Fourth City Barbecue’s Bacon Fried Rice

Since they first met about a decade ago, Erica McKinley and Greg Mueller of Fourth City Barbecue have been a force in their home kitchen, dazzling friends and family with McKinley’s delicious cooking and Mueller’s skill at all-wood barbecue. Over the years, their bacon fried rice has transformed from something they would frequently throw together as a fridge clean-out meal to a polished dish that has become one of their signature items. The key is the sauce, which has just enough sweetness to balance the super savory umami flavors. The pair loves Thai food and always jump at the opportunity to sneak fish sauce into a dish. In this recipe, it adds a subtle funk and complexity, though the Fourth City bacon is what does the heavy lifting. You can use any other thick-cut bacon, but they promise that it won’t be the same. “The clean, smoky flavor of the bacon pieces, coupled with the smooth mouthfeel of the fat-coated rice grains just might be why this dish is our number one selling side,” says McKinley. “We top ours with a sprinkle of Fourth City’s house-made seasoned salt to seal the deal—but we aren’t ready to give away all our secrets just yet!” Maybe next time. Until then, try your favorite seasoned salt, like Lawry’s, on top, and enjoy this favorite comfort meal-turned-restaurant side dish from the comfort of your home.

Makes 5-6 servings


  • 5 cups cooked Jasmine rice (preferably 1-2 days old)
  • 10 ounces Fourth City Barbecue bacon, diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 5 green onions thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2–3 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt


  1. Whisk together oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, sambal oelek, rice wine vinegar, honey, and 2 ½ teaspoons of vegetable oil. Set aside.
  2. Place diced bacon in a large skillet. Starting cold, render the bacon over medium-low heat until fat is well-rendered and bacon is starting to crisp up.
  3. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel, reserving rendered fat in the skillet. (You want to have about 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in your skillet. If you have less than that, you can supplement with additional vegetable oil.)
  4. Once the bacon has been removed, turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the diced onion and carrot to the skillet. Sautée until vegetables are tender, for about 5–7 minutes.
  5. Add the whites of the green onion along with the garlic and ginger. Sautée for another minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the peas and sautée for another minute.
  7. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and mix well, breaking up any clumps. Fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Make a well in the middle of the skillet by pushing the rice to the sides. Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the well, and add the beaten eggs.
  9. Sprinkle eggs with a pinch of salt. Do not disturb the eggs until they start to set. Stir eggs with a spatula until they are mostly set. Mix the scrambled eggs into the rice.
  10. Retrieve the sauce you made earlier, and give it another whisk to make sure it is fully mixed together. Pour it over the rice, and mix everything together until fully incorporated.
  11. Turn off the heat. Add ¾ of the green portion of the green onion to the skillet and mix. Season to taste with salt.
  12. Serve garnished with the rest of the green onion.

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