Bacon Fat Fried Rice


If you like Hawaiian pizza, you’ll love this pineapple- and bacon-studded fried rice.

Bacon Fat Fried Rice

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings

1999 F&W Best New Chef Rocco DiSpirito said on an episode of the Tinfoil Swans podcast that while everyone was spending much more time at home in 2020 — and he was working on his cookbook Everyday Delicious — he found himself re-enamored with simple pleasures like chicken Parm, bodega-style chopped cheese sandwiches, shrimp Francese, and this bliss-inducing Bacon Fat Fried Rice. "I think it qualifies as a stoner fried rice," he joked. "With the shrimp, bacon, pineapple, all in the same dish. What else would need to go in there? Grape soda? I don't know."

“Frying rice in bacon fat is my favorite trick for taking rice that’s a day past its prime and turning it into a meal worthy of sharing with friends,” says DiSpirito. His Bacon Fat Fried Rice is finished with jammy pineapple preserves and crisp fresh pineapple, which impart the savory bacon-flavored rice with a smoky sweetness and balanced acidity. If you’re starting with leftover rice, it’s an incredibly low-effort, quick dinner.

No leftover rice? Don’t fret! DiSpirito recommends spreading freshly cooked rice onto a sheet tray and leaving it to dry in your fridge for a few hours; that will do the trick in a pinch. “Or, rather than cooking the rice yourself, save yourself time and pick up a quart of cooked rice to-go from your local Chinese restaurant.”

Frequently asked questions

What is the trick to fried rice?

Using leftover rice is key for that perfect fried rice texture because the drier grains can withstand the hot and fast stir-frying process without adding additional moisture. Fresh rice holds onto more moisture, and when stir-fried, it results in mushy, soggy, and clumpy rice. If you don’t have leftover rice on hand, spread freshly cooked rice onto a sheet tray and leave it to dry in your fridge for a few hours. 

Why put egg in fried rice?

Egg is a traditional ingredient in fried rice, helping to make the dish more nutritious and nourishing, and adding beautiful color and satisfying flavor.

Can I reheat fried rice?

You can absolutely reheat fried rice. To reheat fried rice on a stovetop, heat up about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add your leftover rice, and stir to reheat it over medium-high for 4 to 5 minutes. 

What do I drink with fried rice?

There are lots of beverages you can pair with fried rice. For this recipe, a refreshing, lightly bitter, and crisply hoppy pilsner like Trumer Pils works wonders with the grains glossed with bacon fat. 

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

To get those delicately dispersed small egg curds throughout your fried rice, scramble the eggs on the empty side of the skillet. This will help ensure they cook evenly before being tossed with the rest of the ingredients.


  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 medium shallot)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 5 large cloves)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [3-inch] piece)

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw small shrimp, cut in half crosswise

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 4 cups cold day-old cooked long-grain white rice

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (such as Shirakiku)

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish

  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple (from 1 small pineapple)

  • 1/4 cup pineapple preserves


  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is just crispy, about 12 minutes. Add shallot, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook, stirring often, until shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Using a spoon, push shrimp mixture to one side of skillet. Add butter to empty side of skillet, and cook over medium until melted, about 1 minute. Add beaten eggs to melted butter; cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are dry and scrambled, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cold rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil; stir together with shrimp mixture. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add chopped cilantro, pineapple, and pineapple preserves, and stir until just combined. Garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve hot.

Originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, October 2023

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