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This easy vegetable brown fried rice is simplicity at its best! It’s sooooo easy, and delicious to boot! Made with easy pantry staples for a dish that goes together in a flash! Who doesn’t love a good plant-based fried rice recipe?

completed Easy Vegetable Brown Fried Rice plated on a white plate against a light background

There’s something about this vegan fried rice recipe that makes it such a comforting meal! After coming home from a long day of work, who wants to prepare anything too elaborate?

Cooking vegetable fried brown rice takes no more than forty minutes (and much less if you cooked some rice for the week on Sunday!). 

Serve it up with some vegan hot and sour soup, tofu spring rolls, or crispy fried tofu wontons for a full meal.

What do you think? Will you try this fried rice with brown rice recipe? It’s savory and delicious! Go for it!

Why You’ll Love This Fried Brown Rice Recipe

  • Use all your veggie leftovers. You know, those sad-looking carrots inside your fridge or that wrinkly red pepper you thought about discarding or the wilting spinach you forgot to use. All of those find their use in this fried brown rice recipe! 
  • Perfect for weeknights. This quick and easy dinner is ready in about twenty minutes if you already have cooked brown rice on hand.
  • Brown fried rice is healthy! Whole grains make meals healthier and heartier!

What Goes Into This Vegan Brown Fried Rice

All you need to make for this fried rice with brown rice are some fresh veggies and cooked brown rice. Here’s all that you need:

ingredients for Easy Vegetable Brown Fried Rice measured out against a light surface
  • Sesame oil: It adds a nice nutty, smoky flavor to the brown fried rice but you can use olive oil or any other oil you have on hand. To get a similar flavor when using another oil, sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top.
  • Aromatics: The recipe starts with red onion and garlic
  • Veggies: We will be using frozen peas and diced fresh carrots. You can also use a frozen pea and carrot blend instead and skip dicing the carrots. 
  • Extra firm tofu: The tofu turns out crispy and toastie thanks to the sesame oil. Yum! Although brown rice has good plant protein, tofu is packed with it and turns this into the perfect meal after a good afternoon workout. Here’s a guide to all things tofu if you want to know more.
  • Brown rice: This recipe uses cooked rice. I highly recommend making it in advance and allowing it to cool completely. Cold rice is always best when making fried rice. If possible use a long grain brown rice such as jasmine for the fluffiest texture. You can also use a medium grain such as basmati if that’s all you have but definitely avoid short grain which is quite mushy.
  • Soy sauce: Adds savory, salty flavor. You can swap with coconut aminos or tamari for a gluten-free option.

Variations

When making fried rice with brown rice, there’s lots of flexibility in this recipe! It’s definitely one of those that’s great for cleaning out the produce drawer in the fridge.

  • Add more veggies. The sky is the limit here so feel free to use whatever you want. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, greens, or eggplant.
  • Add some ginger. Grate or chop up fresh ginger and cook it with the onion and garlic.
  • Add some pineapple. The sweet and savory flavors really work!
  • Make it spicy. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, drizzle with hot chili oil, or top with diced fresh chilies to give it a bit of heat.

How to Make Fried Rice With Brown Rice

  • 1) Cook the brown rice following the package directions.
  • 2) In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, garlic, peas, carrots, and crumbled tofu in sesame oil until the onions become tender and translucent. 
  • 3) Add the cooked brown rice and soy sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. 

How To Store

Leftovers: Store in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month in an airtight container. Freezing the rice will change the texture of the tofu making it a bit firmer but it’s still tasty.

Reheat: Heat a bit of oil in a skillet or wok. When hot, add the leftover rice and cook stirring frequently until completely heated.

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Make the brown rice ahead of time. Chinese brown rice tastes better when made with cold rice and it will also save you some time to prepare the dish!
  • When adding extra veggies to your brown rice stir fry, dice them small! This tip is the key to quick cooking.
  • Use a wok for best results. It works the best for stir frying vegetables to keep them from overcooking. If you don’t have one, use a large skillet.
  • Heat the pan before cooking. The ingredients should sizzle when added to the pan.
Is fried rice better with white or brown rice?

Either one! While white rice is the traditional rice used for fried rice, brown rice is a whole grain and contains more nutrients if you’re wanting a more nutritious meal. 

What is the secret to good fried rice?

It starts with prepping all the ingredients in advance so you are able to cook everything up quickly. Make sure you use high heat and if possible a wok for cooking it. This results in crisp-tender vegetables rather than it being overcooked. Last, use cold rice. If you use freshly cooked rice, the fried rice is softer than when you cook with precooked, cold rice.

Can you fry uncooked brown rice?

No, before you fry rice it needs to be cooked in water to soften it.

What gives fried rice its flavor?

The flavor in fried comes from the garlic, soy sauce and sometimes ginger used to season it. Using cold rice makes the rice firmer and cooking the veggies quickly so they stay crisp also contribute to the flavor and texture.

completed Easy Vegetable Brown Fried Rice plated on a white plate against a light background alongside chopsticks

Variations

  • Veggies: Swap out the veggies with any you have on hand that works well to stir fry. Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell peppers, bok choy, and bean sprouts are just a few.
  • No tofu? Swap the tofu with crumbled tempeh or edamame. 
  • Craving noodles? Swap the brown rice with whole-grain soba noodles or another noodle you enjoy.
  • Spicy: Make it spicy with a dash of Sriracha or some chopped chilies.

More Vegan Takeout Recipes to Make at Home

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Easy Vegetable Brown Fried Rice

5 from 59 votes
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 3 servings
This easy vegetable brown fried rice is simplicity at its best! It's sooooo easy, and delicious to boot! Made with easy pantry staples for a dish that goes together in a flash! Who doesn't love a good plant-based fried rice recipe?

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup finely diced carrots
  • ½ block of extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions 

  • Cook brown rice according to package instructions.
  • In a large pan and over medium-high heat, sauté onions, garlic, peas, carrots, and crumbled tofu in sesame oil until onions become tender and translucent.
  • Add the cooked brown rice and soy sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Video

Notes

Tips
  • Make the brown rice ahead of time. Fried rice tastes better when made with cold rice and it will also save you some time to prepare the dish!
  • When adding extra veggies, dice them small! This tip is the key to quick cooking.
  • Use a wok for best results. It works the best for stir frying vegetables to keep them from overcooking. If you don’t have one, use a large skillet.
  • Heat the pan before cooking. The ingredients should sizzle when added to the pan.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month in an airtight container. Freezing the rice will change the texture of the tofu making it a bit firmer but it’s still tasty.
  • To reheat, heat a bit of oil in a skillet or wok. When hot, add the leftover rice and cook stirring frequently until completely heated.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 12gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 731mgPotassium: 426mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3749IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: brown fried rice, brown rice, brown rice burrito bowl, easy lunch, easy tofu recipes, fried rice, plant protein, quick dinner, simple recipes, vegan, vegan fried rice, vegan recipes, vegetarian recipes
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love how flavorful this came together. I already had most of the ingredients on hand, so this was a win … great recipe!