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MonSep 20

National Fried Rice Day – September 20, 2021

We celebrate National Fried Rice Day on September 20 every year. This observance encourages everyone to indulge in their preferred version of fried rice. Prepared with long-grained rice, onions, carrots, peas, and eggs, this tasty meal is the quintessential guilty pleasure. Whether your preferred version contains beef, pork, or chicken, today is the perfect time to enjoy it. Fried rice takes center stage today as the flavor captures our hearts and keeps us wanting more.

History of National Fried Rice Day

Fried rice first appeared in China’s Sui Dynasty and, consequently, all versions of this delicacy have their origins in Chinese fried rice. Fried rice is the national dish of Malaysia and Indonesia and features prominently in South-, Southeast-, and East-Asian cuisines. It is a typical homemade dish with several variations since it can be prepared using ingredients from other dishes.

The first Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, Benihana, started Fried Rice Day in 2018 to celebrate the much-loved meal. For many, fried rice isn’t just a side dish to indulge in, it is a fulfilling meal bursting with flavors to keep your taste buds on the edge. Benihana has served its famous rice for more than 50 years to generations of food lovers across the country. This tasty meal is a beloved dish anywhere in the world.

Hokkien and Yangzhou fried rice are popular varieties of this meal in Greater China. The Japanese have a derivative of the Chinese fried rice called ‘chāhan.’ Southeast Asia boasts similar Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian fried rice variations (‘Thai Khao phat’ and ‘nasi goreng’), which are popular dishes.

Restaurants in the Western world have since invented their own versions of fried rice. Vegetarian menus include specialties such as egg-fried rice. Many American restaurants serving cuisines without the native tradition of a dish also include fried rice in their menus. Several Latin-American varieties of fried rice exist, including Puerto Rico’s ‘arroz mamposteao,’ Peru’s ‘arroz chaufa,’ Cuba’s ‘arroz frito,’ and Ecuador’s ‘chaulafan.’

Today, we celebrate this delicious meal and explore what it means to generations of food lovers all around the globe!

National Fried Rice Day timeline

589–618 A.D.
First Record of Fried Rice

Fried rice makes its first appearance in China during the Sui Dynasty.

1964
Benihana Opens

The first Benihana restaurant opens.

2018
Benihana Breaks the World Record

Benihana smashes the world record for the longest cooking marathon.

2018
National Fried Rice Day is Introduced

Benihana introduces National Fried Rice Day.

National Fried Rice Day FAQs

Why are eggs added to fried rice?

Eggs add flavor, protein, and an excellent texture to a dish of fried rice. Add diced onions, carrots, and peas for the best results. 

What happens when fried rice goes bad?

If you consume large amounts, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea for hours after consumption.

Can fried rice help you lose weight?

Fried rice typically packs lots of carbs and fat, but there are healthy versions that can expedite weight loss. Go crazy with your veggies! 

How to Celebrate National Fried Rice Day

  1. Make a homemade dish or eat out

    Make your favorite version of fried rice to enjoy at home. You can also go to a Benihana’s nearby and have a meal with friends and family.

  2. Throw a rice party

    Have yourself a party because, why not? Invite your friends over and stuff yourselves with fried rice.

  3. Share your recipe

    Share your favorite fried rice recipe or teach someone how to make the dish. Share your meal on your socials with the hashtag #NationalFriedRiceDay.

5 Facts About Fried Rice That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. No leftovers

    Fried rice may have been invented as a means of preserving leftover rice according to the Chinese custom of not wasting food.

  2. That’s a lot of rice

    Since the restaurant was first established, Benihana has dished out approximately 2,720,350 pounds of rice every year.

  3. Named after a flower

    The name ‘Benihana’ is Japanese for ‘red safflower’ and happens to be the name of the coffee shop owned by Hiroaki Aoki’s (Benihana founder) parents in Tokyo.

  4. Humble beginnings

    Benihana’s owner, Hiroaki Aoki, was a wrestler on Japan’s wrestling team at the 1960 Olympic Games.

  5. Packing the pounds

    The calories in a single serving of fried rice match that of half a cup of ice cream.

Why We Love National Fried Rice Day

  1. Nutritious meal

    Fried rice is very accomodating to vegetables as is demonstrated by the inclusion of this variation on many vegetarian menus. It is also a good source of protein.

  2. It is versatile

    Fried rice blends effortlessly with many flavors. Whether you’re going for sour, spicy, or sweet, fried rice works just fine.

  3. We love good food

    Is there anything better than satisfying that inner craving for good food? Well, if you find out, be sure to let us know.

National Fried Rice Day dates

YearDateDay
2021September 20Monday
2022September 20Tuesday
2023September 20Wednesday
2024September 20Friday
2025September 20Saturday

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