Veggie Fried Rice

Veggie Fried Rice

fried rice

Dinner doesn’t have to be difficult, sometimes the best ones are simplest.

Several nights ago, I went all out with this elaborate dinner.  It was this lentil & butternut squash dal with homemade chia seed (gluten-free, flour free) bread. It may not sound crazy fancy, but it was time consuming, used a ton of ingredients & made a complete mess in the kitchen.  Needless to say, NO ONE liked it! In fact, my husband, called my oldest son at work and asked him to pick up tacos on the way home.  I opted to eat pity instead of tacos.


That next night, I didn’t make the same mistake, instead, I opted for making something I knew would win them over, something that wouldn’t disappoint their taste buds.  Veggie fried rice.

I started with a big pot of rice, grabbed the extra-firm tofu from the fridge and pulled out the bag of frozen veggies.  3 main ingredients and some seasoning is all you need for a delicious dinner that won’t send your family running for tacos.

Here’s the quick Step-by-step.

1. Rinse your rice real well until the water runs clear. Whether you are cooking your rice via rice cooker, stove top or in the oven, it cooks best and tastes best when you wash away all the starch. Also, make sure to give yourself enough time if you are cooking with brown rice. I usually just start a pot in the morning (it can take twice as long to cook as white rice) using the rice cooker, so it’s ready no matter what I end up making that night.

Rice Collage wlogo

See how cloudy the rice gets once water is added? You’ll want to make sure it’s rinsed enough so that the water is clear.

2.  Drain your tofu, turn out on to a board, wrap in a light towel or paper towels then press down, releasing any additional water it has absorbed in packaging. This won’t get rid of all of it, but you want the tofu to be able to hold some of the flavoring, and this trick will help. Then cut into cubes, add to a hot wok (or non-stick skillet) and cook until light and crispy on the outside. I don’t add my liquid seasonings until I’m ready to start moving the tofu around the pan and some more moisture has been released.

Pan seared tofu

Searing your tofu slightly in a bit of marinate, creates edges that are slightly crisp with a soft center

Another option is simply let your tofu marinate for 15-30 minutes then using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350° (or until edges are crispy).

Baked Tofu

3. Tofu is cooked and can be removed from pan and set aside.

4. Add your veggies to the skillet and saute in a little bit of sesame oil or butter (like 1 tablespoon). Here, you can add in diced onions, peppers and fresh garlic if your heart desires.  OR, just use the frozen veggies if pressed for time.

5. Now add cooked rice to pan, top with the remaining marinade/sauce, mix well into the vegetables and “fry”.  You want to give it that nice browning, 3-5 minutes is all you’ll need. Take a quick taste and season with salt & pepper or extra soy sauce if desired.

Veggie fried rice with tofu

6. At the end, you may choose to add the tofu back to the pan for a quick reheat. If you used the oven method and timed it right, this step isn’t necessary. I actually like to keep my tofu separate so I can use it as a topping and make sure everyone gets some.

For an extra kick, be sure to put a bottle of Sriracha (hot chili sauce) on the table so everyone can spice it up until their heart’s content.

This dish pairs nicely with my Dirt Soup, so if you have any extra 5 minutes, get this started while the rice if cooking.

DirtSoup2 blog

FriedRice Collage

Quick note in regards to Food Allergies and this dish:

I use Gluten Free soy sauce (Tamari) or Liquid Coconut Aminos when making this dish. Make sure to read your labels to stay GF.

If you have a Soy allergy, completely omit or add in a different protein. We do not eat meat, but chicken or eggs could be an option.

Sesame oil is used in the marinade. This is not a Top 8 allergen but I recognize many do have this as a food allergy. If this is you, try using Sunflower oil or even Safflower oil.

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Veggie Fried Rice

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 5

Let your family think you spent the whole day in the kitchen preparing this dish. Easy to make, 1 skillet, "fried" rice with veggies & seared tofu.

Ingredients

  • 5 C. cooked rice (brown or white)
  • 1 lb. organic, non-GMO Extra firm tofu. Drained, pressed and cut into cubes.
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen, organic mixed vegetables
  • -----------------
  • MARINADE:
  • 3-4 TB. Gluten free soy sauce (tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1-2 TB. sesame oil
  • 1/2 TB. rice vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground garlic seasoning
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger seasoning

Instructions

  1. If your rice is not already cooked, rinse well and cook according to package instructions.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic & ginger. Set aside.
  3. Remove tofu from packaging, drain, wrap with paper towels (or light towel) and press liquid out. Be careful not to "mush" tofu. Cut into cubes.
  4. Heat skillet (or wok) to medium high and add tofu. Allow some of the natural liquids to be released, THEN add half of the liquid marinade. Flip cubes and cook until outside is crisp. Remove tofu from pan and place in a bowl then set aside. (Alternative: season tofu in advance with marinade, then bake 15-20 minutes @ 350•, or until crisp)
  5. Add frozen vegetables and a drizzle of oil to the pan. If using fresh diced veggies, cook until they start to soften. Add cooked rice then pour in remaining marinade. Stir to incorporate the sauce into the rice and veggies then keep on stove until everything is nice and warm.
  6. Add extra soy sauce or tamari if desired.
  7. Plate up and serve, topping with crisp tofu.

