Benihana Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

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An evening at Benihana is an experience, not just a meal, and a Benihana chef is an entertainer, not just a cook. That chef will cook everyone’s food on the large heated surface built into your table as you watch— this is called teppanyaki, and is a variation of a cooking style popular in Japan. (It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the Benihana experience is a very, very American phenomenon). You may also be familiar with the word “hibachi,” which refers to a smaller grill. One of their most popular dishes is their Benihana fried rice recipe that I’m delighted to say I have a copycat recipe for you.

Benihana Chicken Fried Rice

What makes Benihana different from other US teppanyaki-style restaurants is its focus on entertainment. A Benihana chef will joke and banter with the guests, flip eggs off spatulas, do scarily impressive knife tricks, and generally just perform, all while cooking for the entire table.

And the fact that the entire table shares the experience may be a subtler part of the appeal, but it’s kind of rare today that a group of people—sometimes two groups who begin the meal as strangers to each other—share a table and laugh. You share some of the food, too, and most frequently that food is fried rice. You’ll watch the chef chop the vegetables and spin the eggs, as he makes enough fried rice for the entire table.

How to Make Benihana Fried Rice at Home

The theater is what brings people to the restaurant, of course, but their fried rice with chicken is also just really, really great. It’s easy to make this buttery, indulgent Benihana fried rice copycat recipe at home, no knife tricks or egg-and-spatula balancing required, just a little advance planning to cook the rice a day ahead of time.

Benihana Fried Rice Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Laura RittermanCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

35

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

370

kcal

Making copycat Benihana fried rice from home couldn’t be easier. Mix up your ingredients and within no time have a readily made dish straight from the Benihana restaurant.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of chicken breast, cubed into small pieces

  • 1 cup of chopped carrot (either frozen or about 2 large fresh carrots)

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped

  • A handful of scallions, finely sliced

  • Oil (safflower or canola)

  • For the rice
  • 2 cups of white rice

  • 3 cups of water

  • Pinch of salt

  • For the garlic butter
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter

  • 2 cloves of minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons of low-sodium soy sauce

  • To finish the Benihana style fried rice
  • 4 eggs

  • Salt and pepper as desired

  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

  • Cook the rice (1 day before cooking the fried rice)
  • Rinse the uncooked rice using a bowl or colander, until the water you are rinsing with no longer appears cloudy
  • Add the rice, 3 cups of cold water and a pinch of salt to a large, lidded pot on the stove
  • Bring the heat up high, and watch carefully, until the water begins to boil
  • Stir the rice a few times, then bring the heat down to low, cover with the lid and let sit for 20 minutes
  • Take the pot from the heat, and let sit still lidded for another 20 minutes
  • Move the rice from the pot to a large, shallow dish. Spread it out evenly without compressing, and refrigerate overnight
  • Make the garlic butter
  • Soften the butter, and combine with garlic. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and soy sauce and whisk thoroughly
  • Note: be cautious with soy sauce, because it’s a very strong flavor. You can always add more soy sauce and lemon to taste laster, but you can’t take any away once it’s added
  • For the vegetables and chicken
  • With just enough oil to coat them, sauté the carrots and onion over medium heat until soft
  • Add the chicken breast and 1 tablespoon of oil, and stir over medium heat until cooked (about six minutes). About a minute before turning off the heat, add the scallions and 1 tablespoon of the garlic butter, stir and set aside
  • To complete
  • Scramble the eggs in a separate pan until cooked and shred them into small pieces
  • Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large pan or wok over high heat, and stir in the rice until it’s just coated. Add the remaining garlic butter, and mix thoroughly
  • Mix in the chicken and vegetables and bring everything together, adding additional soy sauce, lemon, salt and pepper as needed
  • Serve warm, sprinkled with sesame seeds if desired

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Nutrition Facts

8 servings per container


  • Amount Per ServingCalories370
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 16.5g 26%
    • Saturated Fat 6.7g 34%
  • Cholesterol 131.5mg 44%
  • Sodium 462mg 20%
  • Total Carbohydrate 41.7g 14%
    • Dietary Fiber 1.9g 8%
    • Sugars 2.5g
  • Protein 13.6g 28%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Conclusion

    Be watchful of the soy sauce and salt; it’s easy to overdo them both. There should be just enough soy sauce to make the rice golden brown, not dark. Taste the cooked rice before you season.

    It’s important to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking, or it will be starchy and gluey. It’s also important to leave it overnight—softer, freshly cooked rice can’t stand up to the heat and butter and will lose its texture. This is a great recipe to use up leftover rice and vegetables from another meal.

    Important health note: this Benihana fried rice can keep well for a few days in the fridge, but it should go from heat to fridge as quickly as possible and be stored in small containers that allow it to cool quickly. Leaving cooked rice at room temperature for a long time can risk contamination.

    Everything fries quickly once you get going. If you aren’t confident about timing the vegetables and chicken together, feel free to cook them separately and set aside until combining.

    There are many ways to adjust this recipe:

    Replacing the white rice with brown rice works well, but the brown rice will need more cooking time to soften and absorb flavors.

    It’s easy to swap the chopped chicken with any protein you like—shrimp is Benihana’s second most popular fried rice flavor, but pork, beef or even tofu will work. And because the ingredients don’t come together until the end, it’s easy to divide up the rice before adding the meat to accommodate different preferences.

    You can substitute the neutral-tasting oil for sesame oil or add a teaspoon of oyster sauce for a more complex flavor.

    Feel free to throw in any veggies you like—chopped broccoli, green peas, or any leftover vegetables you have in your fridge.

    And if you want to learn how to balance an egg on the edge of your spatula? Go for it!

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