Update June 2021: Photos have been updated and recipe improved with metric measurements and nutritional information.
If you have got leftover rice in your fridge, you don’t want to miss this recipe!
This Thai-inspired vegetable fried rice is spicy, a bit sweet and sour, and SO flavorful! It’s loaded with mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple, and plenty of garlic and chili!
This one-skillet recipe starts with the onion and garlic that are sautéed in vegan butter (or oil). I prefer to use vegan butter for this recipe as I find it gives the dish a richer flavor.
Once your aromatics are fragrant, it’s time to add the veggies. Here, I went with yellow and red bell pepper, carrot, and mushrooms.
This recipe is versatile so feel free to use the vegetables you have on hand: zucchini, corn, or peas would make great additions!
Once the vegetables are cooked, add the rice. For the best results, I recommend using leftover rice that has been chilled. I found the grains don’t stick to each other as much when using rice cooked the day before compared to rice cooked the same day. Worry not, it’s still delicious both ways!
Next, to give the rice a subtle sourness we combine tamarind juice with maple syrup for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, and minced chili for some heat. Tamarind juice is very easy to make, soak tamarind paste in hot water for a few minutes and strain.
Tamarind paste is made from concentrated tamarind fruit and is 100% natural. It is sweet and very sour. Once diluted, it can be used to make sauces for Pad Thai, drinks, or used in stir-fries like this fried rice!
Finally, add finely chopped pineapple, green onions, and roasted peanuts, and enjoy! This fried rice is the kind of food that boosts your mood and cheers you up after just two spoonfuls. Yes, it’s that good.
It is super easy to make, full of flavor, comforting, and has that stick-to-your-ribs factor. It has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy, with a subtle tart flavor.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Thai Fried Rice (Sweet & Sour!)
- 3 tbsp vegan butter (or oil)
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 3-4 mushrooms finely diced
- 1 small carrot finely diced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper finely diced
- 2 cups cooked rice (preferably cooked the day before)
- 3 tbsp tamarind juice*
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 bird's eye chilis finely minced (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 pineapple (about 1/2 cup, diced)
- For topping, optional: 1/4 cup green onions, 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- Heat one tablespoon of vegan butter or oil in a large non-stick skillet. Once hot, add the onion and garlic, and sautée for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the mushrooms, carrots, and red bell pepper and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked but still slightly crunchy.
- Add the remaining two tablespoons of vegan butter as well as the cooked rice. Sautée for about 5 minutes to fry the rice and make it slightly crispy.
- In a small bowl, combine the tamarind juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, and minced chili. Stir to combine and pour it into the skillet. Stir to coat the rice with the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the sauce.
- Stir in the diced pineapple, top with green onions and roasted peanuts, and serve!
- Fried rice will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator, reheat gently over medium heat for a few minutes before serving.