“Fried Rice” first came to Japan from China over a thousand years ago (7-9th Century), around the time when the rice was gradually becoming the staple food amongst people in Japan.

Ever since then, Fried Rice (炒飯, Chahan) in Japan has been evolving in unique ways. Many Western countries today also have their own versions of Fried Rice (which originally came from China via the Silk Road), for example, “Paella” in Spain and “Pilaf” in Turkey and France.

So the bottom line is that Chahan (Fried Rice) in Japan is more or less different than the Fried Rice that you see in China or other parts of the world.

Japanese Chahan (Fried Rice)

Chahan is a Japanese fried rice dish that is typically fried and can be cooked by stir-frying it in a wok. Rice is used as a primary ingredient, and myriad additional ingredients can be used, such as vegetables, onion, garlic, edible mushrooms such as shiitake, tofu, pork, pork belly, seafood such as crab meat, roe, salmon, shrimp and octopus, scrambled egg, ground beef, and chicken broth, among others. (from Wikipedia)

The below restaurant in Shibuya offers a delicious “Crab Fried Rice (Kani Chahan)”:

Kani Chahan Shibuya (かにチャーハン渋谷店)

Also, “Chahan King” is one of the most popular Chahan chain stores in Japan.

Chahan King Shimbashi (チャーハン王 新橋店)

Garlic Beef Chahan at “Chahan King Shimbashi”, Image from http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g-interview/entry/tos/3341

Chahan King has an official guide as to “how to taste Chahan” when dining at the restaurant:

How to Taste Chahan (Fried Rice) at “Chahan King”

  1. Taste the soup
  2. Taste Chahan (Fried Rice)
  3. Taste Chahan and soup together
  4. Add a spoon of a special sauce to the Fried Rice and taste the Chahan
  5. Taste “the special sauce added Chahan” and the soup together

Whoa…this is interesting. Anyway, hope you’ll get to try a quality Fried Rice in Japan!