If you have leftover rice in your fridge, now is the perfect time to make fried rice!
This Thai-inspired fried rice is spicy, a bit sweet and sour, and extremely comforting! Like really, it’s the kind of food that boosts your mood and cheers you up after just two spoonfuls. Yes, it’s that good.
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. We have 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.
When the vegetables are cooked, it’s time to add the rice. For the best results, I recommend using leftover rice that has been chilled. I tried with rice cooked just before frying, and rice cooked the day before, the latter gave a better texture overall. The grains didn’t stick to each other compared to rice cooked the same day.
Next, to give the rice a subtle sourness we have tamarind juice combined with maple syrup for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, and minced chili for some heat. Don’t get scared, tamarind juice is very easy to make, simmer tamarind paste in water for a few minutes and strain.
Finally, add finely chopped pineapple, green onions, and roasted peanuts, and enjoy!
This fried rice is super easy to make, full of flavor, comforting, and has that stick-to-your-ribs factor. It’s perfectly salty and sweet, with a subtle tart flavor thanks to the addition of tamarind juice.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 3 tbsp (45ml) 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 bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 cups (400g) cooked rice (preferably cooked the day before)
- 1 tbsp (15ml) tamarind juice*
- 2 tbsp (30ml) maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce
- 3 bird’s eye chilis, finely minced (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 pineapple (about 1/2 cup diced)
- For topping: green onions, 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 and start to brown.
- Remove from heat, stir in the diced pineapple and top with green onions and roasted peanuts! Serve as is or as a side.
- Fried rice will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator, reheat gently over medium heat for a few minutes before serving.
* To make tamarind juice, add 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsp of tamarind paste to a saucepan. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes, and use a spatula to slightly mash the tamarind paste. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. The water will take a dark brown color. Strain and keep the juice.