Fried Rice & Southern Greens

Fried rice is something that happens when I scavenge through the fridge to use up leftover rice. 

It’s nothing fancy, and Toby is happy to eat it any time. He asked if I’ve ever posted it here. I haven’t, which is funny considering how often we eat it. Thanks to my stepdad’s Balinese connections, my fried rice is nasi goreng, Indonesian-style fried rice. It’s made with two Indonesian condiments: sambal and kecap manis (pronounced ketchup mah-nees). Kecap manis is a sweet soy sauce made with palm sugar that resembles molasses. Sambal looks like ketchup, but it’s a hot sauce with complex, tropical flavor. These two sauces are staples in my family. They can be hard to find, but thanks to Oceanic Market here in Tampa, I make sure my entire family is always stocked up. It’s much easier than shipping it from Bali, which was the only way Mark could get it many years ago. I’ll give you substitutes in the recipe below, but if you can get your hands on either of these sauces, lucky you.Fresh greens are so good in fried rice. They get a little crispy and stuck together with all the egg and rice and seasoning. Any will do, but collards are my favorite. Use mustard or radish greens if you love a kick. And of course there’s kale. Whatever you need to use up, that’ll do just fine. I always use leftover rice because it holds up so much better than fresh in the skillet. Don’t be afraid to let the rice sit for a beat without stirring. Yes, it’s going to stick, but if you let it sit a certain amount, that part crisps up (key), and you’ll find it actually lifts off the pan easier once that happens. This is more method than recipe, so keep tasting as you go. You’ll know when it’s just right. Devour immediately. 

Fried Rice & Southern Greens


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 4 cups torn greens
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups leftover white rice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons sambal *
  • 1-2 tablespoons kecap manis *
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced (optional topping)
  • furikake or toasted sesame seeds (optional topping)
  • sliced green onions (optional topping)
  • lemon wedges (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium high. Add the onion, stirring often, until translucent. Add the greens. Stir until the greens are completely wilted and start to get a little toasty on the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute before adding the rice. Add a tablespoon each of sambal and kecap manis. Stir occasionally, but give it long enough to allow the rice to stick a bit, and lower the heat as needed. Drizzle fish sauce over the rice, if using. Move the rice to the sides of the pan. Pour the sesame oil in the center. Add the eggs and give them a stir. Once they start to cook, slowly start stirring the rice in. Add the lemon juice. Once everything is incorporated and eggs are set, start tasting. If it needs more heat, add sambal. If it needs more funk & salt, add fish sauce. If it needs more sweet & salty, add more kecap manis. 
    Once perfect, transfer to plates and top with anything you like. We go for jalapeños, furikake, and sliced green onions. 


Sriracha or Cholula can work in place of sambal. Add to taste. If you can't find kecap manis, use a combination of soy sauce and brown sugar, added to taste. 

5 Comments Fried Rice & Southern Greens

  1. Julie February 16, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    This looks wonderful! I’m always looking for dishes to use the plethora of home grown greens right now. I’m wondering if Costa Rican Lizano Salsa could be used as a substitute in this stir fry. It’s not easy to find either, but we were lucky enough to have a friend bring us some recently. It doesn’t have much kick to it, but it has a wonderful, complex flavor. Your garden looks amazing!

    1. suwanneerose February 16, 2019 at 11:31 pm

      Hey Julie, I didn’t know Lizano Salsa is Costa Rican. My mom gave me a bottle of it, and I think she got it somewhere near you.I’ll see if she can tell us where. We eat it with smak sometimes. I really like it, but I haven’t figured out what else to use it on and it’s a really big bottle. It’s got such an interesting mix of spices. I’ll stir some in this next time I make it. Let me know if you’ve got other good ways to use it. So glad to hear you’ve got lots of homegrown greens right now. Your garden is always beautiful!

      1. Julie February 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm

        Lizano sauce is served with every meal and is on every restaurant table in Costa Rica. By the time you leave the country, you’re totally addicted. It’s espeically good with eggs, black beans (or any beans I reckon) and rice. We had sunny side up eggs on sautéed kale with garlic recently and the Lizano sauce was the perfect condiment! It was really good with the greens, something I hadn’t expected.

        1. suwanneerose February 22, 2019 at 8:30 am

          Thanks, Julie! I’m going to try all of the above.

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