Skillet Supper Series: Combination Fried Rice for Go Ahead Honey

Combination Fried Rice GFE

The lovely Iris (The Daily Dietribe) is hosting this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free event. This monthly roundup in which alternating hosts choose the theme was founded by the creative and healthy Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cake-Free and Dried. Iris chose the theme Chinese Lantern Festival. She asked us to make a favorite Chinese dish that worked for our own food sensitivities. Iris did the same when she made a beautiful Shrimp Lo Mein dish using Sweet Potato Noodles.

When I hosted last month’s Go Ahead Honey event with the theme Dishes So Simple, No Recipe Required … in other words, non-recipes, I shared my Saucy Cheesy Chicken Veggie Pasta Skillet Supper as my entry. As I stated then, most of the time, that’s truly the way I cook. I also said I’d be sharing a five-day series called September Skillet Suppers. Well, here we are at the tail end of September, so if I’m going to do that I better get with it, huh? If all goes well, I’ll honor that promise but I’ve had a run of bad luck with deleted photos that I mentioned earlier and more recently, missing recipes. So my fingers are crossed that they’ll all turn up, but this series might just overlap into October. In any regard, consider this my first post in my Skillet Supper Series and yet another non-recipe!

In the days before I went gluten free, Mr. GFE and I loved eating Chinese food. Many of our favorite “date memories” are of eating out at Chinese restaurants where they knew us by name and served our drinks right after we walked in. As boring as it may sound, Combination Fried Rice was usually my “go to” dish. Mr. GFE’s favorite was Combination Lo Mein. We’re easy to please, but while I still pick up Chinese carry-out for Mr. GFE on the way home from a late meeting or appointment, safe gluten-free Chinese food for me is harder to come by. Gluten-full soy sauce is often used freely in Chinese restaurants and more and more Chinese restaurants seem to be adding gluten-full flour to sauces in dishes. Even if one specifies “no soy, no flour please,” the risks are there. But the good news is that most Chinese dishes are simple to make at home. Certainly Fried Rice and Lo Mein fit into that category. (For the ones that are a bit more difficult, you’ll want to take a look at Laura B. Russell’s The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, which I talked about here.)

Skillet Supper Series Gluten Free Easily

While there are basic elements to Fried Rice—namely, rice, onion (preferably green), oil, eggs—one can also use this non-recipe to clean out the fridge or freezer of bits of meat and veggies. That’s what I always do, plus I hit up my pantry for a few more ingredients like canned water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. If you order Combination Fried Rice at a restaurant, you’ll get a mixture of beef, chicken, ham (or other pork), and some sort of seafood (sometimes it’s fake seafood, so that’s a concern, too, as artificial crab contains gluten). The vegetables included are often carrots, peas, corn, mushrooms, and green and/or red peppers. Seasonings may simply be ginger and soy sauce (or tamari)—be sure the latter is gluten free. (Coconut aminos are a good soy-free substitute, too.) Mr. GFE is heavy handed on his soy sauce/tamari so I never add any while cooking; we just season individually. But really there are no rules when you are doing the cooking! And while Chinese food implies a wok, a large, deep skillet works just as well. Enjoy and be sure to check out Iris’ complete roundup!


Combination Fried Rice
Recipe type: Entree, Main Dish
Grab some leftovers from your fridge and a few items from your pantry and you can be enjoying this delicious gluten-free combination fried rice in short order!
  • A couple of tablespoons of oil of your choice (I use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil)
  • About one large onion, chopped (or equal amount of chopped green onion)
  • About half of a green or red pepper, if desired, chopped
  • About 2 cups or more of cooked rice (I like to cook extra rice and then freeze it to use later for fried rice, soup, jambalaya, etc.)
  • One can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • One can bamboo shoots, drained (optional)
  • About 1 cup of fresh mushrooms (when my mushrooms are “heading south,” I sauté them in oil and freeze and then pull them out for dishes like this)
  • About 1 to 2 cups or more of other vegetables of your choice (carrots, peas, corn, broccoli, etc.)
  • About 1 to 2 cups of cooked meat and/or seafood of your choice (chicken, ham, pork, shrimp) (optional, may omit for a vegetarian or vegan dish)
  • A couple of tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, or soy-free, refined sugar free coconut aminos
  • About 3 eggs, beaten (optional, may omit for a vegan dish)
  1. Add oil to skillet and heat on medium-high, adding onions and pepper cooking a few minutes until onion is soft.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add rice and other vegetables, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in meat and seafood, stirring a few minutes.
  4. Drizzle beaten eggs into mixture in skillet and stir well, distributing eggs throughout. Cook until eggs are visibly done, about 5 minutes more.
  5. Stir in soy sauce until well blended.
  6. Makes 4 or more servings

This post is linked to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, and Wellness Weekend.

Not just gf, but gfe!

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31 Responses to “Skillet Supper Series: Combination Fried Rice for Go Ahead Honey”

  1. Iris on September 26th, 2011 12:24 am

    You know, I’ve never actually made fried rice or considered that it could be an easy dish to make. Thanks for bringing this recipe to my attention, and for joining in on GAHIGF this month!


