishes.
    It becomes a “Japanese Omelet Rice” if you wrap it in a thin omelet.

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