Vegetable Fried Rice with Runny Eggs

VEGETABLE FRIED RICE WITH BROWN RICE, SOY-BASED SAUCE, FROZEN VEGGIES, AND RUNNY EGGS. A DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY DINNER WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE COOKING OR HAVE MINIMAL INGREDIENTS!

A bird's eye view of three plates of 
 vegetable fried rice with sunny-side up eggs with chopsticks, a white linen. a plate of soy sauce, and a plate of sliced chives on a grey table.

Back in college, I went through a major Chinese food obsession. I still do occasionally, but I would say my peak happened sometime around late freshman/early sophomore year. When I felt like taking myself on a date, I would get cute, go to a coffee shop, visit my favorite local book store, and finish the day with Chinese food at one of my two favorite spots. I would always end up ordering way too much food and wanting to roll my ass out of the restaurant. But, under no circumstances could I leave without ordering egg drop soup (with lots of Sambal Oelek!) and a side of fried rice. At the very least, those leftovers fed me for a solid three days.

Anyways, I miss my college-era metabolism, but I still get hard cravings for fried rice. As much as I prefer it in my usual takeout order, unfortunately Marc likes steamed rice better than fried rice (which ???). But, he still loves my homemade version as a meal, and with it being so easy, we have it quite often! It’s not my go-to greasy version with BBQ pork, but it’s soooo good for a healthy weeknight dinner!

A closeup overhead shot of a plate of fried rice with eggs surrounded by a white linen, chopsticks, a bowl of soy sauce, and a plate of chives on a grey table.

Some key details about this vegetable fried rice

Vegetable fried rice is a meal I make when I have no ingredients and no patience. It’s my “I don’t feel like cooking” meal or my “I forgot to buy three ingredients for dinner tonight that I swore we had in the cabinet” back-up dinner. It requires only basic pantry ingredients by using rice, frozen veggies, and basic condiments from the Asian aisle at the grocery store! Oh, and eggs, because that’s the best part of fried rice!

To make it a bit healthier, I swapped brown rice for white and added a ton of extra veggies. I like runny eggs on top, but you could always scramble them as well! And the best part is that the dish takes thirty minutes to make from start-to-end. (I know a million recipes say they take “30 minutes”, but it’s actually true in this case).

These are the ingredients you’ll need

Hopefully, you have most of these ingredients on hand, but if not, I would highly recommend stocking up! This is the perfect meal to have as a back-up, and almost all of the ingredients will last in the pantry or freezer. Make sure you have:

  • Brown Rice: White also works. Just make sure it’s long grain, such as jasmine. You will want this pre-cooked and cooled, preferably overnight. I usually always have leftover brown rice in the fridge which is perfect. We’ll discuss what to do if you don’t have leftovers/pre-cooked rice!
  • Frozen Broccoli: Fresh would work as well but it will take longer to cook.
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables: I use the frozen veg with carrots, peas, corn, and green beans. Whatever you like (or have in your freezer) will work.
  • Neutral Oil: I use grapeseed.
  • Garlic: Fresh is best but ground will do in a pinch.
  • Brown Sugar: You only need a little, but you can sub with honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
  • Ginger: Again, fresh is best but ground will do.
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce: Regular would probably be fine, just expect a saltier flavor.
  • Sesame Oil: Toasted or un-toasted both work!
  • Rice Vinegar: I use unseasoned.
  • Scallions/Chives: I usually use chives, because I almost always have them either fresh or dried. However, scallions are also great!
  • Eggs: At least one per person.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste, always.

Now let’s make vegetable fried rice!

Two overhead shots of a pan on a grey counter. The first pan has vegetables, with a spoon coming out of the side next to a bowl of soy sauce and 3 eggs. The other photo has a pan full of vegetable fried rice.

To start, make sure that you have cooked + cooled the brown (or white) rice and defrosted the frozen veggies! I just microwave the frozen broccoli for two minutes and drain out extra water. Then, I repeat these steps with the frozen veggie mix.

