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Easy Vegetable Fried Rice


I grew up eating my mother’s fried rice.  It was one of the best things ever.  It was always satisfying, straight-forward and arrived in a flash, steaming and piled high.  Tossed in the mix were always surprising nuggets of this or that, eager to please everyone with its variety.  My favorite ones were those stuffed with the most random bits of suppers past and it wasn’t until I was older did I recognize the economical purpose of camouflaging leftovers.  My mother’s pragmatic attitude taught me early on to waste not, want not and even today, I rarely, if ever throw away food.  Everything has its place.  I learned that from my mother and it all started with fried rice.

Today’s fried rice is far from fancy.  It’s simple and satisfying.  It repurposes day old rice and happily accepts leftovers of all kinds but particularly the ones from your produce bin that are known to be super perishable.  At the beginning of the week, I mean well and have great plans for my refrigerated garden but inevitably, busy work days or life blocks even the best of intentions and the once vibrant greenery starts looking weepy and sad.  Fried rice to the rescue!

If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can whip up a delicious hot plate of this fried rice.  I’ll even share a secret that my mother shared with me.  The desired piquant, umami flavors really bloom with the help of fish sauce.  It’s a pleasant and unique edge and bite that you can’t get from anything else.  We both hope you’ll give it a try.  A little goes a long way.

5.0 from 3 reviews

Easy Vegetable Fried Rice
Cook time

Total time


Serves: 1 Serving

  • 1 medium chopped vidalia/yellow onion
  • 3 cloves minced or thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 tb unsalted butter or sesame oil {the latter for smokier depth}
  • 1 c mixed vegetables {or your choice of veggies}
  • 2 c room temperature day old rice
  • 1 tb soy
  • 1 tb fish sauce*
  • Garnish: scallion and sesame seeds
  • Optional: eggs or protein of your choice

  1. Add butter or sesame oil to a pan over medium. When it begins to shimmer, add your onion and cook until it browns.
  2. Mix in your garlic until it warms through then add in your veggies.
  3. Add your rice, soy and fish sauce. Cook until the rice is hot. Add freshly cracked pepper, if desired.
  4. Plate and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.

*substitue with liquid amino or more soy for a vegetarian version


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