Loaded with vegetables (that you probably have hanging around the house anyway), vegetable egg fried rice is such an easy, tasty, quick and filling meal. Perfect any night, and better than takeout!
I don’t know about you, but I often end up with the odd bits and pieces of vegetables leftover in the fridge and don’t always know what to do with them. Somehow recipes don’t always align with the quantities I have, which I guess is fair enough, but I hate seeing things go to waste.
For some things, like carrots, the stray ones sometimes end up in pancakes or in comfort food dinners like braised lamb shanks. Chard stalks are something I hate to waste as well, so they may go in stock for soups (like Scotch broth) but otherwise they can be a bit tricky.
This vegetable fried rice recipe is a great way to use up both odds and end of vegetables as well as any leftover cooked rice you may have. Even if you don’t specifically have things left over, it’s a delicious and easy meal.
Egg fried rice was one of those things I used to get as part of a Chinese take out now and then and always enjoyed. But homemade is definitely better for a few reasons.
For one, I love loading it up with a lot more vegetables. Plus it’s much easier to control the salt and oil level when you make it at home, both of which I often find too much in bought versions.
What vegetables should you use?
The exact ingredients in this dish are pretty flexible – in fact it doesn’t even need to be just vegetables, you can add in the odd bit of ham, chicken or shrimp if you like. That’s part of what’s great about it.
I’ve given an example of a good mix below, but feel free to substitute things in or out to your taste, or your fridge collection. The chard stems, for example, are optional (and I haven’t included them in the updated photos you now see). I would say onion in some form is pretty key but otherwise mix it up as you like. Personally I like a mix of colors and textures, hence why I think things like pepper, carrot, peas and carrot are all good things to put in.
The thing that makes a good vegetable egg fried rice for me is the seasoning – ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil are all pretty key to me in making it taste delicious. My husband is on a bit of a sriracha kick at the moment and so some of that usually goes in as well although I tend to let everyone do this themselves at the table so you can vary the amount to taste.
How to make vegetable egg fried rice
Cooking vegetable egg fried rice is very easy as well. It’s worth making the rice ahead of time and letting it cool properly to stop it from sticking together too much, so using up leftover cooked rice is perfect if you have some. The volume of cooked rice is around double uncooked but as I say the recipe is flexible so use what you have and adjust accordingly.
- Start by cooking the vegetables that need the most cooking – the onion so that it becomes soft and sweet, and then any hard vegetables such as carrots and chard stalks.
- It can be good to add the vegetables one at a time, stir and cook a minute then add the next.
- Add the garlic, ginger then the cooked rice.
- Make sure the rice gets a slight coating of oil to stop it sticking too much.
- Hold back on things that are basically cooked like corn and peas until you are almost done, after the rice is in.
- Cook the egg and stir it through the rest, add the final seasonings and serve.
Cooking the egg is the only trickier bit – the best plan is to push the rice and vegetables to one side then pour in the egg on the other side. You can either cook it as you would scrambled eggs, stirring now and then so it all cooks and then once it’s all cooked, or leave it to be more like an omelette and then break into pieces.
Either way once cooked, stir it through the rice and vegetable mixture. If your pan is short on space, you can also cook it separately on the side then add, but to me it seems a waste to dirty another pan.
This dish, to me, is a meal in itself. However you can also use it as a side dish to other dishes if you prefer. Even just a few shrimp on the side bulks it out a bit, for example.
Whichever way you enjoy it, this vegetable egg fried rice is a delicious dish that’s easy to make and full of flavor. It’s a lot healthier than take out made like this but doesn’t skimp on taste. Plus, you can vary the vegetables to what you have and what you like and any leftovers are great for lunch. Give it a try and enjoy.
Looking for more Chinese takeout inspired dishes? Try these!
- Sesame shrimp toast (prawn toast)
- Chinese spare ribs (slow cooker)
- Easy wonton soup
- Chinese pork and cabbage dumplings
Vegetable egg fried rice
- 2/3 cup basmati rice
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 onion large
- 1 carrot large
- 8 oz chard stalks 225g, approx - stems from 1 bunch (optional)
- 1 pepper small, red or other color as you have/prefer
- 1 in ginger approx 1tbsp once diced small
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup corn (eg frozen, defrosted)
- 2/3 cup peas (eg frozen, defrosted)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce I use low sodium
- Optional- siracha to taste
- Cook the rice in the water, covered, bringing the pan to a boil then reducing to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked - around 10mins. Allow the rice to cool - you can store in fridge for a day or two until ready to use.
- When ready to eat, dice the onion, carrot, chard stalks and pepper all fairly small. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet/frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion to the pan, stir and cook a minute, then add the carrot, chard and pepper one at a time, stirring and cooking a minute each before adding the next.
- Peel then finely grate the ginger and garlic in to the pan and stir, cooking but being careful they don't burn. Add the rice and stir. If there's not enough oil to stop the rice sticking then add a little more. Add the corn and peas, stir through then push to one side of the pan.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly. Add to the empty side of the pan and cook as you would scrambled eggs, stirring now and then so you mix through the part that is cooking on the bottom. Alternatively, leave to cook more like an omelette and just stir towards the end. Once they are fully cooked, break up the egg and stir through the rice.
- Add the sesame oil and soy sauce, mix through then serve, with siracha added, optionally, to taste.