Fried Rice with Chicken Breast and Sugar Snap Peas


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Wolfgang PuckOne of my favorite ways to enjoy sugar snap peas is as the featured vegetable in Chinese-style fried rice. Quickly stir-fried until barely cooked, the sugar snaps maintain their bright-green color and crisp texture, and their sweet flavor contrasts wonderfully with those of onions, garlic and soy. I've included chicken as the featured protein in the recipe that follows; but you can use pork, ham, beef or shrimp instead, or prepare a meatless version as a side dish or vegetarian main course.

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  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half
  • 3/4-lb. sugar snap peas
  • 2 C. cooked and cooled white rice, preferably made a day ahead
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped cilantro leaves or Italian parsley

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With a sharp knife, trim away any fat or connective tissue from the chicken breast. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Rinse the sugar snap peas under cold running water. Pat them thoroughly dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. With your fingertips, pinch off the stem end of each pod and pull lengthwise along the seam to remove the strings. In a bowl, gently rub the cold rice between your fingers to separate it into individual grains. Within easy reach close to the stove, arrange the chicken breast cubes, sugar snap peas, rice, garlic, onion, beaten egg and soy sauce. Heat a nonstick wok or a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When it is so hot that it is barely beginning to show slight wisps of smoke, add the garlic, onion and cubed chicken breast. With a stir-fry spatula or a long-handled wooden spatula or spoon, stir constantly until the chicken pieces begin to color slightly 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry just until their color brightens, about 30 seconds. Then add the rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Drizzle the beaten eggs around the rim of the wok or skillet so that it cooks before it touches the rice. Stir the egg into the rice. Sprinkle in the soy sauce and stir well. Season the fried rice to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a heated serving dish or individual plates, garnish with cilantro or parsley, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Also, chef Wolfgang Puck's latest cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy, is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)



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