Veggie Fried Brown Rice

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I once read this cute book called The Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food and Love, and there is one particular passage about fried rice that stuck with me for some reason. A little background on the book… a couple who come from very different backgrounds, one from a traditional Chinese family and the other from a traditional American family, fall in love and experience their lives together over the dinner table. I do really recommend the book, but I don’t want to go into too much detail because I just wanted to set the stage for this exchange:

“Sitting back now, he asks, “Do white people know that fried rice is made with leftover rice?”
“I don’t know,” I answer on behalf of all white people. “It’s not really something you think about until you try to make it.”
“White people order fried rice as an entrée,” he continues, explanatorily. “It’s only on the menu for them. Chinese people order white rice with their entrée – a real entrée – and then take home the leftovers and make fried rice.”

So I’m not sure which side of the fence I fall on with this one since I made brown rice specifically because I have been loving making fried rice for a quick, easy, and healthy dinner lately. But since I’m not really sure where I stand with it, let’s just get right into the recipe, shall we?

This dish comes together in less than 10 minutes if you have your rice cooked ahead of time. It’s an awesome weekday meal when you want to get dinner on the table fast and is such an easy meal to change around based on what’s in your kitchen. I use brown rice here because it’s healthier, but you can easily experiment with white rice or any other grain. You can also certainly go traditional and just use anything you have leftover in the fridge, including cooked veggies, meats, beans, tofu, etc. It is seriously delicious and filling, and is so simple it’s barely considered a recipe!

Veggie Fried Brown Rice

Entire recipe yields 12 pts+. 2 servings at 6 pts+ each.

– 1 bag of mixed frozen veggies (or fresh)
– 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice
– 2 eggs
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger (or a sprinkle of ginger powder if you don’t have fresh!)

To start, heat up a pan and spray it with nonstick spray. Once it’s hot, add in your frozen veggies.

Cover and cook for about 4 minutes, until they are defrosted and warm. Next up, add in your cooked brown rice and stir into the veggies.

Now, crack your eggs directly on top of the rice and veggie mixture.

Stir with a wooden spoon constantly until eggs are cooked and spread evenly throughout the rice. Make sure you use your spoon to mix in the rice around the edge of the pan so it all gets equally delicious.

Last step – add in your soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chopped or powdered ginger. Stir to combine, and you’re done!

That’s it! This dish is so delicious that I ended up making it again last night after writing this post! It’s a great staple meal for me during the week, and also CHEAP and good for using up things in your fridge/pantry! I usually divide it into two servings immediately, saving half for lunch the next day and eating half right then and there.

Are you a fan of Chinese food? What’s your favorite thing to order off the menu?

I loooooove dumplings, egg drop soup, and sesame tofu if I’m feeling frisky. If I’m behaving myself, I usually order the steamed jumbo shrimp with veggies, which is actually completely delicious, if a little boring!

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33 Comments on Veggie Fried Brown Rice

  1. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    July 28, 2011 at 8:55 am (6 years ago)

    That sounds like an interesting book! Although I admit that I usually order fried rice as my entree — it tastes so good! Or, I get some sort of stir-fry — it always tastes better when someone else makes it!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:29 am (6 years ago)

      I totally agree. The book is really cute, especially if you love food like yours truly! =)

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    July 28, 2011 at 9:10 am (6 years ago)

    Interesting… I would have never thought that was the difference btwn ordering fried and white. Sort of makes sense!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:29 am (6 years ago)

      Doesn’t mean we can’t still order it!! I just thought that passage was funny-ish.

  3. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me
    July 28, 2011 at 9:15 am (6 years ago)

    I love Chinese food but recently have got into Thai food and can’t seem to get enough. Thai food rocks my socks. BUT for Chinese food my absolute favorite is crab rangoons. Holy delicious!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:30 am (6 years ago)

      Ohhhhhh crab rangoon! LOVE. Maybe I will experiment with a healthy-ish way to make those soon. I bet it wouldn’t be too hard if you baked it and made the mixture with lower fat cream cheese and crab. Hmmm!

  4. Rebecca
    July 28, 2011 at 9:26 am (6 years ago)

    It’s funny, but I never really liked Chinese food until I started WW! Now I go and get egg drop soup (how can I NOT for 1 p+ per cup?) and chicken and vegetables (it’s made without oil and sauce comes on the side) and brown rice. How is it that I LOVE that so much, but can’t stand the other stuff? Funny.

    And I must say, that rice looks great! I really want to try it out now. Do you just eat it as-is, or do you throw some chicken and/or other protein in there? My goodness, am I craving Chinese food now or what? 🙂

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:28 am (6 years ago)

      Hey Rebecca! That is funny. I can’t believe how low egg drop soup is either – and its SO good!

      I don’t eat red or white meat, so I usually just eat it as is because it does have protein from the egg and the brown rice has a little I believe, but I’ve thought about adding tofu, and you could totally make it with chicken or anything else. Just make sure you cook the chicken first, then add in the veggies, then do the rest as described above.

      • Rebecca
        July 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm (6 years ago)

        Okay, cool. I have a feeling this will make an appearance at lunch/dinner this week!

        And wouldn’t you know? My family comes home tonight with…Chinese food. Didn’t partake as I have weigh in tomorrow morning, but guess what I’m getting for lunch right after? Egg drop! 🙂

  5. My Blonde Moments
    July 28, 2011 at 9:27 am (6 years ago)

    This sounds silly, but I never thought of making fried rice like this! I always figured it was too hard to make on my own. I think I have a bag of frozen veggies at home and I have some leftover brown rice, so this is going to be my dinner tonight.

