In my years of cooking, I’ve learned a few things. Here is my sage advice:
Important Kitchen Facts, Learned the Hard Way
- When you have dinner guests, dessert will go wrong 99.9% of the time. No matter how many times you’ve baked said dessert in the past, it simply won’t turn out right when people are over. The more anxious you are to impress, the less edible dessert will be. It’s just the way it is.
- Only invite your small child to “help” you in the kitchen if you’re prepared for everything to take twice as long, and to have exactly 50 times the fun. Also, you will probably cry from the emotional overload of the sweetness of the experience.
- No matter how in control you think you are, don’t wear a white shirt when making any sort of red, orange, or brightly colored sauce. You will spill, splatter, or otherwise ruin the shirt. So just don’t.
- Freshly grate your cheese yourself.
- You may think you have a high tolerance for pain, but always wear oven mitts when taking ANYTHING out of the oven.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies are not a meal. (No matter how many times you try to make them one.)
- Set timers. You think you’ll remember to turn off the broiler in two minutes to perfectly brown the top of that lasagna you spent all day on, but you won’t.
- A home cooked meal is (mostly) always worth the effort, even if you thought you’d die of exhaustion before you even started making it.
- A good meal can’t be rushed. You will taste shortcuts in the final dish.
Now to the Vegan Fried Rice
It’s that last point that brings me to my Vegan Fried Rice with Tofu Scramble today.
This is my favorite fried rice recipe ever.
(And did I mention it’s vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free??)
I call any meal that comes together in under an hour—which this rice does—worthy of a weeknight, but this fried rice does require that all the components be cooked separately, then brought together at the end. I promise, it’s really not that much effort, and you’ll taste the difference!
Vegan Fried Rice: TOTALLY worth it!
To me, there’s nothing worse than fried rice that’s been ruined because all those delicious ingredients—which each require different cook times and methods—were thrown together and cooked at the same time. All those lovely textures and flavors just become one soggy mess.
Talk about disappointing!
It may take a little longer to cook the onion and garlic, Brussels sprouts, tofu scramble, and rice in my recipe separately, but the result is well worth it. (And again, this meal still comes together in 50 minutes or less! Totally nothing to complain about.)
Make my Vegan Fried Rice with Tofu Scramble this week, and you’ll see what I mean!
A Few Things!
Bragg Aminos: Better Than Soy Sauce!
You’ll notice that I use Bragg Liquid Aminos here instead of soy sauce. I basically don’t use soy sauce ever since discovering Bragg Liquid Aminos during my vegan years. It tastes a lot like soy sauce, but has a smokiness that adds a depth of flavor that I just love. Also, Bragg Liquid Aminos are lower in sodium than soy sauce, so that’s always a plus!
If you can’t find Bragg Liquid Aminos at the grocery store, you can purchase Bragg Liquid Aminos here on Amazon [aff. link]. You won’t be disappointed! I use Bragg Aminos wherever I used to use soy sauce.
My Favorite Hot Sauce for Vegan Fried Rice
We discovered Bravado Spice Co.’s AMAZING Pineapple Habanero hot sauce [aff. link] early this year, and it pairs soooooo beautifully with this fried rice. (Which makes sense, with pineapple fried rice being a dish itself!)
As you can see by the little pepper thermometer on the bottle, this sauce really isn’t all that spicy—I would actually give it two peppers, not three—so no matter your heat preference/tolerance, you will love this completely unique Pineapple Habanero hot sauce with this, and so many other dishes. Yes, it’s even delicious with quesadillas! Definitely one of my top three hot sauces these days. You can find it here on Amazon [aff. link].
Vegan Fried Rice with Tofu Scramble
For the tofu scramble:
- 16 oz block of extra firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
For the rice:
- 4 cups day-old cooked white rice, (1 ¼ cups dry white rice; I prefer to use basmati rice here)
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos, plus 2 tsp for drizzling
For the onion:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped (I like the pieces to be about 1/2 inch big)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
For the Brussels sprouts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 15 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup scallions, chopped, green and white parts
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup frozen corn, optional
Make the tofu scramble
- Press as much water out of the tofu as possible, then crumble the tofu (so it looks like scrambled eggs) over a medium-sized skillet, preferably non-stick.
- Cook the tofu over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned and there is no water in the skillet, about 10 minutes.
Make the tofu scramble seasoning
- While the tofu cooks, make the tofu scramble seasoning by simply whisking together the water, olive oil, onion salt, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric in a small bowl.
Season the tofu scramble
- Once the tofu is in the skillet is slightly browned and dry, add the seasoning mixture to the skillet. Stir until the mixture coats all the tofu.