    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:39 am

      Hi Iris–First, thanks so much for hosting this month! It’s my pleasure to join in. I’m still sad that I didn’t make a dessert like Moon Cakes for the extra credit though! LOL I have only made my own fried rice for as long as I’ve been gf. Like you, I never considered that it would be easy until I did it. It had so much flavor and so many ingredients, it had to be hard right? ;-) Now any extra rice becomes a future opportunity to enjoy fried rice. This dish can probably be made with quinoa, too. I think I’ll try that soon. :-)


  2. Zoe on September 26th, 2011 12:50 am

    I really wanted to do this theme but I think I’ve missed it. (Which I find is somehow funny, considering I reviewed Laura’s cookbook.) Oh wel! That aside, I so enjoy reading your stories about Mr. GFE and you. :) They’re so sweet and they always sound romantic and just lovely in general. My favourite is still the one when you first met him and you two ate chicken liver for dinner. :)

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:42 am

      Hi Zoe–Sometimes it’s just timing for these events. ;-) Sorry you missed out this month, but you certainly did an awesome job on reviewing Laura’s cookbook! I still MUST make those potstickers!

      Thanks so much for the sweet words on my posts that share little snippets of my life with Mr. GFE! :-) Who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t made that 1:00 am impromput chicken liver meal, huh? ;-)


  3. Kay Guest on September 26th, 2011 6:38 am

    Speaking of your husband, isn’t it time for one of Mr. GFE’s favorites? Haven’t heard of one in a while! I’ve never tried to make fried rice but this sounds like something I could make, and I will try it. Thanks!

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:43 am

      Hi dear Kay–I just posted one of Mr. GFE’s favorites! Check it out. ;-)

      I think you’ll love the fried rice recipe when you make it. When you see a lot of odds and ends in your fridge, give it a try!


  4. Mary on September 26th, 2011 9:31 am

    Looks wonderful, Shirley! I haven’t made fried rice in a very long time…I’ll have to try yours.


    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:44 am

      Hi Mary–I think that’s true of many of us. I bet once you give it a try, it will become a staple in your house! :-) I’m imagining your variations right now … some exotic ingredients perhaps? ;-)


  5. Ina Gawne on September 26th, 2011 10:14 am

    Shirley – we love fried rice in this house, and have it often. For years, I too missed eating Chinese Food, but you are right – most of it can easily be made at home. Well, I guess not dim sum…really, really miss dim sum!

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:48 am

      Ina–I have a confession … I’ve never had dim sum. I know people just go crazy for it though! I admit I’m naive on this topic. Dim Sum sounds a bit like potstickers. Will have to investigate or talk more to experts like you! ;-) Anyway, happy that you making safe and delicious fried rice at home often! :-)


  6. glutenfreeforgood on September 26th, 2011 12:43 pm

    I’m definitely a “skillet supper” kind of gal, but I call those mixtures Buddha bowls (from my hippie girl days). =) Rice and whatever else I have on hand. I love the Chinese food twist you’ve put on this. I never think of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots. Or, scrambled eggs for that matter. Thanks for the creative inspiration. I have a tendency to stick with the typical veggies like zucchini, carrots, onions, and so forth. Off to see what everyone else came up with!

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:50 am

      Melissa–Ah, the Buddha bowls! I love that name and one day I’m going to have to try one of your Buddha bowls … with you making it for me! ;-) Zucchini is one I didn’t mention; I should have. I remember they always used zucchini at the Japanese Steak Houses and it made for a fabulous meal. I do use zucchini in other skillet suppers though. Will add it to fried rice next time! Thanks, dear!


  7. Linda on September 26th, 2011 1:08 pm

    My family is really not into Chinese food so I only make fried rice or stir fry for dinner occasionally. But I love making fried rice for myself for lunch. It’s great for using leftover rice, meat, and vegetables. I like water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, I just don’t buy them often. This is a good reminder to pick some up so I can add something special to my fried rice the next time!

    And I’m very grateful for coconut aminos. It works great for me!

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:53 am

      Hi Linda–Okay, that’s a shame that your family doesn’t like Chinese food, but I’m glad you get some in from time to time. What a great idea on making fried rice for an individual lunch! Love it. Now I need to remember to do that for myself if I’m looking for a quick lunch. ;-)

      Love the soy-free coconut aminos as I still want that taste. Mr. GFE prefers soy sauce, but I’d rather skip the soy myself.


  8. Alisa Fleming on September 26th, 2011 1:44 pm

    I love making fried rice! It is so easy and versatile. I made some a couple of nights ago with brown rice couscous and bunches of random veggies.

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:54 am

      Alisa–I haven’t tried the brown rice couscous yet, but I’d love to. :-) Great testimonial for fried rice meals–thank you! :-)


  9. Maggie on September 26th, 2011 6:37 pm

    I just couldn’t think of a dish for this event! Yours is perfect and easy. So GFE, I love it. I like Mr. GFE’s style – I can be a little heavy on the tamari sauce too – actually coconut aminos (thank heavens for that product).

