You should definitely try this recipe because it is quick, easy, and delicious.
Fried Rice: Origin and History
It is not known where fried rice originated, but its first mention was in a book on Chinese cuisine dating back to the Sui Dynasty (between 569-618). According to the story, Emperor Yang Guang tried this dish in Yangzhou. He loved it so much that it became an Imperial dish.
The plant-based version is a departure from the traditional in terms of its ingredients. However, it is equally colorful and cooks rice twice to give it a “fried effect.”
How to make vegan Fried Rice
The recipe for this fried rice is easy to make and only requires ten ingredients.
This recipe starts with my favorite crispy baked tofu, marinated in an easy 5-ingredient sauce. It is then sauteed until crispy to perfection.
Then, add a generous amount of vegetables and brown rice to the sauce left over.
This dish is perfect as an appetizer or side dish when you’re craving Chinese takeout! It’s healthier and more delicious than any takeout food you can find.
RICE + VEGETABLES
- 1 cup extra-firm tofu* (8 ounces yields ~1 cup)
- One cup of long-grain or short-grain rice* (rinsed in a fine-mesh strainer).
- Four cloves of garlic (minced).
- Green onion, 1 cup chopped
- Half a cup of peas
- Half a cup of carrots, finely diced
- Add more tamari sauce or tamari to taste.
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
- Use organic brown sugar or maple syrup instead of muscovado, or 2-3 tablespoons.
- One clove of minced garlic
- 1 tsp Chili garlic sauce (more or less, depending on the preferred spice)
- You can also use avocado or peanut oil instead of the sesame oil.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (204 C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or lightly spray with non-stick spray.
- Wrap the tofu in an absorbent, clean towel. Place something heavy (such as a skillet made of cast iron) on top to press the liquid out.
- After the oven has been preheated, cut tofu into cubes of 1/4 inch, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them for 26-30 min. You want golden brown edges, and the texture should be firm. If you wish to soften the tofu, remove it from the oven at around the 26-28 minute point. I like my tofu crispy, so I bake it for the full 30-minute period. Set aside.
- In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water up to a rolling boil. Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water and stir. Boil on high uncovered for thirty minutes. Then strain for 10 seconds and return to the pot off heat. Cover the pot with a lid for 10 minutes*.
- As the rice and tofu cook, prepare the sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add more tamari, soy sauce, brown sugar, or chili-garlic sauce to taste, if desired.
- After the tofu has been baked, add it directly to the sauce. Marinate for 5 minutes while stirring every so often.
- A large cast-iron or metal skillet should be heated on medium heat. Use a slotted teaspoon to scoop tofu into a hot pan, leaving the sauce mostly behind. Cook for 3-4 mins, stirring every so often, until golden brown all over (see photo). If browning is occurring too rapidly, lower the heat. Remove from pan.
- Add the green onions, carrots, peas, and garlic to a pan that is still warm. Stirring occasionally, sauté for 3-4 minutes, and seasoning with 1 tbsp (15ml) of tamari (or soy sauce).
- Stir in the remaining sauce, cooked rice, and tofu. Stir frequently as you cook over medium heat for 3-4 mins.
- Serve immediately. Add extra sriracha or chili garlic sauce for more heat (optional). Cashews and peanuts roasted in salted oil can be added as a garnish. The leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. However, they are best eaten fresh. Reheat on a medium-high heat in a skillet or microwave.