Put your leftover rice to work! Vegetable Fried Rice is faster, cheaper, and easier than buying takeout! It only has 6 ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.
When life hands you extra rice, make Vegetable Fried Rice.
This quick and easy vegetarian main dish (or loved-by-anyone side dish) is ready in 10 minutes or less (assuming you have leftover brown rice on hand).
When it comes to brown rice, I’m obsessed with the short grain kind. It’s so, well, CHEWY. I was directed to short grain brown rice by my friend (and cooking muse) Becca after she prepared it for my husband and me one evening.
Becca’s other trick that she so generously shared is to cook the rice in chicken broth instead of in water (use vegetable broth to keep this dish vegetarian). This extra flavoring means that right out of the pot, your brown rice already tastes better than you thought it would.
I make the rice well ahead of time so when I’m ready to cook, it’s waiting for me. I tend to make large batches of rice so it is available for eating throughout the week.
As for the rest of the ingredients, I always start with frozen peas, carrots, and onions in the pan.
I soften them up, stir in the rice, and then clear out an empty space in the middle of the pan. This is how I see them make fried rice at Hibachi restaurants.
In the space, I crack an egg and scramble it up right there. A few shakes of sauce soy, a few sprinkles of garlic powder, and the fried rice is ready! Other fried rice recipes use oyster sauce, ginger, or sesame oil, but I find they just muddle the dish. If I have scallions on hand, they make a pretty garnish. If not, no big deal.
Fast, easy, and DELICIOUS!
Brown Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix (see note 1)
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped onions (see note 2)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (see note 3)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder plus more to taste
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add peas, carrots, and onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the rice. Clear a space in the middle of the pan by moving the rice and vegetables to the edges. Crack the egg into the space and scramble until hardened, about 1 minute. Stir into rice and vegetables.
- Pour 1 tablespoon soy sauce evenly over the top of the rice and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder; toss to combine until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional soy sauce and garlic powder as desired. Serve immediately.
- Peas and carrots: ½ cup peeled, finely chopped fresh carrots and ½ cup frozen peas may be substituted for the frozen mix.
- Onions: Or substitute fresh chopped onions or frozen pearl onions.
- Brown rice: Cook your favorite brown rice (jasmine, basmati, short grain) up to 3 days in advance. For extra flavor, cook the rice in chicken broth. Cooked white rice works just as well, too.
- Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups brown fried rice.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead: This recipe requires leftover brown rice which can (and should) be cooked up to 3 days in advance.
- Freezer: Because the egg is scrambled in this recipe, it's okay to freeze the fried rice. Cool completely, divide in to freezer-safe containers, label, date, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Spicy: For extra heat, add ¼ teaspoon (or more) to the skillet with the vegetables in Step 1. Or, stir in sriracha to taste with the soy sauce in Step 3.