The fried rice is the most ubiquitous thing on any Chinese menu, whether it be a Chinese takeout in the USA, or any Indo chinese menu in the smallest desi town. Whatever we order, the fried rice is generally a part of it.
A special note, as most vegetarians and vegans know – the fried rice is offered as part of the entree in almost any Chinese takeout place, but this has pork, so we almost always (have to) go with steamed rice, and then the ‘vegetable fried rice – NO EGG’ is a seperate order.
Vegetable fried rice is a universal favorite in Chinese food. My recipe uses loads of veggies and is a lower fat, lower sodium alternative to takeout.
- 1.5 cups dry white long grain rice/jasmine rice
- 1 cup thinly cut cabbage
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped green peppers
- 1 cup chopped red peppers
- 2 cups thick sliced onions
- 1 cup chopped scallions or green onions
- 1 cup defrosted green peas or sweet peas
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce/sambal olek
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp white or black pepper
- salt optional
- 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup each of
- baby corn
- green beans
- chopped tofu
- Chop all the vegetables in a similar size. You can either make long thin slivers/juliennes as is common in Indo-chinese food, or fine dice everything. The onion should be thick, so that it retains a slight crunch.
- Boil or cook rice according to package instructions. As I mentioned before, the water to be added to rice depends on what kind it is. Generally, you can go with 1.5 to 2 cups for Indian Basmati rice, or upto 3 cups for Sona Massorie, Kolamb etc. The older the rice, the more water it absorbs. If you cook rice everyday, you will have guaged how much water your current batch needs to give a dry grainy cooked product. We do not want moist and mushy rice for this fried rice.
- Empty the rice on a flat colander or a platter and spread out and let it cool some. This separates the grains and keeps the rice dry, as you are getting rid of any residual steam.
- Heat a skillet, preferably with a thick bottom and a wide base and add oil. I am using my Calphalon tri ply saute pan, which I have found to be perfect for these kind of dishes such as noodles, pasta, fried rice etc., where I want a wider surface area.
- Add the vegetables such that the longest to cook goes in first. Saute each vegetable for a minute and add the next. I have come up with my own order depending on how much bite I like in a particular vegetable. Add carrots, peppers, cabbage, scallions and onions.
- Add the soy sauce, hot sauce, pepper, vinegar and honey. Add salt at the end only if needed. I used Kikkoman soy sauce this time, and it is salty enough that you do not need excess salt. The same thing applies to Braggs Aminos.
- Stir the veggie mixture around. We want this bite tender since it will cook a bit again with the rice.
- Add all the cooked rice and mix well. All the rice should be coated with the sauce. You may need to sprinkle some water at this point, or add some more diluted soy sauce if the rice looks too dry.
- Add the peas at this time. We are adding the peas last so that they retain their fresh green colour.
- Cover and simmer for some time. This will allow everything to steam together and the flavours to mingle.
- Serve hot along with any Chinese style stir fry, or just on its own.