Authentic Japanese Chinese fried rice starts with an egg and hot oil in the pan, and while the egg is still runny, you add the cooked rice, about 8 seconds into cooking of the egg. The reason behind this is to emulsify the oil and coat the rice with the egg, which makes the dish light and fluffy, and non-oily — the most important aspect of fried rice.

Now, I’ve been trying to avoid animal foods, which include eggs, makes it a whole new challenge to make this simple but tricky dish, fried rice, which starts with an egg.

But, by George! I’ve got it! Light and fluffy vegan fried rice is possible!

So, I’d like to share the recipe with you.

You need:

  • 2~3 TBSP olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 carrot – finely dices
  • 1/4 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper – diced (or other peppers)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1/3 extra firm tofu – cut into 8 pieces, squeeze to drain the moisture in a paper towel
  • 2 cups of cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 shiitake – diced
  • 2~3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • about 1″ of ginger – finely chopped
  • 1/2 piece of aburaAgĂ© (deep-fried thin tofu)
  • 2 tsp of nutritional yeast
  • a pinch of lemon zest (optional – I prepare and keep some in the freezer)
  • sea salt & white pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

You also need two frying pans, one non stick pan is a must (unless you know how to use a wok).

First pan could be just a stainless steel one.

  1. Pour 1~2 tablespoons of olive oil into the heated pan.
  2. Add onion, carrot, pepper(s), and a pinch of salt, and stir for a few minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, and let it cook while preparing the second pan, but keep an eye.

Second pan should be non-stick kind.

  1. Place 1~2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, and a dash of black pepper into the heated pan.
  2. Crumble and add the drained tofu, chopped shiitake and garlic, and stir in medium heat.
  3. Add cooked jasmine rice, and stir to mix well.
  4. Add chopped ginger and aburaAgé, and mix.
  5. Add the cooked mixture of the first pan, and mix.
  6. Add the lemon zest and nutritional yeast.
  7. Season with sea salt and white pepper.
  8. Turn off the heat, and add the soy sauce, and stir.

That’s about it. You can add or use different ingredients, but the most important thing about this dish is the moisture control, because fried rice should not be soggy. That’s why I use an extra pan to cook the chopped onion to reduce moisture.

Here’s a vine video loop of the vegan fried rice with shishito peppers.

I hope you enjoy!