Stir fried rice is really a great springboard for adaptation. This one is simply flavored and has more than four cups of chopped and sliced vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, and broccoli—though you can change up the vegetables as you like!
How to Make a Great Stir Fry
When you are making a stir fry like this, you want to make sure all of your ingredients are cut and ready to go before you begin the cooking process -- once you start cooking, it goes very quickly and there's no time to pause or chop veggies.
The idea is to add the ingredients in stages, so that everything finishes cooking at the same time. Start with the more dense vegetables first since these will take longer to cook, or cut them into smaller pieces so they cook more quickly.
In this recipe, the various vegetables are cut so that they can cook all together and become tender at the same time. Then the other ingredients are quickly cooked in stages, and a simple stir-fry sauce pulls it all together–the whole cooking process takes less than 15 minutes.
Use Day-Old Rice to Make Fried Rice
As many cooks in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Korea know, day-old cooked rice is best for stir fried rice dishes. It's a little dried out so it doesn’t get clumpy when you return it to heat.
If you don't have rice already made and need to make some for this dish, use a bit less water than usual and let it cook until it is quite dry so that the grains stay separated.
If you have both time and forethought, you can also spread out freshly cooked rice on a dishtowel or cookie tray and leave it uncovered for an hour or two so that it dries out somewhat.
Ways to Adapt This Stir Fried Rice Recipe
Once you get the hang of it, there are endless ways you can adapt this recipe for yourself! Here are a few:
- Use fewer veggies: If you wanted to skip a vegetable or two in the recipe below, no one would be the wiser. You also can add the edamame or peas straight from the freezer; there’s no need to defrost.
- Or switch up the veggies! You can also switch up the vegetables depending on what you have around, and what you and your family like!
- Use white or brown rice: White or brown rice can be used interchangeably.
- Add more flavor! Play around with various Asian ingredients you may have in your pantry or fridge, from pickled vegetables to water chestnuts to bean sprouts. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of hoisin or oyster sauce along with the soy sauce, both of which are savory Asian condiments that will add another layer of flavor to your stir fry.
- Add some protein: Add some more substance to this recipe with cubes of tofu. And if you’re not looking for a vegetarian dish, feel free to add some leftover small cubes of pork, beef, or chicken.
More Easy Stir Fries to Make at Home!
This stir fried rice could certainly be a meal on its own, but it would also make a great or partner for all kinds of Asian dishes. Some recipes to try:
Easy Vegetable Fried Rice
If you don’t have or can’t find low sodium soy sauce, use 3 tablespoons of regular soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of water.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 cup broccoli crowns and stems
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup thinly sliced bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen shelled edamame or peas
3 large eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked and cooled white or brown rice
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon sesame oil, regular or spicy
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, plus more for garnish
Cook the veggies:
Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, and then the broccoli, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, peppers, and edamame.
Stir often until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes (they will get another few minutes to cook at the end of the stir fry so it's ok if they're still crunchy right now). Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
Scramble the eggs:
Season the beaten eggs with a little salt and pepper. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the same wok or skillet over high heat. Add the beaten eggs and scramble quickly, just about 1 minute. When they are just cooked through, slide them out onto the plate with the vegetables.
Stir fry the rice:
Return the wok to the burner over high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then add the cooled rice . Stir fry, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
Add the ginger and the garlic to the rice, and stir until they're fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup scallions.
Finish the stir fry:
Return the vegetables and eggs to the wok with the rice. Cook, stirring often, until everything is combined and hot and the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed.
Garnish and serve:
Sprinkle the additional scallions over the top, and serve right away, passing soy sauce on the side for those who want a bit more.