December 8, 2022

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Than a Food Fitter

Veg Fried Rice | How to make fried rice

8 min read


Let’s find out how to make this 10 minute veg fried rice, your favourite takeout dish, at home! Flavour bomb, loaded with a tonne of veggies and super quick, this fried rice recipe is going to be your go-to weeknight menu. 

Picture of fried rice in a white bowl with a spoon

If you didn’t already know this, I am pretty serious about my Chinese food. I’m always working on recreating that authentic Indo-Chinese flavour (you know, same as the ones from your favourite local Chinese joint) using simple ingredients and minimal effort. 

Love Fried Rice? Also try my Egg Fried Rice Recipe, Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, Burnt Garlic Mushroom Fried Rice and Schezwan Fried Rice

Enter: my all-time favourite veg fried rice recipe. This one’s quick, easy, packs in a tonne of veggies (all the picky eaters in your house won’t mind this one, promise!) and tastes like a total bomb! With just a little prep, you can put together this fried rice in 10-minutes flat. Now it really doesn’t get any better than this, right?    

  • Once you have everything chopped and prepped, this Chinese fried rice comes together in just a few minutes. 
  • Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
  • All the veggies make this recipe high on fibre, vitamins and minerals. 
  • A total kid-friendly recipe. 
  • This recipe is naturally vegan and can be easily made gluten-free by replacing soy sauce with tamari. 

What vegetables go in Chinese fried rice? 

Most commonly added vegetables to Chinese fried rice are French beans, carrot, capsicum, mushrooms, green peas, cabbage, spring onion, broccoli and corn. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Even though this recipe has a slightly long list of ingredients, most of them are either pantry staples or easily available both online and in stores. 

Picture of all the ingredients for fried rice with text to identify them
  • Rice: I have used jeera samba which is a short grain variety of rice. It’s a personal preference. You can use any rice variety available to you
  • Oil: Any neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point such as canola, peanut, sunflower and avocado can be used here. 
  • Veggies: This recipe uses finely chopped carrots, beans, mushrooms and capsicum. But you can add any vegetables of your choice. Some other veggies that work for this recipe are yellow corn, broccoli, cabbage and peas.  
  • Celery: An important ingredient that gives the dish its authentic Chinese flavour.
  • Aromatics: Finely chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and white pepper powder. 
  • Soy sauce: For the saltiness, colour and adds a beautiful umami flavour to the whole dish. You can replace this with tamari to make this gluten-free fried rice
  • Vinegar: For acidity and balance 
  • Sugar: Just a pinch. Helps the veggies in retaining their colour and balances out the tanginess of the vinegar. 
  • Sesame oil: Added at the end of the cooking process. Gives the dish a lovely nutty flavour and aroma taking the whole thing a notch higher!   
  • Spring onion: Just the greens used as a garnish for a hint of freshness and crunch.  

How do you make vegetable fried rice?

Making vegetable fried rice is super quick and easy, especially if you have leftover rice. All you need to do is stir fry veggies in oil, add rice, season with some sauces plus salt, sugar and sesame oil, toss everything together, garnish with spring onions and serve. Super simple, isn’t it? Here’s a step-by-step recipe for you: 

Step by step picture collage showing how to make fried rice

1. Heat water in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the washed rice.

2. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes till rice is 95% cooked.

3. The rice must be cooked to al dente. It should not be too soft or mushy.

4. Once cooked, turn off the heat, drain the rice into a strainer and tap a few times to strain well. Transfer onto a tray and spread it out using the back of a spoon. Allow all the extra moisture to evaporate and bring the rice down to room temperature.

Step by step picture collage showing how to make fried rice

5. Heat oil in a large wok and add the sliced garlic, ginger, celery and green chillies. Fry on a medium high heat for a minute or until fragrant.

6. Add carrot, beans and mushroom and stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes while stirring frequently. Add mixed bell peppers and saute for another minute.

7. Lightly fluff the cooled rice and add it to the wok. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar and white pepper. Toss to mix and combine.

8. Stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes or till everything is mixed well. Sprinkle with the spring onion greens and serve hot.

How to cook rice for fried rice

The way you cook your rice plays a very important role in achieving that restaurant-style fried rice texture. Cold or day-old rice works best for this recipe, however it is not a necessity. If you are cooking the rice on the same day, make sure to spread it out on a tray until it cools down completely and dries out slightly. You can even refrigerate cooked rice before frying it to achieve great results. 

