Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable fried rice has to be one of my all-time favourite dishes. I love making Chinese food at home and fried rice is always the perfect accompaniment to my Indo-Chinese dishes.

This easy fried rice is loaded with vegetables and only takes minutes to make! So much better and healthier than takeout! I almost always make vegetable fried rice when I cook Chinese food at home as it is a perfect accompaniment to any of the main dishes like Manchurian, Buddha delight or even Chilli paneer.

Rice with sautéed vegetables and Chinese sauces is a perfect blend of flavours. What I also love about this dish is that it does not require any special ingredients. It requires ingredients that are always available in the kitchen and you can experiment with different flavours and vegetables. Vegetable fried rice is a very versatile dish and you can choose any vegetable that is seasonal or is in your fridge.

Ingredients

1 cup rice (Jasmine rice or medium grain)
1 finely chopped carrot
1 finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped cabbage
½ cup finely chopped green peppers
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon green chilli sauce
1 teaspoon red chilli sauce
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
½ cup finely chopped spring onions
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon oil (for boiling rice)

Directions

Step-1

Wash the rice under running water and then soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes.

After the rice has soaked, drain the water using a colander.

Boil 3-4 cups of water.  Add rice and 1 teaspoon oil and gently stir. Let it cook uncovered until it is 70% cooked. This takes around 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and drain rice in a colander. You can also rinse the rice gently with water so that the grains stop cooking. Spread it on a tray and keep the rice in the fridge to cool it.

Step-2

Heat sesame oil in a wok and add chopped garlic, green chillies and ginger. Sauté for a minute.

Step-3

Next, add carrot, cabbage, pepper and onions. Sauté on high heat for a couple of minutes.

Step-4

Add vinegar, green chilli sauce, red chilli sauce. Toss them together so that the vegetables are mixed with the sauces.

Step-5

Add the rice, salt, white pepper and  spring onions and toss them for 2 minutes.

Serve hot with Vegetable Manchurian or enjoy on its own.

Tips & Variations

  1. It is important to prepare the rice well which means rinsing the rice at least three times till the water is clear. This helps to clear the excess starch and this in turn helps in making the rice non sticky.
  2. I always recommend soaking the rice for an hour or if you are short of time then at least for 20 to 25 minutes because well soaked rice will expand and cook well and each strand of rice will be long and fluffy.
  3. Always drain the rice and rinse them in running water stops the rice from cooking further.
  4. Let the rice cool down after boiling before you use it as that prevents the rice from breaking.
  5. Cook the rice until they are al dente which means that the rice is partially cooked almost 75%.
  6. Adding oil to the rice while boiling prevents them from sticking.
  7. To make the best fried rice you must plan a little bit ahead of time. Chilled cooked rice is the best way to make fried rice. Rice that is cooked and still warm does not cook well when making fried rice as it tends to turn out mushy and very sticky.
  8. As I am always on a time crunch, I simply spread the warm rice on a tray and stick it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until cold.
  9. It is best to cook on high heat to help fry and brown the rice and vegetables thoroughly. Try not to have the rice steam in the pan or stick together too much. Stir frequently.
  10. I have used sesame oil in this recipe as it adds nutty flavour to this dish. It also enhances the flavour and gives a rich aroma to the dish. You can also use chilli oil or any other vegetable oil.
  11. I have used a Chinese wok to cook the rice as it helps in quick cooking of the rice, however you can use any thin bottom pan.
  12. You can substitute white pepper powder with finely ground black pepper powder.
  13. If you want to make it spicy simply increase the amount of green chilli sauce or the amount of green chilli. Or if you do not like spicy you can reduce the amount of chilli too.
  14. It is important to keep everything prepared as the rice are cooked on high heat.
  15. You can create a combination of a few to several of your favourite vegetables to enhance this recipe. Other than carrots, cabbage and peppers, I have also used mushrooms, baby corn, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas or water chestnuts while making fried rice.
  16. You can also add a teaspoon of Soy sauce to give it a salty umami flavour.
  17. You can use leftover rice or make this dish.
  18. You can use any type of rice for making this dish for example, Jasmine rice, brown rice, or even quinoa. I usually use medium grain or Jasmine rice at home.
  19. You can add 1-2 eggs while sautéing the vegetables to make Egg fried rice.

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