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Learn how to make Nigerian fried rice with this super simple recipe. It’s not your usual fried rice; this dish cooks parboiled rice in savory stock and spices!

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Nigerian fried rice

Nigerian fried rice may look like a stunner, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make the Nigerian classic in the comfort of your home.

It’s the perfect middle ground between comfort food and party-favorite. It’s hearty, nourishing, and absolutely delicious!

Packed with fragrant spices and studded with colorful mixed veggies, you must taste this Nigerian-style fried rice for yourself to know why it’s a staple, whether for typical lunches or special events.

No need to fly to Nigeria or beg your Nigerian friend to make you authentic Nigerian fried rice. ?

Here’s the fried rice Nigerian recipe:

What Is Nigerian Fried Rice?

It’s not surprising to see that Nigerian fried rice is considered a staple in the country. After all, Nigerians love to eat rice.

If you don’t believe me, you can read about the surveys that revealed rice as the most consumed carbs in Nigerian households!

However, don’t confuse this Nigerian fried rice recipe with another delicious rice dish: Jollof rice. Compared to Jollof rice, we can consider Nigerian fried rice as its more special cousin, often enjoyed at parties and celebrations.

What Is Nigerian Fried Rice

It’s made from long-grain rice, Nigerian curry powder, a handful of spices, mixed veggies, prawns, and liver. But a certain thing makes this African fried rice stand out from the fried rice we usually eat and see.

Nigerian rice is cooked stock! And just like a beautiful marriage, Nigerian fried rice begins with cooking the rice and vegetables separately.

Then, the two combine, producing the most colorful, perfectly fluffy rice, best enjoyed with other Nigerian favorites (more on this later.) ?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Hearty And Comforting: Learn how to cook Nigerian fried rice, and you’ll be rewarded with a dish that is filling both for the heart and stomach! It’s everything you’ll want after a tiring and stressful day.
  • Healthy And Versatile: While the authentic fried rice recipe uses beef liver and nourishing veggies like carrots, corn, beans, and peas, there are no hard and fast rules on what meat and other veggies you can add to this rice dish.
  • African Flavors At Home: Savor the delightful blend of flavors and textures of Nigerian cuisine wherever you are! Serve this rice to make an ordinary day feel festive, or impress your party guests with a crowd-favorite Nigerian classic.

What Does African Fried Rice Taste Like?

This fried rice tastes delicious on a whole different level than other fried rice recipes. Why? Because the long-grain parboiled rice is cooked in stock until the liquid disappears!

You’ll get a deep, savory flavor within each rice grain. ?

The spices for fried rice in Nigeria also create layers of flavors that make each spoonful a party in your mouth. The aromatic Nigerian curry powder even imparts a mouthwatering yellow color to the rice. 

What Does African Fried Rice Taste Like

Other than the rice itself, the mixed fresh veggies in this festive-looking African fried rice are not only there to make each serving nutritious.

They’re also stir-fried without losing their crunch, perfectly complementing the fluffy rice.

And if the thought of having beef liver with your fried rice is pulling you back from making this Nigerian fried rice recipe, let me ease your worries. This ingredient actually adds a subtle, rich, meaty taste and enjoyable tender texture.

Though, of course, no one will arrest you if you omit it and use any choice of meat.

Is Nigerian Fried Rice Healthy?

Nigerian fried rice is healthy because of its diverse ingredients. 

The carbohydrates from rice are a tasty way to energize, beef liver provides protein, and the colorful fresh vegetables we’ve mixed into the rice are sources of various nutrients.

Because this dish allows multiple variations, you can even come up with your own healthy Nigerian fried rice recipe!

For my vegan friends, you can substitute liver with tofu or jackfruit. Instead of meat stock and meat bouillon cube, vegetable stock and vegetable bouillon work just as well for this Nigerian staple. ?

What Are The Benefits Of Fried Rice Recipe Nigerian?

Making Nigerian fried rice is quite simple, and because it’s different from how we usually cook fried rice, I bet you’ll find the experience super enjoyable.

As an Asian myself, I usually make my fried rice with day-old rice, soy sauce, egg, and whatever random leftover veggies and meats I can find in the fridge. However, this Nigerian fried rice recipe introduced me to a new world of spices, textures, and aroma. 

Authentic Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe

Everything from the curry powder, meat broth, stock cubes, herbs, mixed veggies, and even the beef liver all work together to create the best Nigerian fried rice recipe. 

Just make sure not to overcook your rice and veggies because no one deserves mushy fried rice!

What Are The Ingredients For Nigerian Fried Rice?