Notes

Feel free to add veggies to your mix. I like to throw in shredded cabbage at the end for some added crisp & freshness. Sliced mushrooms, green onions and radishes also make a great addition.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Asian

 

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39 Comments
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    Posted at 13:42h, 14 January

    I love fried rice! Making it at home is the only way I can enjoy it though (haha, I’m soy-free too!)

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 17:29h, 14 January

      Agreed! What sauce do you like to use for a soy-free?

  • Sophia @veggies dont bite
    Posted at 18:14h, 14 January

    Love fried rice! Such an easy and yummy dinner. Sorry you got the zero for zero on the first recipe though! Hate it when that happens…

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:39h, 18 January

      Thank you Sophia, it does stink for sure but thankful for patient families are who use to it by now :).

  • Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily
    Posted at 18:25h, 14 January

    One of my favorite simple dishes to make, I love your version!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 12:54h, 17 January

      Thank you Gwen. So much tastier than any fast food fried rice.

  • Hedi
    Posted at 07:13h, 15 January

    Oh wow, this is right up my street, love tofu, veggies and rice!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 12:54h, 17 January

      It’s a great combination, isn’t it?

  • The Food Hunter
    Posted at 10:04h, 15 January

    I’ve never made fried rice at home

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:36h, 18 January

      Really? You must then! It’s super easy and at least you know all the real ingredients. It’s great to make if you have some extra rice on hand.

  • Linda @ Veganosity
    Posted at 10:42h, 15 January

    What a bummer! I would have eaten the dal with you. I love Indian food. This veggie fried rice looks and sounds delicious.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:35h, 18 January

      That would have been great!

  • Christine | Vermilion Roots
    Posted at 14:31h, 15 January

    Perfect recipe for using leftover rice. I like a lot of vegetables in my fried rice.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 12:57h, 17 January

      I love the extra vegetables too. Shredded cabbage, green onions, and mushrooms are some of my favorites to add in.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:34h, 18 January

      Me too. Mushrooms, shredded cabbage, onions and even peppers are always a great addition.

  • pragati
    Posted at 22:21h, 15 January

    Veg Fried rice is my go to dish. The rice is plated beautifully – looks so festive

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 12:52h, 17 January

      Thank you! It’s on rotation, right with chili 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:33h, 18 January

      Thank you! Sometimes just changing the plating, makes it more fun to eat.

  • Kathy Hester
    Posted at 19:35h, 17 January

    Fried rice is one of our favorite meals. I always keep some frozen veggies on hand for it.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:32h, 18 January

      My pups also like the rice and veggies!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:30h, 30 January

      Me too. It’s just so easy & convenient to throw together.

  • Jenn
    Posted at 08:55h, 18 January

    This sounds amazing! I love fried rice and homemade is always the best!! That tofu looks amazing too!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:31h, 18 January

      Thank you Jenn.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:34h, 30 January

      Thanks Jenn and I completely agree, homemade is best for sure. Isn’t it funny how you can always taste the difference?

  • Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes.com
    Posted at 10:51h, 18 January

    Yum! I love this healthier version of fried rice. Sharing 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:31h, 18 January

      Oh great, thanks Vanessa. Healthier is delicious is always a win.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:36h, 30 January

      Awesome Vanessa! It’s one of our favorite vegan meals.

  • Sina @ Vegan Heaven
    Posted at 11:07h, 18 January

    This looks so delicious, Nicole! I love fried rice. 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:30h, 18 January

      Thank you Sina.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:33h, 30 January

      Thanks Sina. Fried rice is a fav for sire. I really like to have some kimchi with it for some extra kick

  • Gin
    Posted at 12:47h, 18 January

    Even when your kitchen efforts don’t go how you planned, you’re AWESOME for trying new things. LOL I’ll be honest…after the taco thing everyone in the house might have been left to fend for themselves for a few days. You’re very patient. 🙂 And this veggie fried rice looks delish!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:29h, 18 January

      Thats funny Gin! I may have done a few “cereal for dinner” nights on some failed dishes 🙂

  • The Vegan 8
    Posted at 13:29h, 20 January

    I love veggie fried rice so much, one of my favorite things to make and this looks amazing!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:19h, 30 January

      Thanks so much! It’s become one of our “go-to”, easy meals to whip up. SO easy and perfect for getting the kids to eat their veggies. 🙂

  • Danielle Omar -- Food Confidence RD
    Posted at 21:07h, 26 January

    Love pan-seared tofu! This bowl of rice looks amazing…I’m inspired!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 14:33h, 30 January

      Thank you Danielle.

  • Dee Mongrain
    Posted at 11:01h, 12 March

    This rice was delicious! And so was the baked tofu! I loved that it was a fast, easy recipe that both my husband and I enjoyed. I look forward to using it again. Keep those easy dinner recipes coming!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 20:12h, 12 March

      I am so glad that you enjoyed both the rice & tofu Dee & super excited hubby liked it too! I’ll definitely keep sending recipes your way 🙂

  • Alisa Fleming
    Posted at 20:41h, 09 July

    I love fried rice, but it’s been ages since I’ve made it. And I don’t know if I’ve ever made it at home with tofu. Just spotted this recipe and think it’s going on the menu …

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