- Food: Vegetable Fried Rice
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
I wanted to make a healthier version of fatty take-out vegetable fried rice. It’s here in all its grandeur, and it’s as colorful as it is savory. Hooray!
Naturally, I used brown rice, and I even put in a handful of greens for added health benefits. (The greens aren’t required.)
I also tried a few different vegetables, and they all worked great as long as they were sliced into extremely little bits.
When you have leftover rice and some weird fresh vegetables in your fridge, this is exactly what you should cook. It’s going to be fantastic!
Vegetable Fried Rice
Because most of us don’t have work at home, I created this recipe to work nicely in a conventional pan (ideally cast iron).
The only challenging aspect, which isn’t all that difficult, is cooking the eggs, vegetables, and rice separately before mixing them all together at the end.
Each component will be cooked to perfection, and the vegetables and rice will have the opportunity to develop those beautiful golden edges.
Fried Rice with Vegetable
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
15 minutes to cook
35-minute total time
Serving:2 to 3 servings
Learn how to prepare vegetable fried rice—it’s a quick and easy meal! Extra vegetables and brown grains are included in this vegetarian meal.
2 large or 3 moderate portions from this recipe (I think you could double it if you have a large enough skillet, but you might not get as much caramelization on the edges of the veggies and rice).
- 1 ½ teaspoon + 2 tablespoons avocado oil or safflower oil, divided
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 cups additional veggies, cut into very small pieces for quick cooking (see photos for size reference; options include snow peas, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, and/or fresh or frozen peas—no need to thaw first)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger
- 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (see notes!)
- 1 cup greens (optional), such as spinach, baby kale, or tatsoi
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Chili-garlic sauce or sriracha, for serving (optional)
- This dish is simple to make. Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and within arm’s reach of the stove before you begin. Keep an empty bowl nearby for the cooked eggs and vegetables. I recommend starting on medium-high heat, but if you smell oil or food burning, reduce the heat to medium.
- Warm a big cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until a few droplets of water evaporate quickly. Pour in 12 teaspoons of oil and swirl it around in the pan to coat the bottom. Swirl the scrambled eggs around in the pan to coat the bottom. Cook, flipping or stirring occasionally until they are just faintly set. Remove the eggs to a bowl and wipe the pan clean with a heat-resistant spatula.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and return it to the heat. Then add the onion and carrots and simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft.
- Then add the remaining vegetables and season with salt. Cook, stirring periodically (don’t stir too much or the veggies won’t turn golden on the sides) until the veggies are cooked through and turning golden, about 3 to 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, break up the scrambled eggs into smaller pieces using the edge of your spatula or a spoon.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl containing the cooked eggs using a large spatula or spoon. Return the pan and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the heat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring regularly, until the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes are aromatic. Combine all of the ingredients, including the rice, in a mixing bowl. Cook, stirring periodically, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is heated and brown on the edges.
- Stir in the greens (if using) and green onions until everything is well combined. Stir in the cooked vegetables and eggs until everything is well combined. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tamari and sesame oil, stirring to combine. Taste, and season with a little more tamari or salt if the dish needs a boost of overall flavor (don’t overdo it, or the other tastes will be drowned out).
- Serve immediately after dividing into bowls. On the side, I normally serve mine with a chili-garlic sauce or sriracha. Leftovers keep nicely in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, covered (if you used purple cabbage, your scrambled eggs may turn a strange blue color, but it’s good to eat).
- RICE NOTES: To make enough rice for this dish, cook about 1 cup dry rice; be careful not to overcook it or it will stick to the pan. Because it’s a little chewier, I prefer short-grain brown rice, but medium-grain or jasmine rice will also work. This is how I prepare brown rice. You can use freshly cooked rice if you spread it out on a big tray and set it aside to cool for 5 to 10 minutes (this allows it to dry out a little and prevents it from steaming in the pan). Rice that has been sitting in the fridge for a day or two is also delicious. Before you add the rice to the pan, break up any clumps. The rice tips are courtesy of Serious Eats!
- To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari instead of ordinary soy sauce.
- TO MAKE IT VEGAN: Remove the eggs and the 12 tablespoons of oil that goes with them from the recipe. Add 1 cup edamame (thawed if required) or a batch of my crispy baked tofu to the cooked vegetables at the end for added protein.