Next, you’ll whisk together some brown sugar, low sodium soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat a few tablespoons of neutral oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli and let it cook undisturbed until the broccoli is slightly charred and crispy on the edges, about 4-5 minutes. Do not stir! You want everything to get brown and charred.

When the broccoli is nice and brown, add the mixed veggies cooking until warm, about another 2-3 minutes. Then, add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Next, add the rice and the sauce, stirring until everything is well mixed. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Press the rice into an even layer, and let cook another 5 minutes, until the rice is crispy. If the pan seems a bit dry, you can add a little more oil. Either way, the rice may stick a little, and that’s ok! More crunchies for you.

While the rice gets crispy, fry your eggs however you like. I recommend sunny side up or over easy!

When the rice is crispy, divide between four bowls, and top with scallions and an egg. Enjoy yolk-y, crispy rice bliss forever.

A bird's eye shot of three white plates of egg-y rice with wood chopsticks on a white linen on a grey table.

Um, I don’t just have cooked + cooled rice laying around?

On one hand, I don’t understand because I almost always have a tub of rice in the fridge. On the other hand, I totally understand because I almost never have cooked rice when I actually need it. Here’s what I do in those cases:

  • Microwave Rice: Ok, I know microwave rice isn’t the best thing in the world, and I hate that the containers are not recyclable. But, if there’s one thing that microwavable rice does really well, it’s being too dry. Which, coincidentally is what we need for fried rice! So, if you’re in need of a quick fix, just use two packets of microwavable brown rice and everything will be A-ok.
  • Quick Cooled Rice: Just make rice as usual, spread it around on a sheet pan in an even layer, and place it in the freezer until it’s cold and dried out (about 10-15 minutes). You can also place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Fresh Rice: Worst case scenario, you can just make fried rice with fresh, hot rice. It might get a bit mushy since it has extra moisture. But, if the craving is real, it will still work.

Use long grain instead of short grain rice

For vegetable fried rice, or any fried rice for that matter, you should go with long grain! Short grain rice has a lot of extra starch, which will make the rice a bit more sticky and mushy when you mix it with other things. However, long grain rice doesn’t have quite as much starch, so it will dry out nicely and keep the vegetable fried rice from getting mushy. Rinsing the rice with cold water prior to cooking will also help keep the rice from getting sticky by removing extra starch.

Making a perfect sunny side up egg

I finally learned the secret to a perfect sunny side up egg, and I am pleased to discuss it here today. It’s actually v easy! First, heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. Olive oil or grapeseed oil are both great choices. Crack the egg in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cover the pan with a lid (preferably glass so you can see what’s going on). Let the egg cook until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. Remove with a spatula. The bottom will be nice and crispy, and the yolk will be perfectly runny!

Storing Leftovers

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. When reheating, add a little water to the rice, stir, and microwave for a minute or so. I would not recommend storing leftover eggs, because they get a little weird in the fridge, and they’re hard to reheat. Just make as many as you plan on eating, and make eggs fresh if you have leftovers!

However, if you cannot make fresh eggs, go the scrambled route. Just make a few scrambled eggs like you usually would, stir them into the rice, and enjoy the leftovers later!

A side view of a plate of egg-y rice with chopsticks on the side, surrounded by more plates, a bowl of soy, and a plate of chives on a grey speckled background.

Vegetable fried rice variations

Vegetable fried rice is completely customizable, so you can pretty much use whatever you have in your fridge. Here are a few variations that would be delicious:

  • Scrambled eggs instead of fried
  • Adding protein such as chicken, beef, pork, or prawns
  • Switching up the veggies with cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, or bean sprouts
  • Adding hot sauce such as Sriracha!
  • Mixing in some sliced kimchi
  • Adding a bit of diced pineapple
  • If you’re going for a no-rice route, you can always use cauliflower rice instead!