  • Long-grain parboiled rice– Long-grained white rice like Jasmine rice or Basmati rice is perfect for this fried rice Nigerian recipe.
  • Beef liver – Don’t knock it ’til you try it in the rice! I also have an additional tip for cooking beef liver before adding it to the fried rice, so make sure to read this entire post. ?
  • Whole chicken – This is cost-effective since we can cook the whole chicken for the flavorful stock and then broil or fry the cuts afterward to serve with our African fried rice.
  • Green beans – Add texture, color, and a yummy, earthy taste to our fried rice.
  • Peas – Feel free to add or omit different veggies in your Nigerian fried rice recipe. I’m personally not a fan of peas. ?
  • Corn – This is just delicious with any fried rice recipe.
  • Carrots – Sweet and crunchy, complementing our fluffy rice really well.
  • Onions – This is the base spice for our crisp, stir-fried mixed veggies.
  • Habanero pepper – Provides a nice kick to our aromatic and savory Nigerian-style fried rice.
  • Red bell pepper – Another delicious and colorful veggie to add to our hearty fried rice.
  • Green bell pepper – While it’s not as sweet as red bell peppers, I find green pepper’s grassy flavor tasty with the spices in the fried rice.
  • Nigerian curry powder – Make sure to use Nigerian curry powder!
  • Knorr cubes – We’ll use broth cubes both on the chicken stock and rice, so taste as you go to avoid making your fried rice taste too salty.
  • Thyme – A versatile spice that pairs well with our already-fragrant Nigerian fried rice.
  • Bay leaves – An optional ingredient, but this is one of those bitter flavors that taste amazing, especially in meaty dishes. 
  • Salt – Season as you go, but don’t go overboard!
  • Parsley – Peppery and fresh, it complements the warm spices in this fried rice deliciously.
  • Spring onions – For garnish.
  • Vegetable oil – For cooking the veggies.

Tools Needed To Prepare Fried Rice Nigerian Recipe

  • Pot for cooking the rice and stock
  • Skillet for frying the veggies
  • Spatula for mixing the fried rice in the pan
  • Knife for slicing the ingredients

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe

Liver

This fried rice Nigerian recipe uses liver, but another protein you can use if you’re not a fan of gamey flavors is shrimp!

Chicken stock

Use chicken or turkey stock to highlight this African fried rice’s fragrant, savory flavors. You don’t want something too intense like beef stock, because it can overthrow the delicious spices.

Cayenne pepper

If you prefer your fried rice with more heat, feel free to include cayenne pepper in the mix! ?

How To Make Nigerian Fried Rice

Ingredients:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather the ingredients for your Nigerian fried rice.

step 1 nigerian fried rice

STEP 2: Wash your parboiled rice and transfer it to a pot.

step 2 nigerian fried rice

STEP 3: Add the chicken stock and seasonings. Stir.

step 3a nigerian fried rice
step 3b nigerian fried rice

STEP 4: Cover and cook the rice for about 25 minutes or until it absorbs the liquid.

step 4 nigerian fried rice

STEP 5: Turn off the heat, but keep the lid on. After about 5 minutes, fluff the cooked rice.

step 5 nigerian fried rice

STEP 6: For the veggies, heat the cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat.

STEP 7: Saute the onions, then add the habanero pepper. Stir in the mixed vegetables and chopped liver after a minute.

step 7a nigerian fried rice
step 7b nigerian fried rice

STEP 8: Season the mixed veggies and fry them until dry and slightly crispy.

step 8 nigerian fried rice

STEP 9: Mix the cooked veggies with the rice. Add the spring onions.

step 9a nigerian fried rice
step 9b nigerian fried rice

STEP 10: Enjoy your Nigerian fried rice with broiled chicken or other Nigerian dishes!

step 10 nigerian fried rice

What To Serve Nigerian Fried Rice

Serve your freshly cooked Nigerian fried rice with dodo, coleslaw, Moi Moi, or a refreshing glass of Zobo drink. 

Moi moi is a ground bean steamed pudding, while Zobo drink is a red tea made from hibiscus leaves.

If you also made the chicken stock for this recipe, you can broil, bake, or fry the chicken pieces until crispy.

With chicken and rice, you won’t need anything else! ?

What To Serve Nigerian Fried Rice

Tips About Making This Recipe For Nigerian Fried Rice

It’s super easy to learn how to make fried rice in Nigeria. Here are some bonus tips to remember:

  • While Nigerian fried rice is best with parboiled long-grain rice, you can also use day-old rice. This is a great way to use those leftovers!
  • Say goodbye to soggy rice by remembering two things. First, cool your parboiled rice for a bit before using it. And second, rinse your rice to remove the excess starch.
  • Maintain your Nigerian fried rice’s mouthwatering, vibrant color by gently roasting the cooked liver in the oven or air fryer for about 5 minutes. Otherwise, the juices from the liver might give your rice a dark color.

How To Store Fried Rice Nigerian

Compared to other fried rice recipes, Nigerian fried rice can go bad fairly quickly because it’s cooked with stock and veggies. The more moisture in your fried rice, the faster it can spoil.

Here are some ways to store your delicious rice and keep it fresh:

  • Fridge: Allow your fried rice to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container. It should keep well for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Can you freeze this Nigerian-style fried rice? Yes, but it’s best consumed within a month or two. Then, thaw it overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: Use the microwave to reheat your fried rice. You can also transfer it to a pan and warm it up on the stovetop.

