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Fried Rice Featured Image

Loaded Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 C (2 large servings) 1x


Gluten free; meatless option


  • ½ C dry jasmine rice, or 1 ½ C cooked, leftover rice
  • 1 T vegetable or olive oil (if making rice)
  • 14 oz. pkg. extra firm tofu (see notes below for substituting meat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 4 T peanut oil
  • 2 T oyster sauce (no MSG)
  • 1 T tamari (or soy sauce; plus more for serving)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ C small diced carrots (1 medium carrot)
  • ¾ C frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 big handful sturdy leafy greens, chopped small (such as Swiss chard, kale, or collards)
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced diagonally, green tops washed and chopped for garnish
  • 1/2 C bean sprouts (fresh) or chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • Optional garnish: avocado, lime wedges

Special equipment

  • 10 to 12 inch nonstick skillet (do not use a wok)


Cook and “dry” the rice

  1. Rinse rice in a mesh strainer until cold water runs almost clear, at least 30 seconds (up to a couple minutes). In a medium saucepan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil over medium, adding rice once hot. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, then add 3/4 C water and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 12 to 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed (mine always takes closer to 12). Turn off heat and let rest in pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
  2. Spread rice on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and let stand at room temp for up to an hour. Place in refrigerator, uncovered, overnight, or for about 12 hours. After that, move to a loosely covered container (use up to 3 days after preparing).

Fry the tofu

  1. Drain block on a folded dish towel covered with a paper towel. Place a flat object (plate, small cutting board or baking pan) on top of another paper towel over the tofu, then balance a heavy object on top of that. Leave for a half hour.
  2. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 slices of the same thickness (about 1/3 inch), then cut each slice in half lengthwise, and cut each “strip” into thirds (crosswise). You’ll have 48 small rectangles, each about an inch square by 1/3 inch thick.
  3. If you have time, spread the pieces over a dishcloth topped with a paper towel, and leave at room temperature for another 30 minutes to dry further.
  4. Put tofu pieces into a large shallow dish or bowl and toss with 1 t salt. One tablespoon at a time, sprinkle with cornstarch (using a mesh strainer if available to coat evenly) and stir, repeating 3 times.
  5. Heat a large, dry nonstick skillet (10 to 12 inches) over medium high for a couple minutes. Add a tablespoon of peanut oil and heat for another 2 minutes, until very hot. Add half the tofu in a single layer to the pan, and cook on the first side, undisturbed, until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes (it won’t brown for a few minutes, then suddenly it will, so be patient). Flip the tofu and cook the same way on the other side. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack, and sprinkle with another pinch of salt while still hot.
  6. Add another ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and allow to heat for a minute. Add one piece of tofu to make sure the pan is hot enough (it should sizzle). If so, add remaining tofu and cook as above.

Cook the fried rice

  1. Mix oyster and soy sauce in a small dish and set aside. Prepare other ingredients and set out so they’re ready as you cook.
  2. Add 1 t oil to the nonstick skillet used to cook the tofu and heat to medium. Add egg and begin to stir with a wooden spoon to scramble after allowing it to initially set a bit. Cook egg until done but not brown, about a minute, then remove to a small bowl.
  3. Increase heat to medium high, then add 1 ½ tablespoons oil. Once hot, cook carrots for a minute or two, until slightly softened. Add peas and cook for another minute, until warm. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add rice, sauce mixture, and greens and cook, stirring constantly to coat the rice, 2 minutes, until heated through and greens are wilted. If using a 10 inch pan (as I did) it will get a little crowded but you should have room if stirring carefully. Reduce heat to medium low, add proteins (egg and tofu), scallions, and bean sprouts, and cook for another 30 seconds, until combined and hot. Stir in sesame oil off heat.
  5. Season with additional salt or soy sauce, if needed, and garnish with green scallion tops, plus avocado and lime slices, if desired.


Substitute meat for tofu: Use pre-cooked shrimp or pork (or cook it in the skillet before you start the recipe) and add it to the pan at the same time as the peas.

Oil type: Peanut oil withstands high heat well (it’s often used for deep frying). If you don’t have any on hand, canola or vegetable oil would work, but I wouldn’t recommend olive oil.

Tamari/soy: The recipe is only gluten free if you use tamari, not soy sauce.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Asian