A few tips and tricks

This is truly a basic recipe, but there are a few things you can do to make sure it tastes just like fried rice from the hibachi instead of fried rice that has been sitting in a condensation-infiltrated takeout container!

  • Rinse the rice with cold water prior to cooking to make sure that there’s no extra starch! The rice is properly rinsed when the water runs clear and no longer looks murky.
  • For perfect fried rice, always use cold rice. Hot rice will get sticky and clumpy when it hits the pan.
  • Don’t be afraid of high heat. The high heat will crisp everything up and make sure the ingredients don’t simply steam together.
  • Fresh ingredients are always best, of course, but dried spices and herbs always work! Garlic powder, ground ginger, and dried chives are always great subs in a pinch.
  • I use frozen veggies, but fresh is always good too! You will just have to saute the veggies until they are completely cooked, which will likely take 10-15 extra minutes.
  • Don’t be afraid to let things char/crisp up. Letting the rice get crispy is what will help vegetable fried rice taste like it came straight off the hibachi!
An overhead photo of a plate of egg and vegetable fried rice on a white linen, next to wooden chopsticks, a bowl of soy sauce, and a plate of sliced chives on a speckled background.

Dishes To serve with Vegetable Fried Rice!

Spicy Red Miso Ramen + Shoyu Beef
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Five Ingredient Japanese Sticky Chicken
Coconut Curry Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Thai Coleslaw

Vegetable Fried Rice with Runny Eggs



xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Rainy Days by Culture Abuse

Vegetable Fried Rice with Runny Eggs | Serendipity by Sara Lynn
Pantry Staple Veggie Fried Rice with Runny Eggs

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I’m sure at some point within my food blogging career, somebody will finally tell me to stop making Asian food.  Considering that probably about 50% of my recipes so far are Asian, it is bound to happen at some point.  But up until then I will keep on bombarding you with Asian recipes until you just cannot stand it for one more second and throw a fit banning me from using even a teaspoon of soy sauce or a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice.

But for now just bear with me, people.

I swear, I swear, I swear that these are soooo worth making.  These are super killer.

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Plus this recipe is easily adjustable, so you can make it for 20 people, 2 people, or even a lonely 1 if you’re flying solo.  It takes about 30 minutes, and everyone loves lettuce wraps, so they’ll think you’re the bomb dot com.

For this recipe, I kept it simple and just did some iceberg, carrots, cilantro and peanuts for garnish, along with some extra sauce.  However, if you’re in to bean sprouts, water chestnuts, scallions, whatevs…this is a great recipe for adding and subtracting.  The best part of lettuce wraps is how easy it is to pull random ingredients out of your fridge and throw stuff together.

Which is exactly how this recipe was birthed.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger, grated

1/4 c. Hoisin sauce

3 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. Sriracha

1/2 tsp. onion powder (or 1/4 c. minced onion)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Iceberg or butter lettuce

Toppings: carrots, cilantro, peanuts, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, green onions, sesame seeds, rice, Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, crunchy rice noodles, etc…..

In a skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil, or other cooking oil.  Add chicken and onion (if using).  Cook chicken until it is brown on all sides.  Add garlic and ginger, and saute for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, onion powder (if using), salt, and pepper.  Stir until chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm in lettuce cups with toppings of choice.

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Anyways, I don’t have much to talk about today (the lettuce wraps speak for themselves???).  This is my last day of spring break (boo), but I spent most of the week in Napa and San Francisco, so expect some great pics and restaurant recommendations coming up soon.  Also some pretty good stories.  Just know that the weekend included really great SF coffee roasteries, (multiple) amazing steaks, and some really high heels.  Also French themed stores.  Lots of French themed stores.

But for now, I’ll leave you this recipe while I watch Cinderella and prepare for work tomorrow.

Just keepin’ the party alive.

SerendipitybySaraSig

Song of the Day: Interference Fits–Perfect Pussy