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:57 am

      Hi Maggie–I didn’t remember that you guys didn’t eat soy. Yes, coconut aminos are brilliant! I think many of us thought too hard about this month’s GAH event. I was thinking about making Moon Cakes (which I had no concept of LOL) for days, until I gave up and went with this standby recipe. Luckily, I had these photos on an old computer. They are not the best, but they worked well enough that I could put together a post. ;-)

      Thanks for all the kind words, dear!

  10. Linda on September 27th, 2011 6:02 am

    I just found out about a week ago that I am allergic to gluten and casein. Fried rice has been my staple ever since. It’s just amazing how different each batch can be. I also love hearing the different ingredients that can be added. I have been adding spinach to mine.

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2011 10:35 am

      Hi Linda–Welcome to gfe! :-) What a great testimonial for fried rice! It is amazing how different each version can be. I love the idea of adding spinach. Mr. GFE is one who will eat spinach in a salad or in other dishes when he doesn’t see it much, but I think I’ll have to save the spinach addition when I make fried rice just for me. ;-) Everyone has their own preferences, right? One could almost make up a big batch and then use separate smaller skillets to let family members tweak to their heart’s desire. :-)

      Be sure to look at the gfe tip sheets under the tab Getting Started with GFE for some other food and meal ideas. These sheets are geared towards gluten free, but you’ll see lots of dairy-free/casein-free ideas, too.

      Sounds like you have a great attitude! Best of luck, dear. Hope to see you more here!

  11. Karin Goodman on September 27th, 2011 4:12 pm

    I make fried rice, usually with ham, eggs, peas, etc. My children love the leftovers to heat up for school lunches, so I usually make a large batch. I like the idea of water chestnuts, baby corn would be good too.

    • Shirley on September 28th, 2011 12:33 am

      Hi Karin–It’s nice to see you again! I don’t think I’ve officially welcome you to gfe yet–welcome/ :-) I love you ingredients in fried rice … all of them are faves of mine. ;-) I love that you opt for the large batch and then use some for lunches. ;-)


  12. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on September 28th, 2011 12:48 pm

    I have a total weakness for fried rice! When I was growing up in SF our next door neighbors owned one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. They would always bring us dishes home from the restaurant! My favorite thing was their fried rice. i used to miss it when we first went gf until I realized I could just make my own using gf ingredients! This recipe looks great and fairly similar to mine! I think I will make some this week! And I totally LOVE skillet dinners! They are really easy to play with! And I am a huge fan of coconut aminos!!

    • Shirley on September 28th, 2011 10:42 pm

      Hi Kim–What a delight to have such generous neighbors! I’m glad you figured out the gf fried rice thing long ago though. :-) I have never met anyone who doesn’t appreciate good fried rice. I should make a big skillet full for an upcoming support group meeting. ;-) Several members love the coconut aminos along with me!

      There’s just something that seems so right about skillet dinners, and you’re right, you can have fun with them! The key to great skillet dinners is a super deep skillet. Before I got mine, I had many overflow disasters. LOL


  13. Ricki on September 30th, 2011 4:23 pm

    My mom used to make fried rice all the time–it was a staple in our house! I haven’t had it in years. Thanks for the memory jog–I think I need to make this, and soon! And thanks so much for submitting to Wellness Weekend as well! :)

    • Shirley on January 3rd, 2012 7:57 pm

      Good heavens, Ricki … I just found this comment you left eons ago that I never replied to! Yikes. Such bad, bad form. I remember reading it. Someone needs to develop a WordPress plug-in that shows all unreplied to comments. I need it! Anyway, fried rice is pure comfort food to me. I bet you could come up with a fabulous Ricki-tized version. ;-)


  14. Jenn on January 3rd, 2012 7:43 pm

    When do u add the tamari?

    • Shirley on January 3rd, 2012 7:58 pm

      Hi Jenn–Sorry I missed that step. I’ve added it in. For the soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos to have the biggest impact, you add them at the end. You can cook a minute or two afterwards if you like if they do not absorb enough to your liking.


  15. Jenn on January 3rd, 2012 8:42 pm

    This was my first gluten free meal and it’s delish!! Thanks! I did fresh broccoli and it seemed to be a little undercooked so I might steam it first. But the taste of this dish was so good. Thank you!

    • Shirley on January 3rd, 2012 10:39 pm

      Hey Jenn–That is such awesome news! Thank you for sharing your review with us! :-) I’m honored this was your first gluten-free meal, too. I tend to usually use leftover broccoli in fried rice. Other than steaming your raw broccoli (which will work just fine), you can cut your pieces smaller and/or you can add your broccoli earlier in the process … even when cooking onions if necessary. I’m so glad you enjoyed this gfe recipe. I hope you’ll find many more that you love! ;-)


  16. Debbie on October 10th, 2013 3:20 pm

    This recipe sounds similar to the way I make gluten free fried rice. The only difference is, I add a little sesame oil to it. You could also sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top too.

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