Friends, do you know how long it’s been since I had fried rice? Far. Too. Long.
This recipe is my solution to that problem and you should totally get on board because it’s quick, easy and super delicious.
Origin of Fried Rice
The exact origin of fried rice is unknown, but it’s earliest mention is believed to be in a book about Chinese cuisine from the Sui Dynasty (569-618). The story is that Emperor Yang Guang tasted the dish in Yangzhou and loved it so much that it became an imperial dish.
The standard recipe for Yangzhou fried rice includes rice, eggs, meat, fish, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and peas. You can find a traditional (not vegan) recipe here.
Our plant-based version strays from traditional in terms of ingredients, but is similarly colorful and cooks the rice twice for a “fried” effect.
How to Make Vegan Fried Rice
This fried rice requires just 10 ingredients and easy, fool-proof methods.
Including cooking the rice, the whole dish comes together in a little over an hour and feeds two generously as an entrée boasting 27 grams of protein!
Now we’re talking…
It starts with my favorite crispy, baked tofu marinated in a simple 5-ingredient sauce and sautéed to crispy perfection.
Next comes a generous helping of vegetables tossed with the remaining sauce and perfectly tender brown rice.
The result? Fried rice perfection. It’s:
Loaded with vegetables
Topped with crispy tofu
Make this as an entrée or a side dish when a serious Chinese takeout craving strikes! I reckon it’s far healthier and more satisfying than anything you’ll find at a restaurant.
What to Serve with Fried Rice
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment and rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Easy Vegan Fried Rice
RICE + VEGETABLES
- 1 cup extra-firm tofu* (8 ounces yields ~1 cup)
- 1 cup long- or short-grain brown rice* (rinsed thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup carrots (finely diced)
- 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (plus more for veggies + to taste)
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2-3 Tbsp organic brown sugar, muscovado sugar, or maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (more or less depending on preferred spice)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional // or sub peanut or avocado oil)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease with non-stick spray).
- In the meantime wrap tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy on top (such as a cast iron skillet) to press out the liquid.
- Once the oven is preheated, dice tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 26-30 minutes. You’re looking for golden brown edges and a texture that’s firm to the touch. The longer it bakes, the firmer and crispier it will become, so if you’re looking for softer tofu remove from the oven around the 26-28 minute mark. I prefer crispy tofu, so I bake mine the full 30 minutes. Set aside.
- While the tofu bakes prepare your rice by bringing 12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add rinsed rice and stir. Boil on high uncovered for 30 minutes, then strain for 10 seconds and return to pot removed from the heat. Cover with a lid and let steam for 10 minutes*.
- While rice and tofu are cooking, prepare sauce by adding all ingredients to a medium-size mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari or soy sauce for saltiness, peanut butter for creaminess, brown sugar for sweetness, or chili garlic sauce for heat.
- Once the tofu is done baking, add directly to the sauce and marinate for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, use a slotted spoon to scoop the tofu into the pan leaving most of the sauce behind. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown on all sides (see photo). Lower heat if browning too quickly. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To the still hot pan add garlic, green onion, peas and carrots. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and season with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Add cooked rice, tofu, and remaining sauce and stir. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve immediately with extra chili garlic sauce or sriracha for heat (optional). Crushed salted, roasted peanuts or cashews make a lovely additional garnish. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave.
*For the rice, you can also substitute a comparable amount of quinoa.
*Rice cooking method from Saveur! Literally, the perfect brown rice.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts of brown sugar and chili garlic sauce.