This Vegan Fried Rice is a quick and easy dish made from just a few items you probably have in your pantry and freezer. Use your favorite vegetables to customize it to your liking.
In emergency situations, we often have to think of ways to make interesting meals from what is in our pantry and freezer. Following a plant based diet, I almost always have a good supply of dry beans and grains, but I rely greatly on fresh produce for my day to day cooking. Right now, the fresh produce I have on hand is a bit limited.
The social distancing that is currently being recommended has required me to think more about what I cook for my family with the ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes it’s hard to know what we can put together with these items.
Our family always enjoys Chinese food, and no matter what other Chinese dishes we decide upon, one of the dishes we almost always make or order is fried rice.
This fried rice is a dish that you can easily make from some grains and frozen vegetables. And there are many ways to adapt it to what you have on hand.
My fried rice recipe is made with just a few easy ingredients.
- Yellow onion
- Sesame oil, just a little for flavor (This is optional – for oil free use vegetable broth)
- Minced garlic – fresh or jarred minced garlic. See that big ol’ jar of minced garlic? I bought that because you can never have too much garlic!
- Frozen vegetables – you can use fresh vegetables, but be sure to dice them to similar size so they cook evenly. Use the vegetables you like best!
- Low sodium soy sauce or gluten free tamari
- Cooked rice – use any variety you like, but long grain rice works better than short grain rice.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Typical fried rice contains scrambled egg. A good vegan substitute for scrambled egg is my Tofu Scramble, without the added onion, tomato, and kale.
I usually add green onions to my fried rice, but since I was attempting to make a recipe with pantry items (and I didn’t have any green onions on hand), I skipped them in this recipe. If you have some, definitely add them in!
This easy fried rice dish has a simple seasoning of just onion, garlic, soy sauce, and a little sesame oil. Feel free to spice up the dish with a few red pepper flakes or a couple dashes of sriracha sauce.
It is best to use cold rice for fried rice, so cook it the day before or at least 3 to 4 hours in advance. And be careful not to over cook it. Using freshly cooked rice causes the grains of rice to stick together. The precooked and cooled rice will give you nice, separate grains of rice.
I used a large nonstick wok to cook my fried rice. Heat the wok over medium heat. Add the onions and the sesame oil or vegetable broth to the hot wok and cook them until they start to become translucent.
Add in the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
Then add in the frozen vegetables and cook until they begin to thaw.
Stir in rice and soy sauce and stir it well to combine it all. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until it is thoroughly heated. I like to allow the rice sit in the pan for a few minutes to develop some nice crispy bits.
Enjoy this dish as a side with any other Asian entree. Or prepare it with the added tofu and serve it as a main dish.
This rice freezes well in an airtight container. It should keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days or in the freezer for several months.
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Are you new to oil free cooking? Check out my Oil Free Cooking Tips to learn more about oil free baking, roasting, sauteing, and more!
Items used in making this recipe:
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Easy Vegan Fried Rice
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1 yellow onion diced
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil optional
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 or 3 green onions sliced
- Cook the rice and refrigerate it the day before you make this recipe, or at least 3 or 4 hours before.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok or large sauté skillet. Add the onion and stir fry until they begin to soften. As an alternative to the oil, you can use water or vegetable broth to deglaze the pan.
- Add the garlic and cook for about two minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and vegetables to the pan and cook until they begin to thaw. Then add the rice and cook until everything is heated through. I like to let the rice cook a little bit in the pan without stirring it to allow it to crisp up a bit.
Nutritional calculations are approximate.