This classic fried rice recipe is filled with mixed fresh vegetables and aromatic spices for an incredibly filling and flavorful vegan dish. This is hands down one of our favorite Chinese-inspired recipes. Not only is veggie fried rice incredibly easy to prepare from scratch, it’s a naturally vegan dish that’s as good for you as it is delicious to eat. You can even modify the vegetable fried rice to be gluten free simply by using soy sauce or GF compatible tamari.

About this recipe

And while Chinese fried rice is a healthy option, it is packed with exciting flavors. The salty, umami, and savory soy sauce is balanced with spicy star anise, and the raw green onions add a touch of freshness you’ll love.
Otherwise, I kept the ingredient list pretty basic to allow each item to shine – veggies really are the star here!
Fried rice with mixed vegetables can be enjoyed on its own for a satisfying lunch, but it pairs really well with rich and flavorful main dishes.
This recipe rivals even the best takeout options, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy making it often as part of your Indochinese meals.
Sautéing over high heat in a cast iron skillet or wok gives some flavor and smoky aroma. While a stove in your home kitchen can’t compete with the heat and temperature of Chinese restaurant stoves, you can still make great homemade fried rice.
I’m not adding Ajinomoto, but you can include it if that’s okay with you. The umami and smoky flavors of my fried rice recipe come from frying over high heat and adding mushrooms, toasted sesame oil to the dish.

How to make fried rice

Preparing and cooking rice

1. A great vegetable fried rice recipe starts with well-cooked white rice. To do this, first soak 1 cup of basmati rice (190-200 grams) in water for 30 minutes. Then, drain and reserve the rice.
TIP: You can opt for a good quality aged long grain rice if you don’t have Basmati rice. Jasmine rice will also work in a pinch.
2. In a large saucepan, add 4 to 4.5 cups of water, ½ teaspoon of salt and 2 to 3 drops of toasted sesame oil (or any other cooking oil) and put on high heat on the pan. stove.
3. Let the water boil completely.
4. Add the soaked and drained basmati rice.
5. Simmer the rice, uncovered, over medium to medium-high heat.
6. Cook the rice until al dente, or just cooked through. It is important not to overcook the rice during this step in order to prepare the best Chinese fried rice dish.
7. Quickly pass the ice through a colander and let cool completely. Refrigerating the rice for 30 minutes also helps. Simply cover the cooked rice and refrigerate.
8. You can also rinse the rice with water to stop the rice from cooking. Use your hands to gently stir the cooked rice kernels while rinsing to make sure each kernel is cool. Then drain carefully.
9. Cover the cooked rice and let cool.

Prepare vegetables

10. Finely chop the vegetables while the rice is cooling. Because green beans tend to be tougher than other mixed vegetables, I recommend chopping them very finely. You also have the option to blanch them before adding them, or you can start cooking them in this recipe before the rest of the vegetables are added.
For my favorite version of the fried rice recipe, you will need ¼ cup of each of the following ingredients, finely chopped:

  • white spring onions (green onions)
  • carrots
  • green beans
  • bell pepper (bell peppers, your choice of color – green, red or yellow)

Plus about 1 cup chopped button mushrooms for a great earthy, umami flavor. For the most authentic Chinese-inspired dish, I also like to include 1 tablespoon of finely chopped celery. Include ¼ to ½ cup chopped cabbage if you have it.

Vegetable stir-fry

11. Now is the time to sauté the vegetables. Start by heating 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil (or favorite cooking oil) in a wok or deep pan. Add 1 whole star anise and fry it until the oil becomes fragrant.
TIP: Use a good, thick, reliable skillet, skillet or wok for sautéing so that fresh, tender veggies don’t get stuck or burn when cooking over high heat.
12. Then add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic and ½ teaspoon of finely chopped ginger. Only cook for a moment because you don’t want to brown or scorch the garlic.
13. Add the chopped spring onions and sauté for a minute or two over medium-low to medium heat.
14. Then add the finely chopped green beans – or add them before the onions if you want a smoother texture.
15. Continue to sauté the onions and green beans for 2 to 3 minutes over medium to medium-high heat.
16. Now add the remaining finely chopped vegetables, including the mushrooms and celery. Increase the heat to high to cook all the ingredients.
17. Stir and stir continuously while frying so that the vegetables are cooked evenly and do not burn – for about 4-6 minutes. You want the vegetables to be hot and fried while still maintaining a nice crunch.

Add seasonings

18. Once the vegetables are cooked, add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix well.
TIP: If you prefer that you can add less soy sauce. I recommend going for soy sauce or naturally brewed tamari.
19. Taste the dish, then add ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and as much salt as you’d like. Chinese fried rice will already be slightly salty because of the soy sauce, so no additional salt is needed.
20. Mix well to combine flavors.

Making fried rice

21. You are now ready to put everything together to make the fried rice with vegetables. To the wok or pan of vegetables, add the cooked and cooled rice – about 1 cup at a time.
22. Reduce heat to medium to medium-high. Use a spoon or spatula to gently fold the cooked rice into the vegetable mixture.
23. With the heat still medium to medium-high, continue to mix gently and fry the vegetables with the rice for a few minutes.
24. You now have the option of incorporating 1 tablespoon of rice wine or rice vinegar (or other mild vinegar), if you wish. This adds an excellent note of acidity to the vegetable fried rice which is not necessary but is quite charming.
25. Finally, add more chopped fresh spring onions. You can sprinkle on top as a garnish or toss into fried rice to incorporate it.
26. Serve hot vegetable fried rice on its own for a light but filling meal, or enjoy it as a side dish with your other favorite Chinese recipes.

How long can you refrigerate fried rice?

It stays good for a few days. But I would recommend eating it ASAP – multi-day old rice is unhealthy.

How to reheat fried rice?

I usually steam them for 5 minutes in my Instant-pot. Sometimes I also sauté them in a pan, sprinkling a few splashes of water, so that the grains of rice do not dry out.

Herby Rice Sabzi Polo (Healthy Heart)


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