Anything goes with this easy Veggie Fried Rice recipe. Swap in seasonal vegetables to make a flavorful plant-based meal any time of year.
I may have gone just a little bit overboard on produce, but with all the fresh vegetables available right now, how could I resist?
Eating seasonally usually means more flavor and lower prices. When you buy locally, there’re a lot of environmental benefits, too. What’s not to love?
Changing up your veggies is also good for your health. Variety (both seasonally and throughout the day/week) makes it easier to get all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients your body needs to thrive. Plus, it makes meals more exciting and you’re less likely to feel bored with your cooking.
One thing that’s not so good about over purchasing produce, though, is the potential for food waste.
You can always chop and freeze vegetables, but I try to cook as much as I can right away.
This is where fridge foraging meals come into play.
Making meals with ingredients already in your kitchen is one way to reduce waste since you’re not buying anything new.
Veggie Fried Rice is an easy fridge foraging meal to make with any vegetables you have on hand.
I’m calling this recipe “Anything Goes” Veggie Fried Rice because it’s an ideal way to use up whatever odds and ends are left in your produce drawer.
It’s the best way to use leftover cooked rice, too!
How to Make Anything Goes Veggie Fried Rice
The first step in making this veggie fried rice is cooking the tofu.
Dry frying is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get crispy flavor out of your tofu. Spread pieces on a really hot pan (I used the same wok I used to cook the rest of the meal), and flip once the pieces begin to naturally separate from the pan.
This process took me about 15 minutes total because I cooked the tofu in small batches to give the pieces plenty of room to breathe. (You can find more tips about cooking crispy tofu here.)
After removing the crispy tofu from the wok, it’s time to cook the veggies. This time it was broccoli, radishes and green beans, but remember, anything goes. Swap in 4-5 cups chopped vegetables to make it your own.
Veggie Fried Rice for Every Season:
- Spring: broccoli, radishes, green beans
- Summer: bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash
- Fall: sweet potato, mushrooms, kale
- Winter: Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower
Okay, next up is the flavah.
Savory and salty soy sauce (you can also use liquid aminos or gluten-free tamari if needed), punchy rice vinegar, and a touch of sweetness from pure maple syrup. Stir that in with the veggies, add the leftover rice and cooked tofu, and give all those delicious flavors a few minutes to meld.
Using pre-cooked, cold rice improves texture.
If you use hot, just cooked rice, you’re more likely to get a mushy end result and this is not what you want out of your veggie fried rice. Cook the rice a day in advance or keep this recipe in your back pocket until there are leftovers ready to go.
It’s 100% worth the wait. Promise!
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and chopped into square pieces (397 grams)
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or as needed)
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 stalks broccoli, chopped (or 2 ½ cups vegetable of choice)
- 6 radishes, halved (or 1 cup vegetable of choice)
- 1 cup green beans, halved (or 1 cup vegetable of choice)
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos or gluten-free tamari)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 cups cooked brown rice, cold
- 1 cup chopped radish greens (optional)
- Chopped green onions
- Fresh basil
- Sesame seeds
- Crushed red pepper
Preheat a wok or large skillet on high. Once hot, spread tofu pieces on the wok or skillet. Leave at least an inch in between the tofu pieces. (Cook in small batches if needed.) Cook tofu 3 minutes, or until the bottom easily separates from the pan. Flip and repeat until each side is cooked. Transfer cooked tofu pieces to a dish or wire rack to cool.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir grapeseed oil, shallot, and ginger in the wok or skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes, or until shallot softens. Stir in broccoli, radishes, and green beans and cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add more oil as needed to prevent sticking throughout the cooking process.
Whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Pour sauce over vegetables. Stir in cooked brown rice, radish greens (if using), and cooked tofu. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until rice is hot and starts to get crispy.
Remove from heat and serve with green onions, basil, cilantro, sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper if desired.
Anything goes: Substitute a total of 4-5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables for the broccoli, radishes, and green beans if desired.
Gluten-free variation: Use liquid aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.