African Fried Rice
Published Dec 30, 2020
Updated Jan 17, 2023
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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.
We love African Recipes. From Nigerian Beef Stew to Jollof Rice With Chicken, we are bound to enjoy an African dinner every week!
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 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 it 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
African Fried Rice makes a complete meal on its own but you could also serve it with sweet fried plantains, baked chicken, and vegetable salad.
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
Looking for more African recipes to try? Try these:
If you make this African fried rice recipe, please consider leaving a star rating below or tagging us on Instagram, @preciouscore. I love hearing from you!
African Fried Rice
- 3 cups long grain parboiled rice see Note 1
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder see Note 3
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 pound liver
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme, divided substitute with dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, divided
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 inches ginger root, peeled
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn rinsed and thawed
- 1/2 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.
Make Garlic Ginger Paste
- 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, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper. Mix everything well so the seasoning is evenly distributed on the chicken.
Cut Up Liver and Season
- 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.
Make Fried Rice
- 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 1/4 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.
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Very simple and delicious, loved it.
Thank you so much!
Thanks, so full of spice, very nice. Thanks
You are welcome, Lee. Thank you!
Gave it five stars based on ingredients and on how you explained preparation. Always looking for new fried rice ideas. Thank you.
Thank you for your kind words, Pat!
This dish is a must cook,i love beautiful,spicy and colorful dishes and here is one,thanks.
You are so welcome, Emiliana.
This looks nutritious to. I’m always looking for easy quick meals.
Hope you enjoy, Lorraine!
The fact that I didn’t see eggs there makes me know u know what u were saying
After seeing this recipe, I asked my mom to make it for my birthday dinner, with one slight change find a meat other than liver. She used pork. The rice was absolutely delicious with all of it’s vegetables and two kinds of meat. Although next time we will be cutting the recipe in half. Tonight 4 adults ate it as their main course, I have made 6 lunches for this week and still have leftovers.
So glad you loved it, Danielle!
Thank you Precious Core. That looks insanely delicious.
You are welcome sis.
Thanks for the recipe
In the 90’s I used to eat this, but had friends prepare it, I watched – but never did the cooking!
So I can’t tell you how happy I am to find this recipe! And it’s very anthentic, my friends were West African, (and they used the scotch bonnet!)
I have a few questions:
I don’t have a wok. Will a dutch oven do?
Can I omit the liver? I’m afraid of liver!
I remember my friends putting a few drop of maggi seasoning, do you think that’s ok to use?
And finally, the one stand-out thing I remember about the rice, was a little crust that formed on the bottom of the pan. I’m pretty sure they used un cooked rice, and as it cooked, undisturbed, a layer of fried rice formed on the bottom. The crust! The best bit!
I will check out your YouTube channel and subscribe! That’s my way of thanking you for sharing this recipe. I consider it like I found a long lost recipe, makes me so happy. I’m going to cook it tomorrow!!!
Hi Nancy, I am so glad this recipe brings back sweet memories for you! To answer your questions:
Yes, you can use a dutch oven and yes, you can also omit the liver. I just made some last weekend without the liver and it tasted great! Also, the liquid Maggi seasoning is okay to use but note that it is salty so be careful with how you add salt and the bouillon seasoning which is equally salty.
Hope you enjoy!