Sesame Fried Rice

ceramic bowl with fried rice and vegetablesPhoto Credit:  Laura Lanckriet; 

The Science

A recent study published in the journal Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society tested organic and conventional rice from Indonesia for pesticide residues and detected chemicals only in conventional rice. The main chemicals the study detected were all neurotoxins including Heptachlor, (banned in the U.S. in 1988 because of extreme toxicity), Aldrin and Dieldrin (both banned for use in agriculture in the U.S. in 1970, and banned for all uses in 1987), and Diazinon, an organophosphate still allowed for use in the U.S. Both Mercury and Arsenic were found in conventional, but not organic production. While health implications of residues were not studied, the fact that several of the detected chemicals have been banned in the U.S. because of health concerns suggests that at the very least, organic rice farmers in the study region are protected against the risks associated with the detected chemicals in the conventional rice.

The Recipe

Usually fried rice recipes call for adding in scrambled eggs at the end, but this recipe calls for a technique that coats all the rice with egg and cooks very slowly to not brown the egg. While I use a wooden spoon to stir, the friend who taught me her family technique swears by stirring with wooden chopsticks to separate all the rice grains.


For cooked rice:

  • 3 cups cooked organic rice (white or brown), preferably leftover and previously chilled 
  • 3-4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

For cooked eggs:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • Optional: chopped green onions, any other cooked veggies or cooked meat

Cooking Instructions

  • Prepare egg mixture first by beating eggs, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl.
  • Heat sesame oil in pan on medium-high and add cooked rice. Fry rice until somewhat translucent or at least until hot. Sprinkle salt to taste.
  • Turn heat to low and add egg mixture to rice. Stir to coat all rice and continue to stir constantly until all egg is cooked. Once cooked, add sesame seeds and other garnishes if using. Serve.


Banner photo credit:  Laura Lanckriet;

Entrees, Other, Sides
pesticide exposure, human health, farmworker health, heavy metals, rice, benefits of organic