Richa’s top tips to make the best veg fried rice ever:

  • Thoroughly rinse the rice and soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes before cooking it. This helps in getting rid of all the excess starch and prevents your rice from getting sticky and mushy after frying. 
  • Cook the rice just until it has an al-dente texture and is not completely soft. The grains should easily break in between your fingers yet be separate. 
  • A heavy-duty cast iron wok or a heavy deep bottomed skillet work the best to cook veg fried rice. These can easily withstand high cooking temperatures without burning the veggies. They also lend the dish that restaurant-style smoky flavour. But if you don’t have one, you can use a non-stick pan for this as well. 
  • Stir Fry the veggies on high heat to make sure they retain their crunch when served. 
  • Use fresh vegetables as far as possible for this recipe for the colour and crunch. Frozen veggies can work in a pinch – just make sure to add them directly to the pan
  • Keep everything you need chopped and ready to go before turning on the heat. Once you start the cooking process, this recipe moves really quickly and you won’t have the time to cut or grab anything. 
Picture of fried rice in a wok

What is the secret to good fried rice?

While veg fried rice is a pretty simple dish, there are certain things you can do to nail this dish. Either use cold rice (day old rice works best) or cook the rice, drain and spread it out on a tray to allow it to cool down completely. Secondly, cook everything on high heat in a cast iron wok. High heat prevents the veggies from turning limp and soggy, while the cast-iron wok is the reason behind that restaurant-style smokey flavour. If you are making a large quantity, then consider making fried rice in smaller batches. An over-filled pan doesn’t heat properly and can lead to a soggy mess. 

What gives Chinese fried rice its flavour?

The most important ingredients that give Chinese fried rice that distinctive flavour are the sauces. Soy sauce is responsible for that salty, slightly smokey umami flavour, while vinegar gives the whole dish a nice overall tang. 

I usually serve this veg fried rice with either my chilli paneer, crispy tofu broccoli stir fry, chilli chicken, chilli paneer or my good old veg manchurian. On the days when I am in a rush and don’t have the time to make another side dish, I simply toss in some paneer or tofu pieces to make this dish more wholesome and protein rich. This is such a versatile dish that it is sure to be a hit no matter what you serve it with! 

Watch the Recipe Video

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Picture of fried rice in a white bowl with a spoon

Veg Fried Rice

This 10-minute veg fried rice recipe is a lifesaver when you have only bits and bobs in the fridge. It’s a fantastic fridge cleaning meal and a great way to use leftover rice too. Add a fried egg and you’ve got yourself a fast, easy-winner dinner!

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Asian

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 141kcal

Instructions

Rice

  • Wash and rinse the rice at least three times with room temperature water to remove any excess starch. Drain the water and keep aside.

  • Heat water in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Ensure that there is enough water to submerge the rice fully. Once the water is boiling, add the washed rice. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes till rice is 95% cooked.

  • Once cooked, turn off the heat, drain the rice into a strainer and tap a few times to strain well.

  • Transfer onto a tray and spread it out using the back of a spoon. Allow all the extra moisture to evaporate and bring the rice down to room temperature.

Stir Fry

  • Heat oil in a large wok and add the sliced garlic, ginger, celery and green chillies. Fry on a medium high heat for a minute or until fragrant.

  • Add carrot, beans and mushroom and stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes while stirring frequently. Add mixed bell peppers and saute for another minute.

  • Lightly fluff the cooled rice and add it to the wok. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar and white pepper. Toss to mix and combine. Stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes or till everything is mixed well.

  • Sprinkle with the spring onion greens and serve hot.

Video

Notes

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice and soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes before cooking it. This helps in getting rid of all the excess starch and prevents your rice from getting sticky and mushy after frying. 
  2. Cook the rice just until it has an al-dente texture and is not completely soft. The grains should easily break in between your fingers yet be separate. 
  3. A heavy-duty cast iron wok or a heavy deep bottomed skillet work the best to cook veg fried rice. These can easily withstand high cooking temperatures without burning the veggies. They also lend the dish that restaurant-style smoky flavour. But if you don’t have one, you can use a non-stick pan for this as well. 
  4. Stir Fry the veggies on high heat to make sure they retain their crunch when served. 
  5. Use fresh vegetables as far as possible for this recipe for the colour and crunch. Frozen veggies can work in a pinch – just make sure to add them directly to the pan
  6. Keep everything you need chopped and ready to go before turning on the heat. Once you start the cooking process, this recipe moves really quickly and you won’t have the time to cut or grab anything. 

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 1188mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2282IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg



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