It’s easy to make vegan egg fried rice when you know how! This is tofu fried rice – same great flavour and the perfect accompaniment for a sweet and sour tofu or your favourite Chinese takeaway. It’s fast, easy, only needs one pot and most importantly, tastes amazing. Plus, it's ready in just 20 minutes.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Easy – this is essential for any fried rice! It’s classic street food served across Asia, so you know it has to be easy and quick. However, this vegan egg fried rice is based on a classic Chinese takeaway dish.
- One-pot – we love a one-pot recipe because they’re almost always simple, plus it means less washing up!
- Eggy flavour – have you made scrambled tofu before? That’s part of what you need to make for the ultimate eggless fried rice. Tofu, kala namak and nutritional yeast combine to make a great scrambled egg replacement. A touch of turmeric gives it an eggy colour.
- Leftover rice – this is an important part of this tofu fried rice and, in fact, any fried rice recipe. If you don’t have leftover rice (which, let’s face it, most of us don’t), you can just cook up some rice the day before and bung it in the fridge. More on this later.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Firm tofu – usually we recommend silken tofu when it comes to scrambled tofu. But for vegan fried rice we think a firm tofu holds better and replicates a classic egg fried rice better. Plus, we have tried making fried rice with silken tofu, and it just goes a bit sloppy (which is not good!). Firm tofu is also really great for stir fries, like this Szechuan sticky tofu.
- Kala namak – a.k.a. black salt. This sulphurous salt adds an eggy flavour to dishes. That’s why we used it in this vegan egg fried rice – for the scrambled tofu part. In our opinion, it is an essential part of making eggless fried rice. If you’re not a fan, or you just don’t have it, you can omit it, although the outcome won’t be as good.
- Leftover rice – as mentioned before, leftover rice is the best thing to use when making a fried rice recipe, so it’s what we use here too!
- Mix of veg – a classic fried rice from a Chinese takeaway usually has a mix of vegetables in it. We decided to go with peas, carrots and spring onions for this recipe. But it’s a versatile one, so use what you have or like – it also works with sweetcorn, green beans and peppers. Just make sure they are chopped up small so they cook quickly!
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make this vegan egg fried rice with tofu.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for this recipe. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Start by making the scrambled tofu – crumble the tofu into the bowl with your hands and then stir in the kala lamak, nutritional yeast and turmeric powder. It should look like small scrambled egg-like pieces (like in the pictures), then set aside.
2. In a wok, heat a splash of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes until the onion has softened.
3. Add the garlic and fry for another minute, being careful not to burn it.
4. Pop in the carrots and stir fry for a couple of minutes more.
5. Stir in the rice until the mix is well combined.
6. Add the soy sauce and give it another good stir to mix everything together.
7. Add the scrambled tofu and peas and keep frying for another couple of minutes until the whole mix is piping hot.
8. Finally, mix the spring onions in just before serving, and stir through.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Leftover rice is best – when you cook rice you add moisture to it because it’s cooked in water. When cooking this vegan egg fried rice you’re also trying to add moisture, in the form of soy sauce for. Leftover rice has actually dried out, so it’s better able to absorb the flavourings in a wok. If you don’t have leftover rice, cook it the day before and keep it in the fridge, or even cook it a couple of hours before and leave it to dry out.
- Firm tofu vs silken tofu – firm tofu is much more stable when combining it with other ingredients. For making this recipe we found that it holds its own once mixed with the rice and vegetables so you’re left with egg-like pieces of tofu, much like a real egg fried rice.
- Kala namak – black salt is the ultimate way to add an eggy flavour to vegan cooking. Incorporating it into an eggless fried rice dish by combining it with tofu, is our favourite way to make an authentic tasting fried rice. Alternatively, it could also be added to ackee or even scrambled chickpea batter instead of the tofu.
- Size of vegetables – in this recipe, we chop the vegetables into tiny cube-like chunks. This is so they don’t need much cooking. As this is a stir fry, we cook it on a high temperature for a short amount of time. The vegetables therefore will be cooked yet still a little crunchy.
- Storage – tofu fried rice keeps well in the fridge for three days. However, whenever rice is reheated, it must be heated fully, until piping hot the whole way through.
- Freezing – this rice dish is best eaten fresh but does also freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw and reheat thoroughly before consuming.
No, eggs aren’t vegan because they’re an animal product. You can make a great vegan egg fried rice using tofu though (like in our recipe)!
Tofu is the easiest and most readily available option. Combining firm or extra-firm tofu with kala namak (black salt), nutritional yeast and turmeric makes a great scrambled egg alternative to use in a vegan fried rice. Other options would be scrambled ackee or scrambling a batter made with chickpea flour.
Freshly cooked contains a lot of moisture because it has been cooked in hot water. Leftover rice has actually dried out so it can take on the flavours of sauces and liquid ingredients really easily e.g. soy sauce. It also won’t go soggy, like fresh cooked rice would. If you don’t have leftover rice, cook the rice the day before and leave in the fridge, or a couple of hours before and leave it to dry out until you cook the rest of the dish.
Not usually. A lot of Chinese-style rice dishes use egg, fish and meat. As veganism has become more popular some restaurants have started adding tofu fried rice to their menus, so it’s worth asking when eating out!
We think it’s best eaten fresh, however you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to thoroughly defrost it and heat until piping hot throughout.
🍛 What to serve with it:
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Vegan Egg Fried Rice
For the tofu 'egg':
- 280 g firm tofu – crumbled
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon kala namak
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
For the rice:
- 1 onion – chopped
- 3 garlic cloves – crushed
- 250 g carrots – chopped into small cubes, ~2 carrots
- 800 g cooked rice ~ 250g dry weight
- ¾ cup peas
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 spring onions – finely sliced
- Start by making the scrambled tofu – crumble the tofu into a bowl, then add the kala namak, nutritional yeast and turmeric powder. Stir well until combined. It should look like small scrambled egg-like pieces (like in the pictures above), then set aside.280 g firm tofu, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon kala namak, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- In a wok, heat a splash of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes until the onion has softened.1 onion
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute, being careful not to burn it.3 garlic cloves
- Pop in the carrots and stir fry for a couple of minutes more.250 g carrots
- Stir in the rice until the mix is well combined, then add the soy sauce and give it another good stir to mix everything together.800 g cooked rice, 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- Finally, add the scrambled tofu and peas and keep frying for another couple of minutes until the whole mix is piping hot. Add the spring onions just before serving, and mix through.¾ cup peas, 4 spring onions
- Serve with sweet and sour tofu or any other dish of your choice.
- Kala namak is sulphurous and gives the tofu ‘egg’ an eggy flavour. If you don’t have it, or just don’t like it, that’s fine just omit it. The finished dish won’t have an eggy flavour, but it’s subtle anyway and won’t impact the recipe too much.
- Use leftover rice or rice that you’ve cooked the day before and kept in the fridge overnight. You could cook the rice a couple of hours before making the recipe and leave it out to dry out a bit if you’re pushed for time.
- While this recipe uses carrots, baby corn and peas, you can use a whole variety of veg to suit your taste or what you have in the fridge. We also recommend peppers (capsicum), green beans and sweetcorn.
- This tofu fried rice is best eaten fresh, but it will keep in the fridge for upto 3 days, or in the freezer for upto 3 months. Just make sure to defrost it if freezing, and in both cases thoroughly reheat it until piping hot.