Vegetable fried rice has been a favorite dish of mine since I was a kid. Chowing down on a huge pile while dining out was always great, but the best thing was eating it straight out of the cardboard take-out container.
You totally know what I’m talking about.
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I feel like fried rice is pretty tricky to recreate at home, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly create an authentic recipe. Similar to other ethnic food, I think it takes years of training or a grandma who’s been cooking for a million years to show you how it’s done.
However, this vegetable fried rice is about as close as I’ve ever come to the real thing. It’s simply flavored and doesn’t take long to throw together. The key is you must cook the rice ahead of time and let it chill for at least 1 night in the fridge. Using just-cooked rice is seriously disappointing. Trust me.
Lately I’ve been loving veggie-packed meals that come together in under 30 minutes and are easy to shop for. I mean, who doesn’t love a good quick and simple meal? With prep and cook time I’d say you could get this finished in 25 minutes, and you’ll even have leftovers for lunch the next day. Not too shabby.
I almost always have all of these ingredients on hand each week, but in case you don’t, you can always make substitutions with other vegetables you have in the fridge. It’s a great “pantry” meal with the mix of fresh and frozen ingredients that I’ve used.
And while “fried” is in the title of this recipe and the rice does sort of get fried, it’s actually a super healthy meal. I’ve loaded this with some of my favorite vegetables like Earthbound Farm’s frozen peas, fresh broccoli, and carrots. I just love the vibrancy and texture that those vegetables add.
For an added kick of protein I’ve also added shelled edamame. And for a little pop of juice and sweetness I added frozen mango. You may be familiar with adding pineapple to fried rice and other Asian dishes, but I thought I’d switch things up today with mango. It was a welcome change!
This is the type of comforting winter meal I adore and it totally sticks to your ribs.
You’ll see in the instructions that you combine the rice and vegetables together in 2 batches. I know that sounds annoying but it really helps keep the rice from turning mushy and the veggies from going limp. Using a large wok or your largest pan possible also helps!
adapted from: the Thug Kitchen cookbook
Vegetable Fried Rice
gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-4 large servings
- 2 1/2 tablespoons refined avocado oil (or other high-heat cooking oil)
- 2 cups EBF broccoli, chopped into florets
- 2 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 large EBF carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 cup EBF frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed
- 4 cups pre-cooked short grain brown rice (chilled for at least 8 hours after cooking)
- 1 cup EBF frozen mango, thawed and chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced EBF green onion
Place about 2 teaspoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the broccoli and cook until vibrant green, about 4-5 minutes. Toss every minute or so.
While the broccoli cooks stir together the tamari, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Set aside.
Add the onion and carrot to the broccoli and cook until starting to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every minute or so. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add the thawed peas and edamame and cook for 1 minute. Stir a few times. Remove mixture from the wok onto a large plate or baking sheet. Wipe out the pan.
(Have all of your ingredients ready as the next part moves quickly over high heat to avoid soggy rice.)
Set the wok (or large pan) over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add 2 cups of the rice and let fry for about 1 minute (very hot! watch for spattering), tossing a few times. Pour half of the sauce on top. Toss to combine and let cook for about 30 seconds, stirring 2-3 times (you want some of the sauce to soak in, but you don’t want the pan to dry up). Add 1/2 of the veggies back to the pan along with 1/2 of the mango and 2-3 tablespoons of green onion. Cook for about 1 minute until well combined and hot.
Serve hot and top with sriracha, tamari, green onion, sesame seeds, etc. Repeat the same process above with remaining rice and vegetables.
Let cool before storing in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- It’s very important to use a wok/pan over high heat with high-heat oil. If you don’t do this, the rice will turn mushy. Also, cooking in 2 stages prevents the rice from becoming mushy as well.
- Thaw and drain your peas and edamame. No boiling is required. Just toss them in the pan as directed.
- It is crucial to use rice that is chilled and has been pre-cooked, or you’ll end up with soft, mushy fried rice.
- Long + medium grain rice also works well and will have less stickiness and a more toothsome bite.
- scant 1 1/4 cups uncooked short grain brown rice = appx. 4 cups cooked
One of the best combination of ingredients ever. I will forever be a fried rice lover.