Whether cooking for your family or for friends, this African Fried Rice is the celebratory dish to make! It is so flavorful and filled with textures from crisp vegetables to super tasty bits of chicken.
Why Is This Called African Fried Rice?
I titled this post "African Fried Rice" because this recipe is informed by the way I have experienced fried rice in two African countries: Nigeria and Cameroon.
There are many variations of fried rice in different countries across the continent of Africa,
INGREDIENTS FOR AFRICAN FRIED RICE
Here is a run-down of the ingredients you need for African fried rice. Be sure to check out the full recipe below for a detailed list of ingredients and their measurements.
1. Parboiled rice. You need a sturdy rice that will not easily turn mushy. I use parboiled rice because it serves this purpose perfectly. Basmati rice would also work in a pinch.
2. Curry powder. For color and flavor. Use good quality curry powder.
3. Thyme. For flavor. Dried thyme, ground thyme or fresh thyme would work. The recipe calls for ground thyme but you could substitute with any other variation of thyme you have on hand.
4. Bay leaf. To infuse the rice with flavor as it cooks.
5. Beef liver. For meatiness and flavor.
6. Onion. For flavor.
7. White pepper. For flavor. You could substitute white pepper with black pepper. One main difference between white and black pepper is that using black pepper will lead to black specks showing in the food unlike white pepper. I prefer the flavor of white pepper in most dishes.
8. Garlic. For flavor.
9. Ginger. For flavor.
9. Chicken. For meatiness. I prefer to use chicken thighs because they are so flavorful. But you could replace them with chicken breasts.
10. Mixed vegetables. I use a combination of carrots, green beans, bell pepper, sweet corn and peas to add pops of color and more nutrients to the fried rice.
11. Green onions. For flavor.
12. Oil. For sautéing and frying the rice. Vegetable oil or any neutral tasting oil would work.
HOW TO MAKE FRIED RICE AFRICAN STYLE
Here is a summary of how to make African Fried Rice. Be sure to check out the full recipe below for detailed directions.
1. Boil rice with seasoning.
2. Sauté seasoned chicken. Remove from pot.
3. Sauté beef liver. Remove from pot.
4. Sauté onions. Add garlic and ginger so the spices can bloom in the oil.
5. Add vegetables to sauteed onions.
6. Add rice to the pot and stir.
7. Add back chicken and liver to the pot and stir.
And that's how you make African Fried Rice.
What To Serve With African Fried Rice
Useful Tools For Making Fried Rice (affiliate)
- Wok. Woks are great for fried rice and stir fries because they have a large surface for stir frying.
- Mortar and pestle for pounding garlic and ginger into a paste. (You could use a blender instead.)
- Wood Pepper Grinder for freshly ground white or black pepper.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE AFRICAN FRIED RICE
Watch me making African Fried Rice in this video. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel so you do not miss any of my videos.
More Rice Dinners To Try
African Fried Rice is incredibly flavorful, so tasty with the combination of ingredients used. It is the fried rice that is often present at Nigerian or Cameroonian parties.
- 3 cups long grain parboiled rice see Note 1
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder see Note 3
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ pound liver
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme, divided substitute with dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, divided
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ½ inches ginger root, peeled
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup vegetable oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup chopped green beans
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper (from one large bell pepper) I used red bell pepper but any color bell pepper would work
- ½ cup frozen sweet corn rinsed and thawed
- ½ cup frozen sweet peas rinsed and thawed
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, optional see Note 6
Place 6 cups of water into a pot. Set pot on high heat and bring the water to a boil. To the water add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, 1 teaspoon of curry powder and the bay leaf. Thoroughly wash the rice (wash about 3 times to remove starch) and add into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, cover pot and let the rice cook until done.
Once the rice is done open pot, fluff the rice and spread open the rice to cool. You could also transfer the rice to a large tray and spread to cool.
Place the liver into a pot set on medium heat. Add half cup of water, a quarter teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of the chopped onions, one eighth teaspoon of the thyme and one eighth teaspoon of white pepper. Stir everything so the seasoning is evenly distributed. Cover the pot and let it cook until the liver is tender. Watch well and if the liquid dries up before the liver is tender, add a little more liquid.
Remove liver from its stock and place on a plate to cool down.
Place the garlic and ginger into a mortar and pound into a paste. Or place the garlic and ginger into a blender, add a little water and blend into a paste.
In a medium bowl or on a plate combine the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the garlic ginger paste, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon of thyme, and ⅛ teaspoon of white pepper. Mix everything well so the seasoning is evenly distributed on the chicken.
Dice the cooled-down liver. To the liver add half a teaspoon of the garlic ginger paste, one eighth of a teaspoon of salt and one eighth of a teaspoon of white pepper. Mix everything well so the liver is evenly seasoned.
Place a wok or wide bottom pot on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl around so the wok is evenly coated.
Add the chicken to the wok and distribute so the chicken is on a single layer. Let it cook for 2 minutes then stir the chicken around. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes while stirring around to prevent burns. The chicken should be fully cooked and must have gained some color at the end of this time. Remove the chicken from the wok. Some oil should be left in the wok if not, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok.
Let the oil heat up for 1-2 minutes then add the diced liver. Let it cook while stirring from time to time until the liver browns but doesn't burn. Remove the liver from the wok.
To the wok add the remaining oil and heat up. Add the remaining chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
Add in the garlic-ginger paste and stir so the flavors can bloom. Let the garlic-ginger paste cook in the oil for about 2 minutes.
Add the vegetables. Add in the carrots and stir for 1 minute. Add the green beans and stir for 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers and stir for 30 seconds. Add the corn and peas and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the green onions and stir for 30 seconds.
Add seasoning to the vegetables. Add the remaining curry powder, thyme, and chicken bouillon powder. Stir well to combine.
Add the rice to the wok. Add the rice to the wok in 4 batches mixing everything to combine carefully each time the rice is added.
Add back the chicken and liver to the wok and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of white pepper to the rice and mix well to combine.
Turn off the heat. African fried rice is ready.
Serve warm with fried plantains and grilled chicken.
1. Parboiled rice here refers to the kind of rice to use (rice labeled as "Parboiled" rice for example Uncle Ben's Parboiled Rice). It is not referring to rice that you parboiled (cooked half way).
2. You could use frozen mixed vegetables instead of cutting up vegetables from scratch.
3. Chicken bouillon powder is a stock powder made partially with chicken and other ingredients. Using it is a great way to add flavor to food.
4. You could replace the frozen sweet corn and peas with canned corn and peas.
5. Store this African Fried Rice in a dish with a tight-fitting lid in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or place on the stove-top in a pan and heat on medium heat.
6. If using habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, add it to the garlic-ginger paste and blend.
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