How To Parboil Rice for Nigerian Fried Rice?

Here’s how to parboil rice perfectly so it’s ready to be cooked again for Nigerian fried rice without turning mushy:

  1. Rinse the grains of rice in cold water.
  2. Transfer the rice to a pot and top with water, about twice the level of the rice.
  3. Cook over a stovetop. Once it starts boiling, continue cooking for about 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the rice into a sieve. To stop the cooking process, place the sieve in a bowl with cold water.
  5. Rinse the rice and drain completely.
The easiest Nigerian fried rice recipe

Is Jollof Rice Like Fried Rice?

Jollof rice is not the same as fried rice. However, I was not surprised when I learned that there was an ongoing rivalry between the two Nigerian rice dishes. ?

Nigerian Fried Rice is super-flexible for ingredient substitution

To quickly differentiate the two, fried rice, if you still remember from the recipe above, is cooked in stock and then tossed with crisp, colorful mixed veggies, which were cooked separately.

On the other hand, Nigerian Jollof rice is a one-pot dish. In contrast to the vibrant yellow fried rice cooked with curry, Jollof rice has a reddish hue, thanks to tomatoes and scotch bonnet.

So which team are you? I say, why pick a side when you can have both? 

Assembling the Jasmine rice and vegetables for your Nigerian Fried Rice

FAQ About Nigerian Fried Rice

Do they put corn in Nigerian fried rice?

The vibrant and colorful Nigerian fried rice often features sweet corn. If you haven’t tried fried rice with corn before, you’re missing out!

What gives Nigerian fried rice its color?

The distinct and tempting yellow color of Nigerian fried rice comes from curry powder. Cooking the rice in stock and other seasonings also intensifies this mouthwatering hue.

What is in fried rice seasoning?

Nigerian fried rice is a marriage of herbs, spices, and seasonings. While there are many fried rice recipe variations, some common seasonings in this African staple are curry powder, turmeric powder, thyme, black pepper, salt, veggie or chicken stock cubes, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

What makes Nigerian fried rice spoil?

While cooking Nigerian fried rice in stock gives it a more complex and deeper flavor, it’s also the reason why it spoils quicker than other fried rice recipes. You also want to stir-fry your vegetable mixture until it’s dry, as the excess moisture can affect the shelf life of your fried rice.

Overcooking the vegetables is not desirable for Nigerian Fried Rice
step 10 nigerian fried rice

Nigerian Fried Rice

Yield: 5 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Learn how to make Nigerian fried rice with this super simple recipe. It's not your usual fried rice; this dish cooks parboiled rice in savory stock and spices!

Instructions

  1. Gather the ingredients for your Nigerian fried rice.
  2. Wash your parboiled rice and transfer it to a pot.
  3. Add the chicken stock and seasonings. Stir.
  4. Cover and cook the rice for about 25 minutes or until it absorbs the liquid.
  5. Turn off the heat, but keep the lid on. After about 5 minutes, fluff the cooked rice.
  6. For the veggies, heat the cooking oil in a skillet.
  7. Saute the onions, then add the habanero pepper. Stir in the mixed vegetables and chopped liver after a minute.
  8. Season the mixed veggies and fry them until dry and slightly crispy.
  9. Mix the cooked veggies with the rice. Add the spring onions.
  10. Enjoy your Nigerian fried rice with broiled chicken or other Nigerian dishes!

Notes

  • Nigerian fried rice is best with parboiled long-grain rice, but you can also use day-old rice, whichever is more convenient.
  • To avoid mushy fried rice, allow your parboiled rice to cool for a bit before using it. And, of course, wash it before cooking to remove the excess starch.
  • To keep the mouthwatering vibrant color of Nigerian fried rice, roast the cooked liver in the oven or air fryer for a few minutes before using it in the stir-fry. Otherwise, the juices from the liver might give your rice a dark color.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Updated in October 2023 with new photos and minor recipe adjustments for improved quality. Enjoy!

The perfect Nigerian fried rice recipe

Conclusion

And there you have it! You’ve just learned an easy and tasty Nigerian fried rice recipe to step up your fried rice game using basic ingredients.

It’s comforting, filling, and can easily suit the occasion, whether an ordinary day or a special gathering, with its vibrant colors and delicious flavor. 

Nigerian Fried Rice ready to dish up!

What makes this fried rice special? Cooking parboiled rice in chicken stock and spices before mixing it with tasty chopped liver and crisp veggies!

Nigerian Fried Rice

And don’t worry, just follow the tips we discussed, and you won’t ever face mushy fried rice. 

The Irresistible Nigerian Fried Rice

Want to know more about Nigerian food culture? Here’s our list of the best Nigerian foods, or try these delicious recipes:

Simple steps of Nigerian Fried Rice

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Nigerian fried rice.

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