How to Make Yellow Fried Rice (Java Rice)

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. 

Yellow Rice

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!

Yellow 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!

Yellow 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?

Yellow Rice

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!

Yellow Rice

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.

GET BOOK HERE ➡️ Amazon >
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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!

Yellow Rice
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4.87 from 37 votes

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.
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Asian Cuisine, Filipino, Southeast Asian
Keyword Asian yellow rice, easy yellow rice, easy yellow rice recipe, filipino yellow rice, how to make yellow rice, how to make yellow rice filipino style, jasmine yellow rice, Java Rice, yellow fried rice, yellow rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manila Spoon


  • 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.

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 08:07 pm



  1. Julia
    June 25, 2020 / 9:09 am

    5 stars
    What a delicious and easy to make side dish!

  2. Angela
    June 25, 2020 / 9:16 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is so quick and easy with leftover rice. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

  3. Rebecca
    June 25, 2020 / 9:17 am

    5 stars
    I have all the ingredients to make this rice! can’t wait because it looks delish & easy!!!

  4. Amanda Wren-Grimwood
    June 25, 2020 / 9:24 am

    5 stars
    We eat so much rice at home it’s really good to have another tasty option that goes with lots of dishes.

  5. Jennifer
    June 25, 2020 / 9:27 am

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  6. Luci
    June 25, 2020 / 9:27 am

    5 stars
    This Java Rice recipe is delicious and so easy to make! I paired it with our grilled meat last night for dinner and everyone loved it! I will be making this rice again very soon!

  7. Liz
    June 25, 2020 / 10:45 am

    5 stars
    We love fried rice and I’ve been looking for ways to switch up our usual recipe. This was perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Scarlet
    June 26, 2020 / 8:10 am

    This yellow rice sounds delicious plus turmeric is so good for you!

  9. Taleen
    June 26, 2020 / 8:11 pm

    5 stars
    I absolutely love fried rice! This looks so good, I can’t wait to try it!

  10. Marta
    June 26, 2020 / 10:10 pm

    5 stars
    I love how vibrant and flavorful this rice is. It’s sure to become one of my new favorites.

  11. Stine Mari
    June 27, 2020 / 12:38 am

    5 stars
    I love to spice up my rice! The turmeric gives this rice such a beautiful yellow color and it sounds absolutely delicious!

  12. Katerina
    June 27, 2020 / 5:48 am

    5 stars
    I’ve always liked this rice and now I finally know how to make it, thank you! Congratulations on your book – it looks amazing!

  13. Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    June 27, 2020 / 8:37 am

    5 stars
    This is such a great recipe for yellow fried rice. The flavors are perfect and it really is easy to do. Will make again.

  14. Jar of Lemons
    June 27, 2020 / 9:25 am

    5 stars
    What a great recipe! I love this simple way to mix up what could be a “boring” rice recipe. This adds some flair and no doubt flavor to any dish!

  15. Sophia
    June 27, 2020 / 11:12 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is really easy but gives the rice a nice flavor. It’s paired really well grilled chicken. Super tasty and simple πŸ™‚

  16. sapana
    June 27, 2020 / 11:48 am

    5 stars
    This is so simple and yet flavorful fried rice recipe. Garlic and soy sauce go so well together.

  17. Sondra Barker
    June 27, 2020 / 1:57 pm

    5 stars
    I love the twist from plain white rice. Definitely something to try this summer!

  18. June 27, 2020 / 3:49 pm

    5 stars
    I love fried rice, I also love yellow rice. I never would have thought to make the two of them together! This is delicious thank you!

  19. Lathiya
    June 27, 2020 / 4:50 pm

    5 stars
    This yellow fried rice looks so yum and flavorful. May I know what rice you used in this recipe.

    • abigail
      June 27, 2020 / 8:40 pm

      Jasmine rice. Left-over chilled jasmine rice. Enjoy!

  20. Beth
    June 27, 2020 / 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    I haven’t run across a turmeric rice recipe that calls for cooked rice – I definitely want to try this with some rice I bought that is very stubborn to cook, but would be good this way.

  21. Jere Cassidy
    June 28, 2020 / 12:02 am

    5 stars
    Glad you posted this recipe. I make plain white rice and yes, it is boring and I need something with more flavor. This is easy and I have all the ingredients. Can’t wait to make it.

  22. Amy Liu Dong
    June 28, 2020 / 4:55 am

    5 stars
    As I’m a person who love fried rice, this is definitely one of my favorite rice recipes. I can eat this anytime of the day or I mean everyday. Loved it!

  23. Lesli Schwartz
    June 28, 2020 / 11:57 am

    5 stars
    This rice looks so delicious! I love the yellow coloring from the turmeric, so healthy too! It’s a great side for any protein!

  24. Kari
    June 29, 2020 / 12:31 pm

    5 stars
    Never heard of Java rice but this looks like something that my family will enjoy having for dinner.

  25. David Williams
    March 24, 2024 / 10:40 pm

    5 stars
    I made my first batch of this Java rice a few hours ago & I’m still feeling the love. Easy, economical and especially tasty with the Chicken Inasal. If you haven’t tried this, you’re depriving yourself. Live a little, love a lot!
    Many thanks, Abigail! πŸ™‚

    • abigail
      March 26, 2024 / 2:16 pm

      You’re welcome and thank you so much for the feedback! We love this rice so I’m happy you loved it too.

4.87 from 37 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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