With a bright deep-yellow color derived from turmeric, this easy and super tasty rice dish (Java Rice / Yellow Fried Rice) lends a pop of color to any meal. Perfect summer side dish as it pairs so well with barbecued or grilled meat, chicken or seafood! Just a few ingredients needed to make this.
I love, love, love fried rice! What’s even better? I use left-over chilled rice to make fried rice so nothing is wasted! This is what I have learned growing up on a tiny island in the Philippine archipelago – you never waste precious rice!
White fried rice, though certainly tasty, can get very plain and boring sometimes. Thankfully, we can add a pop of color to plain white rice and make it a more appetizing and eye-catching dish! In the Philippines, we call that yellowish rice as Java rice!
I know it seems to have a strange name, right? You know why? Because Java is actually an island in Indonesia and you’ve probably heard of it more as a type of coffee as well. Java coffee, of course, originated from the Java Islands of Indonesia. But how did it end up becoming the name of a favorite Filipino rice dish?
Honestly, I am as clueless as you are. I actually tried to research this when I wrote my cookbook. Yes, this Java rice is included in my book entitled Rice. Noodles. Yum. (Everyone’s Favorite Southeast Asian Dishes). But, I couldn’t find out how the Filipino yellow rice ended up being called Java rice. I just remember from memory that this was first introduced on the menu by a very popular restaurant in Metro Manila called Aristocrat. As far as I know, once it became popular there it then became a household name and so many restaurants now make their own version of Java rice.
I honestly think it was named as such because it was probably inspired by or based on the Indonesian yellow rice called “nasi kuning.” Perhaps they just adapted the Java name too if it was indeed a play on the Indonesian yellow rice. Whether this is true or not, let me just tell you that this is one deliciously tasty rice that is so perfect eaten with grilled meats! Since it’s summer and I’ve been doing a lot of grilling so you can be sure, I have this rice often! I hope you try this and let us know if you like it. It’s super easy to make and only has very few ingredients!
Looking for more rice recipes? Look no further than our cookbook with 75 RICE & NOODLE dishes all in full color. Check the video flip through below to see its content.
With a variety of authentic popular fried rice dishes, noodle favorites like Pad Thai, Pansit, Pho Bo, Mie Goreng and so much more, plus the yummiest street food and sweet treats – this cookbook has a recipe for everyone! It’s like traveling to South East Asia without having to leave home.
Try these yummy grilled meats with this tasty Java Rice!
Enjoy this delicious rice this summer or anytime you want an easy and tasty vibrant fried rice!
How to Make Yellow Fried Rice (Java Rice)
With a bright deep-yellow color derived from turmeric, this easy and super tasty rice dish lends a pop of color to any meal. Perfect summer side dish as it pairs so well with barbecued or grilled meat, chicken or seafood! Just a few ingredients needed to make this.
- 2 tbsp cooking oil of choice
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 cups cooked and chilled rice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil and the garlic over low heat and cook until the garlic is nicely browned. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the cooked garlic and set aside. Add the butter and ground turmeric to the pan and cook until the butter melts.
Add the rice to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Press or pat down the rice using a spatula to separate the grains, then fold the rice over. Do these steps two steps a few times until the rice grains have fully separated. Continue to cook until the rice is fully heated through and has turned yellowish in color. Make sure that the color is evenly distributed.
Season the rice with the soy sauce and salt, stirring once more until the rice has fully absorbed the soy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve immediately adding the remaining browned garlic as garnish.