This vegan fried rice recipe is packed with fresh mixed vegetables and aromatic spices for a hearty, tasty meal. This is without a doubt one of our favorite Chinese-inspired dishes. Not only is vegetable fried rice very simple to make from scratch, but it’s also a naturally vegan recipe that’s as healthy as it is tasty. You can even make gluten-free veg fried rice by adding GF-friendly soy sauce or tamari.
In relation to this recipe
Even though Chinese fried rice is a healthy option, it is jam-packed with tantalizing tastes. Raw scallions offer a terrific flash of freshness, while salty, umami, and savory soy sauce are balanced with spicy star anise.
Otherwise, I kept the ingredient list simple to let each aspect shine – the vegetables are the true stars here!
Fried rice with mixed vegetables may be eaten on its own for a filling lunch, but it also pairs well with rich, spicy main courses.
This recipe rivals even the best takeout, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy making it as part of your Indo-Chinese dinners on a regular basis.
Stir-frying in a cast-iron skillet or wok over high heat provides a smokey taste and aroma. Even while your home stovetop cannot match the heat and temperature of the stovetops in Chinese restaurants, you can still make delicious homemade fried rice.
I don’t use Ajinomoto, but if you’re comfortable with it, go ahead and use it. My fried rice recipe gets its umami, smokey tastes from high-heat stir-frying and the addition of mushrooms and toasted sesame oil.
Preparing and Cooking Rice for Fried Rice
- Well-cooked white rice is the foundation of a delicious veggie fried rice recipe. To begin, soak 1 cup (190 to 200 grams) of basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Then drain the rice and set it aside.
If you don’t have Basmati rice, a good grade-aged long-grained rice would suffice. In a pinch, jasmine rice will suffice.
- Place 4 to 4.5 cups water, 12 teaspoon salt, and 2 to 3 drops of toasted sesame oil (or other cooking oil) in a big saucepan on the burner over high heat.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Add the basmati rice, which has been soaked and drained.
- Cook the rice over medium to medium-high heat, uncovered.
- Cook rice until it is al dente, or almost done. It’s critical not to overcook the rice at this phase if you want to make the best Chinese fried rice.
- Strain the ice in a strainer and set it aside to cool completely. Rice that has been refrigerated for 30 minutes is also beneficial. Refrigerate cooked rice after covering it with plastic wrap.
- You can also rinse the rice in water to stop the cooking process. To ensure that all of the cooked rice grains have cooled, gently toss them around with your hands while rinsing. Then drain completely.
- Cover and set aside to cool the cooked rice.
- Finely chop the vegetables while the rice is cooling. I recommend slicing the french beans extremely tiny because they are tougher than the other mixed vegetables. You can either blanch them first before adding them to the recipe or start cooking them before adding the rest of the vegetables.
You’ll need 14 cups of each of the following ingredients, coarsely chopped, for my favorite fried rice recipe:
- scallions (spring white onions) (not in the image below)
- capsicum (bell peppers, your pick of hue – green, red, or yellow) french beans
For an earthy, umami taste, add roughly 1 cup chopped button mushrooms. For the most authentic Chinese-inspired dish, I also add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped celery. If you have some, add 14 to 12 cups of chopped cabbage.
- Now it’s time to cook the vegetables in a stir-fry pan. In a wok or a deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (or preferred cooking oil). Fry for a few seconds, until the oil turns fragrant, then add 1 whole star anise.
TIP: While stir-frying, use a heavy pan, skillet, or wok to prevent the tender fresh vegetables from sticking or burning when frying at high heat.
- Stir in 12 teaspoons finely chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic. You simply want to cook the garlic for a few seconds because you don’t want it to brown or burn.
- Add the spring onions and cook for a minute or two over medium-low to medium heat.
- Finally, add the finely chopped french beans – or, if you prefer a softer bean texture, add them before the onions.
- Continue to stir-fry the onions and french beans over medium to medium-high heat for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining finely chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms and celery, at this point. To thoroughly cook all of the ingredients, increase the heat to high.
- Toss and stir often when cooking to ensure that the vegetables are evenly cooked and do not burn – around 4 to 6 minutes. The vegetables should be hot and cooked but still, have a lot of crunches.
Seasoning the dish
- Add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce when the vegetables have finished cooking. Stir everything together thoroughly.
TIP: If you like, you can use less soy sauce. I recommend using tamari or organically brewed soy sauce.
- Season to taste with 12 teaspoons of ground black pepper and as much salt as desired. Because the soy sauce will make the Chinese fried rice mildly salty, there shouldn’t be much need for more salt.
- Combine all of the flavors in a large mixing bowl.
How to make fried rice
- You are now ready to assemble the ingredients for the veg fried rice. Add the cooked and cooled rice, 1 cup at a time, to the wok or pan of vegetables.
- Lower the heat to medium-high or medium-low. Fold cooked rice into the mixed vegetables gently with a spoon or spatula.
- Continue to gently combine and sauté the vegetables with rice for a couple of minutes on medium to medium-high heat.
- If desired, whisk in 1 tablespoon rice wine or rice vinegar (or other mild vinegar) at this point. This provides a wonderful sour note to the veg fried rice that isn’t necessary but nice.
- Finally, add extra chopped fresh spring onions. You may either sprinkle it on top as a garnish or include it in the fried rice.
- Serve hot vegetable fried rice on its own or as a side dish with your other favorite Chinese dishes for a light yet filling supper.
How long can fried rice be stored in the refrigerator?
It lasts a few days in the fridge. However, I would advise eating it as quickly as possible because rice that has been sitting for several days is unhealthy.
What is the best way to reheat fried rice?
I normally steam them for 5 minutes in my Instant Pot. I sometimes stir-fry them in a skillet with a dash of water to keep the rice grains from drying out.
What’s a good side dish with Vegetable Fried Rice?
Though fried rice is delicious on its own, there are a few sides that go well with vegetable fried rice (these are also my favorites).