This vegan tofu fried rice is super delicious, marvelously easy, and (most importantly) wicked fast. After a long day, it is nice to have some quick & healthy recipes that you can throw together without much thought. This is just that recipe. Plus, the comforting umami quality of this vegan fried rice means you’ll love falling back on this quick recipe again and again.
YOU’LL LOVE THIS VEGAN TOFU FRIED RICE:
- It is dishes-light. Doing all the cooking in one pan means you are left with a pan, a cutting board, and a few utensils to clean. Perfect for you to clean up quick, or earn some brownie points with whoever is doing the cleaning.
- It is veggie-full. Using cauliflower rice to boost the portion size means this fried rice has more micronutrients and fiber than your typical fried rice. Yet, it's still super tasty.
- It is easy to keep the ingredients on hand. Using frozen veggies that are pre-prepped not only cuts down on time, but also means they stay fresh in your freezer for much longer than the veggies from your produce section. So, it's easy to have all of the ingredients you need for this fried rice recipe on hand at any time.
First up is the tofu. Start a pan with oil on medium heat. Toss your pressed and cubed tofu in some tamari, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add the tofu to your pan of hot oil and flip them intermittently until all sides are medium brown in color. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Next, melt your “butter” in the pan. Add your rice and sauté for a few minutes, until some grains appear golden.
Then, add the veggies, tamari, and rice vinegar. Continue cooking until veggies have softened and everything is heated through.
Top with sesame seeds, green onions, and any other toppings you love.
- Pressing tofu is a breeze. To press my tofu, I slice it in half sandwich-style so I have two thin slices. Then, I place the slices next to each other on a kitchen towel on a cutting board, fold the towel back over the tofu, and place a second cutting board on top. Then, I set a heavy object (such as my dutch oven) over the cutting board. This means the “tofu press sandwich” looks something like this from the bottom up; cutting board, towel, tofu slices, towel, cutting board, dutch oven. From there, I allow it to press while I gather my other ingredients for maybe 5-10 minutes.
- Try to use leftover or day-old rice if you can. Using rice from your fridge means that it is drier and more ready to get toasty and absorb extra flavor! You can still use fresh-cooked rice in a pinch, but more of the rice is likely to stick together. In the same vein, using medium or long grain rice instead of a stickier rice like sushi rice can help to keep it from clumping.
- While very yummy, this vegan fried rice recipe is nowhere near authentic. Though I am inspired by cuisine from all over the world, my recipes are not authentic. If you are interested in more authentic recipes for fried rice, check out Chef Ming Tsai’s Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice or Taste of Asian Food’s tips for how to cook the best restaurant style fried rice. Simmer also has a fun article on the history of fried rice if you are interested to learn more about this extremely popular dish!
OTHER EASY DINNER RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
One Pan Vegan Tofu Fried Rice
FOR THE TOFU:
FOR THE RICE:
- ~3 cups medium grain white rice, prepared according to package directions (3 cups cooked rice= 1 cup uncooked rice)
- 1 Tbsp shallot-infused olive oil (OR: 1 Tbsp "butter" + ½ diced white onion)
- 2 Tbsp vegan "butter" (OR: butter for non-vegan)
- 2 cups frozen riced cauliflower
- 1 cup frozen diced carrots and peas mix
- ~2-4 Tbsp low sodium tamari (OR: low sodium soy sauce for non-gluten free)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- several cracks fresh cracked black pepper
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS (per bowl):
- ~2 Tbsp green onions, sliced on bias
- 1 pinch roasted black sesame seeds
- Marinate: In a small bowl, toss your tofu, tamari, and sesame oil together. Set aside.
- Fry: Heat a sauté pan with canola oil on medium to medium-high heat. When oil is hot, toss tofu in cornstarch and add tofu to pan. Allow tofu to pan fry, flipping occasionally, until tofu is medium brown in color; about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place onto kitchen towel or paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Toast: Add butter and shallot oil (or oil and onion) to pan. Once butter is melted (and onion is translucent), add the rice. Allow rice to sit in pan, without moving until some grains have a slight golden color; about 5 minutes. Then, stir to distribute the remaining "butter".
- Combine: Add the frozen veggies, 2 Tbsp tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and black pepper to the pan. Mix everything together, then put the lid on your pan and allow veggies to steam for around 5 minutes. Taste and add additional tamari as needed.
- Serve: When veggies have softened, and everything is heated through, toss the tofu back into the pan. Portion into bowls and top with green onions, sesame seeds, and any other desired toppings.
This recipe was inspired by Averie Cooks' Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice.