With a hint of hot spice and packing a flavorful punch, tofu fried rice is a healthy, vegetarian-friendly dish that you’re going to love. Our tofu rice recipes use classic fried rice prep techniques and ingredients, but there’s absolutely zero meat involved.
This recipe does need a few eggs, but if you’re vegan, you can skip the eggs, and the fried rice will be just as delectable. You’ll need a tofu press, extra-firm tofu, cold or leftover rice, and our spicy, homemade, sriracha-based sauce.
Keep reading, and discover the best way to make tofu fried rice at home!
Tofu Fried Rice Recipes FAQ
With pre-cooked rice ready to go, you can prepare this recipe in as little as half an hour. It’s tasty and healthy, and with our detailed FAQ, you can make this recipe even better. Keep reading for our top tips and FAQ answers!
What tofu is best for tofu fried rice?
Fried rice is a dish that traditionally includes at least one variety of meat, such as chicken or beef. Instead of meat, we’re including tofu, which works well as a meat-substitute while adding protein to the meal.
For tofu to work as a meat-substitute, though, we need it to have a similar texture and consistency to meat. Extra-firm tofu has a thick and solid texture. Extra-firm tofu absorbs flavors and seasoning, and it also holds its shape exceptionally well under high heat, which is perfect for tofu stir fry rice.
Other variations of tofu, such as soft or silken tofu, are too delicate in texture to work well. Softer forms of tofu won’t hold its shape when fried and will quickly fall apart, giving you a mushy, watery fried tofu rice.
Why do I need to press my tofu?
In addition to selecting the right type of tofu (extra-firm), you need to thoroughly press and drain the liquid from the block before cooking. Tofu has high water content, which keeps the tofu from drying out before cooking with it. Without removing all of the excess liquid, we'll be left with bland, mushy tofu.
As we suggested in the recipe, the most effective way to press and drain tofu is by using a dedicated tofu press. Place a block of tofu inside the press, then leave it to drain for 20 minutes. However, not everyone has a tofu press, though, in which case, wrap your tofu in paper towels before using a heavy object to press the tofu instead. Chopping boards or a heavy cast iron wok or skillet both work great.
What type of rice is best for a fried rice with tofu recipe?
Fried rice is best prepared using medium grain or long grain rice. You can pick your favorite variety, of course, but we recommend using basmati rice or jasmine rice.
Long grain rice is much sturdier than short-grain, and we need this firm texture for fried rice. Shorter grains tend to stick together, losing their shape and texture when they are fried.
We need firm rice for tofu and rice recipes, or else we end up with a big sticky mass of fried rice in the wok once it’s cooked!
Do I have to use leftover rice?
For the same reason that we use long-grain rice instead of short-grain rice, fried rice is best prepared using pre-cooked rice. It doesn’t have to be leftover, of course, but you do need to prepare it in advance, provided that you have the time.
Preparing your rice the night before gives it time to set and to harden in the fridge. This gives you a much firmer consistency, which we are looking for with this particular recipe.
Using fresh rice can result in sticky, clumpy fried rice, as the water content is still high, and the rice grains can become mushy. If you have to, then you can cook your rice just before preparing fried rice. Just slightly undercook the rice, so it’s not too soft, then allow it to drain in a colander or sieve for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
However, if you decide to use uncooked rice, be sure to rinse and soak the grains well before cooking. After draining the uncooked rice, stir-fry it for several minutes using a small amount of oil in a skillet.
Can I make vegan tofu fried rice?
Our recipe is vegetarian friendly, but the scrambled egg makes it unsuitable for vegans. However, vegans can just as easily remove the eggs to make this vegan-friendly. The egg isn’t a necessary ingredient, it just adds to the texture and flavor, but tofu fried rice still tastes great without it.
Vegans should also check that their sauces (particularly soy sauce) are also vegan. All the other ingredients should be vegan, even when store-bought, but some soy sauces are still prepared with fish products.
What ingredients can I add to this dish?
Tofu fried rice is perfect for customizing, and whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or a meat-eater, you can make this dish just the way you like it. Our recipe is excellent for using up leftovers, and not just leftover rice, but vegetables and ingredients you have lying around the kitchen.
You can make tofu fried rice with all manner of veggies, from leeks and green beans to broccoli and cauliflower. Use frozen peas or frozen bags of mixed veggies to shorten the time it takes to prepare, or add other fresh or frozen vegetables you have in the house.
Whichever ingredients you choose to add, it’s going to taste great!
Do I have to use fresh veggies?
Fresh vegetables are not required for this dish! However, frozen veggies will have a little bit more water when they cook down. Typically, if you’re using frozen veggies it’s a good idea to cook them down in a separate skillet or run warm water over them in the sink so you can remove the excess liquid.
Continue with the recipe as listed once you’ve drained the veggies.
What can I serve with tofu fried rice?
Serve this dish with any number of extra sauces and sides that add to the taste and flavor. Garnish your fried rice with chopped scallions or fresh cilantro, and pour over extra soy sauce or sriracha to finish the dish.
You can also cook up other Asian-inspired dishes to go with your tofu fried rice. Prepare fresh spring rolls, or add tempeh, tofu tempura, or a fried egg!
How long will leftovers keep?
Tofu fried rice tastes best when it’s served straight out of the wok, but you can save the leftovers for later if you need to. Fried rice keeps for at least two days in the fridge; just remember to store the leftovers in a resealable container.
When you’re ready, reheat the leftovers again in the microwave or by gently frying them in the wok.
You can store the leftovers in the freezer as well, for up to 6 months. Keep the leftovers in a resealable container or ziplock bag. For the best results, allow the tofu fried rice to thaw naturally by itself before reheating. If you try to thaw this dish in the microwave, it will likely all turn into mush. Be patient and let it thaw in water or the fridge.
How do you like your tofu fried rice?
It’s now time for you to start preparing your own fried rice for dinner. We love how customizable this recipe is, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different sauces and vegetables.
Use this recipe to act as a catch-all for leftover veggies in your fridge! If you love this recipe, change it up slightly every time you make it, just to add a new flavor to a weeknight favorite.
Why not save out tofu fried recipe for later?