Hello, my chickpeas! Today’s recipe is easy to throw together, has lots of flavor, and even has some great nutrients packed in. Today we are making my Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu! Although the total time listed for this one is over an hour, most of that time is spent baking your tofu and cooking your rice. After those are prepped, it only takes about 10 minutes to finish off the recipe! Talk about an easy fried rice recipe, huh?
This recipe takes the basic idea of fried rice but keeps it vegan and oil free. Plus we are going to top it with some delicious Crispy Baked Tofu for a real treat. Let’s get into it.
Inspiration for Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu
Most of us have had fried rice at some point in our lives. Traditional fried rice often has egg, and sometimes even oyster sauce or fish sauce. I wanted to create my own version that was completely vegan friendly! It was also important to me to use somewhat wholesome ingredients, and include a good collection of vegetables to pack in some nutrients.
I also love topping this Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Baked Tofu because it adds a fun texture, and it makes the dish more filling. Fried rice is often considered a side dish, but with the addition of the crispy tofu, I can often eat this as a light lunch and be quite content!
It was incredibly important to me to keep this recipe simple, since it requires some prep time to cook your rice and tofu. For that reason, the actual steps of this recipe only take about 10 minutes! So feel free to make the rice and tofu ahead of time to keep the rest of it nice and quick.
Nothing too crazy here! Let’s talk about what we are working with today.
- Brown rice: I wanted to keep this recipe a bit more “whole food” friendly than traditional fried rice, so I chose to use brown rice! It is less processed than white rice and packs in some extra nutrients.
- Onion, garlic, carrot, peas, and mushrooms: our veggies of choice today!
- Tamari & lime juice: for an extra kick of flavor.
- Green onion: throwing some green onion on top brightens up our dish both in taste and in looks!
- Crispy Baked Tofu: honestly, my shining star. This pairs so well with our veggies and our flavors!
How to Make Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu
This is a pretty easy fried rice recipe! As mentioned earlier, there is a bit of prep time involved since you have to cook your rice and bake your tofu. However, after that it goes by super fast! Let’s talk about the basics.
- Sauté your onion and garlic.
- Add in the rest of your veggies, sauté a bit longer.
- Add your cooked rice.
- Mix in your tamari and lime juice.
- Toss with your green onions.
- Serve & top with Crispy Baked Tofu.
Tips & Tricks
This one is pretty versatile, so feel free to mix it up and make it your own! As always, the recipe provided is my personal favorite version of it – but I love it when you guys put your own twists on it and get creative! Here are some ideas for you.
- Not feeling these veggies? No worries! Throw in whatever veggies you’d like! Some ideas include other types of mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or corn. Just keep in mind that some veggies may require a slightly different cooking time, so adjust accordingly!
- Not a fan of brown rice? I used brown rice here simply because it’s a bit more wholesome and is my go-to rice choice. However, you could experiment with just about any rice you’d like. A medium-grain white rice is the more traditional option!
- If you have another plant based protein or vegan meat substitute, feel free to use anything of that category in place of the Crispy Baked Tofu! The point of adding the tofu is to add some protein to keep us full longer (and a bit of fun texture & flavor). But you could accomplish this with any protein option you’d like.
- You could serve this as a side dish, or as a light-ish lunch! Because we add the tofu, it may be a bit more filling than other fried rice dishes.
- Looking for more recipes to use up your brown rice? Check out my Plant Based Banh Mi Buddha Bowl or my Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls next!
Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu
This Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu is simple to make, super flavorful, and has some great nutrients packed in. This can be served as a side dish, or as a small meal since the added tofu makes it more filling. Enjoy!
*Note that “From Start to Finish” is an estimate that assumes you will cook your brown rice and chop your veggies while your Crispy Baked Tofu is baking. The total time for the tofu is 65 minutes, and much of this is passive time in which the tofu is being pressed or baking. Once the tofu and rice are done and the veggies are prepped, the actual directions of this recipe only take about 10 minutes. Feel free to make the rice and tofu the day before for a quicker recipe the day of!
3 cups cooked brown rice*
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed*
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced
3-4 Tbsp tamari
Optional: 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
One recipe of Joyful Balance Crispy Baked Tofu (or other protein of choice)
- Bring a large nonstick pan to medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add just a bit of water to prevent sticking, and add your onion and garlic. Allow to sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add your carrot, peas, and mushrooms to the pan. Sauté for another 3 minutes. By this time your onions should be mostly translucent.
- Add your cooked rice to the pan. Stir to combine and continue cooking until the whole mixture is combined and heated through.
- Add tamari (starting with just the 3 Tbsp) and the optional lime juice. Stir to combine. Give it a quick taste test and add another Tbsp of tamari if desired (this will give it a stronger umami & salty flavor).
- Toss in your sliced green onions and stir to combine.
- Serve and top with a few cubes of the Crispy Baked Tofu. Enjoy!
- *Cooked brown rice: note that 1 cup of uncooked brown rice creates approximately 3 cups of cooked brown rice. You may cook your brown rice according to package directions, or in the instant pot.
If cooking in the instant pot: dump 1 cup brown rice and 1.25 cups water into instant pot, set to High Pressure for 15 minutes. When the cycle is complete, let it Naturally Release until all pressure has released (for me this takes around 15 minutes).
- *Frozen Peas: to thaw your frozen peas, simply run them under some water.
Stay joyfully balanced!