Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Kale Fried Rice

I must say, I was a bit skeptical when I first saw this recipe posted on Kristin’s blog. I mean, fried rice is great and so is kale, but the two together? Kinda weird, eh? Umm, no. Turns out, most definitely not.

Kale Fried Rice | The Pajama Chef

This is our new favorite dinner!! Well, maybe not our but most definitely mine. Ben likes it, but I devour it. What can I say? I know what I like. And I like this… this salty-sweet, nutty, garlicky, chewy fried rice starring everyone’s favorite healthy green–kale–and just enough egg and chicken to make your manly man happy for some filling protein.

Kale Fried Rice | The Pajama Chef

I am hard-pressed to tell you just what’s so great about this dish. The sauce is pretty phenomenal. Made up of white cooking wine, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and… wait for it… MAPLE SYRUP [also known in our house as may-PELLL sir-RUUUUP. Yes, we are weird. Thanks for asking.], this sauce is pretty much incredible. It’s unmistakably Asian, but with a bit of unexpected sweetness. Totally craveable, I can see this being a great marinade for grilled chicken, tofu, or even some fish. Maybe add a little crushed red pepper… mmm, mmm.

Kale Fried Rice | The Pajama Chef

Beyond the sauce, though, fried rice is a great easy weeknight dinner. It’s super quick, especially if you make the rice ahead of time [see the note at the end for details!]. Plus, it’s practically a one-skillet meal. The original recipe didn’t call for chicken or eggs, but I added them to make it a bit more filling. Totally not necessary though–it’s great without!! No matter how you make it, I seriously can’t get enough! I’ve made this for dinner two weeks in a row, and it’s on the menu plan again this week. I am hopelessly addicted. There are worse addictions, right? 🙂 Enjoy!!

P.S. If you missed it, be sure to check out my birthday post from Saturday… I turned 28 and have big culinary goals for the next 2 years in my 30 before 30 project. 🙂

Kale Fried Rice [adapted from Iowa Girl Eats]
click to print


  • 2 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken, shredded [I used some from a roasted chicken]
  • 4 tablespoons white cooking wine
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • sliced green onions, for garnish ,


Prepare rice in chicken broth according to package directions.***

After rice is almost done, bring water to boil in a large skillet or wok. Then add kale and reduce heat to medium, cooking for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain kale in a colander set in the sink and leave to cool.

Return skillet to stove then heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, use a spatula to press as much water out of the draining kale as you can. A few presses against the side of the colander should squeeze out a lot of water.

After onion is soft, add garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add kale and chicken, and saute for 2 minutes.

Next, whisk together wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup.

Reduce heat to medium, then dd rice to skillet and toss to combine. Pour in sauce and toss again. Cover and cook until rice is heated through, about 5 minutes [note: this step is not necessary if rice has not been refrigerated.]

Lastly, make a hole in the center of the rice mixture and pour in the eggs. Quickly stir eggs into the rice mixture to incorporate, then cook for another 2 minutes to ensure eggs are fully cooked.

Serve with lots of sesame seeds and green onions as garnish!

Time: 20 minutes [if you make rice ahead of time], 60 minutes [if you make rice fresh].

Yield: 4 servings.

***Note: I usually make the rice  a day or so ahead of time, as day-old refrigerated rice tends to work better for fried rice and this step takes 40-45 minutes.

Linked with: Weekend Potluck.


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