3-Ingredient Garlic Fried Rice Is My Favorite Filipino Breakfast

updated May 26, 2021
Kitchn Love Letters
Sinangag (Filipino Garlic Fried Rice)

In Tagalog, sinangag translates to “garlic fried rice," and it's exactly as it sounds: rice fried with a generous amount of garlic, salt, and pepper.

Serves4

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

In the Philippines breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you travel there you’ll see there are breakfast offerings everywhere you go. While foods like pandesal or taho (soft tofu with tapioca pearls and brown sugar syrup) are popular, more often than not breakfast includes some sort of rice. Sometimes its sweet, like kakanin or champorado (chocolate glutinous rice porridge), and other times it’s savory, like lugaw, and my personal favorite, sinangag.

What Is Sinangag?

In Tagalog, sinangag translates to “garlic fried rice,” and it’s exactly as it sounds: rice fried with a generous amount of garlic, salt, and pepper. Sinangag is often combined with itlog, meaning “egg,” creating the popular Filipino breakfast silog.

In the Philippines, silog is often served with a protein, the name of which will precede the word itlog in the title of the recipe. For example, if you serve spam with sinangag and itlog, you’d call it “spamsilog.” Silog served with tocino (sweet and savory pork) is called “tocilog,” while silog served with longanisa (sweet and savory sausage) is called “longsilog.” Bangus (bang-oos), or milkfish, is a popular fish eaten in the Philippines, and when served with silog, it’s called “bangsilog.”

As you can see, there’s no wrong way to “silog” — all you need is garlic fried rice and fried eggs.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

How to Make Sinangag

Because the heart of silog is the garlic fried rice, that’s what I’ll be teaching you how to make here. It’s incredibly simple, and if you have leftover rice, it only takes a few minutes to prepare.

You’ll start by prepping the garlic: Slice 4 cloves and mince 4 cloves. Then, season cold leftover jasmine rice with the minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. (You can also use leftover sushi rice, but know the end result will have sticky clumps). I usually spread the rice onto a large baking sheet to evenly season it, but you can also accomplish this in a large mixing bowl. Seasoning the rice is necessary to let all those garlic flavors shine! 

Next, sauté the garlic slices in a splash of canola oil until the edges begin to turn golden, stirring often to scent the oil. Add more oil and the seasoned rice to the skillet and toss until the rice is evenly coated in garlic oil. Spread the rice across the surface of the skillet and cook until a crust forms. Most of the garlic should be golden-brown to deep golden-brown, and the rice will have deep delicious garlic flavor. If you don’t like crispy rice bits in your fried rice you can skip this step, but in my opinion this is the very best part. Serve with your favorite protein and fried eggs.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.

Sinangag (Filipino Garlic Fried Rice)

In Tagalog, sinangag translates to “garlic fried rice," and it's exactly as it sounds: rice fried with a generous amount of garlic, salt, and pepper.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves

    garlic, divided

  • 3 cups

    cold cooked jasmine rice

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons

    canola or neutral oil, divided, plus more

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves, and mince the remaining 4 garlic cloves.

  2. Place 3 cups cold cooked jasmine rice in a large bowl and break up any large clumps with your hands. Season the rice with the minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and toss to evenly coat the rice.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic slices and cook, stirring, until the edges just begin to turn golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the seasoned rice and toss until well coated in the garlic oil, about 1 minute. Spread the rice across the surface of the pan and cook undisturbed until a light golden crust forms on the bottom and the garlic pieces are mostly golden-brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir and turn off heat. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Serve with your favorite protein and fried eggs.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.