- Continue cooking the tofu over medium heat until it has absorbed all the seasoning, and turned light yellow, about 3 minutes.
- Tofu scramble is done, set aside.
Cook the onion and garlic
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet, and turn the heat on to medium-high. Heat the olive oil until hot, about 1 minute.
- Now add the garlic, onion, and salt to the skillet. The onion and garlic will sizzle as they hit the pan. Cook the onion and garlic over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, until the onion has released its juices, and starts to brown.
- Turn the heat down to low, and cook the onion and garlic for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the onion and garlic cook, you can trim and quarter the Brussels sprouts.
- Onion and garlic are done, set aside.
Cook the Brussels sprouts
- In the same skillet you cooked the onion and garlic in, now cook the Brussels sprouts.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet, and heat over medium for about a minute. Now add the Brussels sprouts and salt to the skillet.
- Toss the salt and Brussels sprouts together, then cook for 3 minutes, undisturbed.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts again, and cook for another 3 minutes undisturbed. We want the sides of the Brussels sprouts that are face down in the pan to get a little browned.
- Now toss the Brussels sprouts one more time, and cook for a final three minutes.
- Brussels sprouts are done! Set aside.
Cook the rice:
- To the skillet you cooked the onion, garlic, and Brussels sprouts in, now cook the rice.
- Add the sesame oil and olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Let the oil get hot, about one minute.
- Now add 1 Tbsp of Bragg Aminos, followed by 1/2 Tbsp of the rice vinegar. The skillet will steam.
Add the rice
- Immediately add the rice to the skillet. With your spatula, stir, so that the rice is evenly coated with the oils, vinegar, and Bragg Aminos.
- Add the final Tbsp of Bragg Aminos, and the remaining 1/2 Tbsp of rice vinegar. Keep stirring/flipping the rice with your spatula until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about four minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, and drizzle the final 2 tsp of Bragg Aminos over the rice.
Add the veggies and tofu scramble
- Now add the onion/garlic mixture, Brussels sprouts, scallions, frozen peas, and frozen corn (if using) to the rice. Stir until everything is incorporated.
- Now add the tofu scramble to the pan, and stir until it’s evenly distributed.
Serve and enjoy!
- Fried rice is done! Serve alone, or with a side of your favorite meat substitute. (The Mandarin Orange Gardein—don’t use the sauce packet—is really good with this fried rice!)
Haha.. I love your lessons learnt, Shannon! I love cooking with the kids but definitely don’t do it if we have people coming over – it would be like trying to rush two little snails while they’re laughing about something silly and making a right mess. But I have to disagree, chocolate chip cookies are definitely a meal! Thank you for sharing this recipe, the tofu scramble looks absolutely amazing. I love the addition of Brussels sprouts which have quickly become my favourite veg so it’s great to see them here. And yum – aminos, you are so right, much better than soy sauce!
Haha you are so so right Katerina, rushing snails is the perfect description! 😆 Well if you’re on board with chocolate chip cookies being a meal, then I certainly am haha! I feel so much better about myself now 😆
This is so wonderful, and who doesn’t like fried rice?!! I just had some tofu the other day, with some steamed Brussels sprouts. Such a satisfying lunch, but anymore I don’t buy tofu just for ME. But I should more often. I’m surprised you don’t use brown rice? Did you know that white is processed? So you’re missing out on the good parts of the rice, like choosing whole-wheat bread vs. white “enriched” bread. Sorry, but I used to give talks on this kind of thing, so I didn’t know if you chose white rice to be traditional….. anyway great recipe!
Ohh steamed tofu and Brussels sprouts sounds like an AMAZING lunch yum!! You are so right about brown rice Mimi, it’s so delicious and full of nutrition! I do love brown rice, but there’s nothing like traditional white rice for fried rice in my book. 😋. I should try this recipe with brown rice sometime though, who knows? I may enjoy it just as much!
Your list of kitchen tips is 110% correct, Shannon! As I read each one, I was like, “Yup, that is totally true.” I love having Robbie help me in the kitchen, but you’re right that it takes twice as long – if we’re lucky. But we do have such good conversations, and I like to think he’s learning some cooking tips along the way! Speaking of cooking tips, you nailed this fried rice! I do love fried rice, and it’s not a difficult dish to make – but you have to respect the time as you so accurately noted. Now I’m craving fried rice for dinner! Oh, and great idea on the Brussels in there, too.
Thanks David! And so so true! It may take longer with our little helpers in the kitchen, but it is always such a sweet experience. ♥️