    I love Chinese food, but I tend to love the less than healthy entrees. However, hot and sour soup is the thing I most crave, so a lot of times I’ll just get that and an egg roll!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:31 am (6 years ago)

      Aww yay. It’s so easy! And you can use pretty much anything else you have leftover in your fridge and just throw it in!

  6. Morgan @ Becoming Rooks
    July 28, 2011 at 9:32 am (6 years ago)

    I make brown fried rice as a quick dinner all the time! I actually keep packs of the Uncle Ben’s 90 second microwave brown rice around just for such occasions. 🙂

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:33 am (6 years ago)

      Good idea! Trader Joe’s also makes precooked brown rice that I buy sometimes, but the past two weeks I’ve been making my own on Sundays since I’m trying to use up things in my pantry!

  7. Emily
    July 28, 2011 at 9:35 am (6 years ago)

    Thanks for the fun recipe! I’ll definitely have to try this one over the weekend. I’ve got a crisper full of veggies that are about to bite the dust, so this will be a good way to use them. I wonder how squash and zucchini would taste in a stir fry???

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:59 am (6 years ago)

      Why not!? I actually have a zucchini in my fridge too… might have to use that! I could probably eat this recipe or a version of it almost daily, but don’t want to burn myself out too quick!

    • Julie @SavvyEats
      July 28, 2011 at 10:39 am (6 years ago)

      I LOVE putting squash in stir fries and fried rice!

  8. Liz
    July 28, 2011 at 9:56 am (6 years ago)

    Chinese food is my least favorite of all Asian cuisines…but that is mostly because so many takeout places make the greasiest foods. I usually just order steamed veggies, tofu and rice and add my own sauce. Not very adventurous I know.

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 9:58 am (6 years ago)

      You know its funny because in another place in the book, they talk about how much Americans butcher authentic Chinese food. I don’t think its supposed to be super greasy like it is at most places around here!

  9. Autumn @ Good Eats Girl
    July 28, 2011 at 10:38 am (6 years ago)

    I’ve never thought of that before! I’m going to have to save leftover rice sometime and try it like this instead of making fresh for fried rice!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 10:41 am (6 years ago)

      Making it on Sundays has been a lifesaver for busy weeks lately!!

  10. TracyP
    July 28, 2011 at 11:18 am (6 years ago)

    There’s a bag of veggies and shrimp in my freezer right now that would be perfect for this. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am (6 years ago)

      Shrimp is a GREAT idea!!

  11. Amy @ Conquering Self
    July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm (6 years ago)

    One of my friends is Chinese and his family owns a Chinese restaurant and he just recently taught me how to make Beef and Broccoli and is going to teach me how to make their fried rice soon!! This has inspired me to make many asian influenced meals lately so your post is so timely for me like always! My friend totally makes a big batch of white rice for the week and has it in his fridge to add to just about every meal. For him, fried rice is 100% made with leftovers as well…leftover rice, leftover veggies and whatever protein/meat is leftover in the fridge. He also told me that when you make the white rice in the rice cooker, it is very typical for the bottom layer of rice to burn and that is considered normal and almost necessary to get the rest of the rice the right way. He said that there are even some specific Chinese recipes that use the semi-burned rice…so as to not waste it! I thought that was so interesting!
    On another sidenote, I recently started adding oyster sauce to a lot of the asian inspired meals that I’ve been cooking and find that it adds soooooo much flavor in addition to the soy sauce! Just something I never thought to try before, but it is so good!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm (6 years ago)

      Ohh oyster sauce is a good idea! Another good thing to add is just a little sesame oil – its so flavorful so just a little bit goes a LONG way.

  12. Roz
    July 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm (6 years ago)

    Sesame tofu if you’re feeling frisky!? Funny!!! We have a huge Asian population here in Vancouver, so are soooo lucky to be able to buy all kinds of great ingredients and try all kinds of different menu items oer and above the standard restaurant fare. My favorite is dim sum….steamed shrimp dumplings and those garlicy/spicy sechwan beans are super tasty. (one time, I had the garlic beans for lunch, and when I got home and kissed my husband, he said “hey, you had sechwan for lunch”. It’s that bad, but that GOOD! Was that TMI?? 🙂 ) Have a great day Beth!

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm (6 years ago)

      hahaha I love that your husband could tell what you had for lunch! That is hysterical.

  13. Jen
    July 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm (6 years ago)

    Love your new site!!! It looks fantastic!

  14. Katie Photiadis
    July 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm (6 years ago)

    Beth, that fried rice looks absolutely amazing and it’s totally something I could see myself making! Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the awesome photos =)

  15. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean
    July 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm (6 years ago)

    not 100% sure but i think you changed the color on the outer edges since the last time i looked and i like this color better! good choice 🙂 if it’s the same…well then, just ignore me 🙂

    • Beth
      July 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm (6 years ago)

      Good eye!! It was a darker purple before, then white, and now light purple. Thanks for in the input!

  16. Emily
    July 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm (6 years ago)

    Made the fried rice yesterday! It was really yummy! I put sesame oil in it as well, and I think adding fish sauce would be another good variation (making it more like Thai fried rice). Thanks for the recipe! So filling!


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