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+ servings
A lovely bowl of vegan fried rice.

Easy Vegan Fried Rice Recipe

Alice Mesa
This recipe for Vegan Fried Rice serves as a useful reference, especially where the seasonings are concerned. It’s hard to go wrong with just about any of the veggies or other inclusions, but a balanced mix of seasonings and sauces makes all the difference in the background flavor of the fried rice.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 8 Cups

Equipment

  • Non-Stick Sauce Pot
  • Spatula
  • Skillet or Wok
  • Knife

Ingredients
  

The Jasmine Rice Ingredients

  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 cups Uncooked Jasmine Rice

The Fried Rice Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Shallot sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 pc Large Onion chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Oyster Sauce available at most Asian grocery stores
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce available at most grocery stores
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Mushroom Seasoning Powder available at most Asian grocery stores
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 8 cups Cooked Jasmine Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables

Instructions
 

Cooking The Jasmine Rice (Ideally at least one day in advance)

  • The usual golden rule when it comes to food is the fresher the ingredients, the better. Not so with fried rice. When making fried rice, it’s much better to use rice that’s been cooked and refrigerated at least a day in advance. This is because freshly-cooked rice is soft and contains too much moisture. It becomes mushy and clumpy when cooked further into fried rice. Day-old (or even week old is fine) rice, on the other hand, has lost some of its moisture in the refrigerator and the individual grains hold up much better.
  • Transfer the water to a medium-sized non-stick saucepot.
  • Add the rinsed rice.
  • Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cover with lid. Reduce heat to low. Let simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat but don’t open the lid. Let the rice sit covered for 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid and fluff the rice using a spatula or rice paddle.
  • Let cool to room temperature. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Turning Plain Rice Into Vegan Fried Rice

  • Transfer the canola oil to a small non-stick saucepan.
  • Place over medium-low heat until oil shimmers.
  • Add the shallots.
  • Cook, stirring frequently until about 80% of the shallots turn deep brown in color. At this point, the shallots will cook quickly, and there’s a very small window between shallots that are deep brown in color and burned shallots.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, but keep stirring. The shallots will continue to cook in the residual heat.
  • If you wait until all of the shallots turn deep brown before removing from the heat, you will most likely end up with burned shallots, which are overwhelmingly bitter. Depending on the heat from your stovetop, it can take up to 10 minutes to get your shallots to the proper deep brown. Once cooked, set aside.
  • Transfer the sesame oil to a large non-stick skillet or wok. Place over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.
  • Add onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions turn golden, about 4 min.
  • Add garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegan oyster sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vegetable broth, mushroom seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
  • Stir to mix. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add the rice. Cook, stirring well to distribute the sauce into the rice, an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the frozen vegetables and stir to mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, an additional 3 minutes.
    The various chopped vegetables are then added.
  • Remove from heat. Serve with fried shallots sprinkled over the rice.
  • Enjoy as-is or with any of the optional garnishes.

Garnishes (Optional)

  • Chopped Cilantro, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Pickled Daikon and Carrot.
    A lovely bowl of vegan fried rice with complete toppings.

Notes

Typically seasoned with oyster sauce, this recipe uses an oyster-less version available at many Asian grocery stores. It’s just as flavorful and provides that umami quality of the true oyster sauce. While the fried rice of my youth often featured little slices of the red Chinese lap Cheong sausages, I now use a plant-based alternative if I have it handy, or a marinated tempeh, which is widely used in vegan cooking as a meat substitute. Most of the time, though, I simply leave out the meat counterpart altogether.
The fried shallots in steps 1 and 2 of Turning Plain Rice Into Fried Rice give the dish amazing bursts of savory flavor and a nice crunch factor. My husband says it’s his favorite part of my vegan fried rice. If you’re not typically a fan of onions, you can always skip them. But let me just say that frying shallots transforms the flavor from sharply oniony to pleasantly bitter. I highly recommend trying them at least once, but the fried rice will still be delicious without them.
Garnishes that go really well with fried rice include fresh cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, and that white and orange briny duo of southeast Asian cuisine known as pickled daikon and carrot. If you don’t have a tubful of this stuff in your refrigerator, you can find it in most Asian grocery stores.
Keyword Recipe, Side Dish, Vegan Fried Rice

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