The key to a delicious fried rice is all in the vegetables.
While you might be tempted to load up your pan with every vegetable in your fridge, it’s important to think about what flavors and textures you want to add.
In this article, we’ll show you how to up your fried rice game by adding veggies that not only taste delicious but also enhance the nutritional profile of your meal.
What Vegetables Go in Fried Rice?
Fried rice can be prepared with a variety of vegetables depending on personal preference. Generally, the vegetables that are most commonly used in fried rice include onions, carrots, peas, cabbage, green bell peppers, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.
Fried rice is a classic dish that’s easy to whip up and always a crowd pleaser.
But it can get old if you don’t mix it up!
Here’s a list of 15 vegetables that go well in fried rice—you might be surprised by which ones make the cut.
Broccoli is a great addition to fried rice because it adds nutrients, flavor, and crunchy texture.
- It can be prepared for the dish in a variety of ways, but I like to add it after blanching it by boiling it for 3 minutes and then dropping it in an ice bath.
- This method helps ensure that the broccoli is cooked through enough and also retains its vibrant green color.
- The final step is to slice the broccoli into small pieces that are easy to bite into.
- Once you’ve prepped the broccoli, simply add it when you’re frying your rice with any other vegetables or proteins.
Carrots are another great choice for your fried rice; they’re soft but not too soft, and because they’re slightly sweet, they balance out well against savory sauces or spices.
Their bright orange color also makes them stand out in a dish where you’ll have lots of other colors going on.
Everyone likes peas, right?
They’re not too colorful (which lets the other colors stand out), they don’t taste too strong (so they just blend in), and they’re small enough to slip between your teeth while you eat them so you can enjoy their flavor without having to chew them too much (which is nice).
The sweetness of corn really complements the savory flavor of rice, so adding some kernels into your next batch could be just what you need to step up your dish from ‘pretty good’ to ‘great.’
Arugula is a soft green that adds a lot of flavor to your dish—just make sure it’s cooked down well before serving.
If arugula isn’t your thing, try spinach or chard instead!
6. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are delicious and colorful, and they can handle being stir-fried without getting mushy!
Plus they’re great because they come in many different colors, so you can use whichever one suits your mood.
There are many different kinds of onions, but white and yellow onions are the best for cooking because they’re less sweet than other varieties.
If you like things spicy, try adding some sliced jalapenos or red chili peppers to spice up your dish!
Asparagus adds a bit of crunch and a bright green color to fried rice, and it’s super easy to prepare.
Simply cut off the ends of the asparagus stalks, then dice the rest into small chunks.
Add your asparagus after you’ve scrambled your eggs in the pan and start to cook them!
9. Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots give you a unique way to add texture and taste to your fried rice.
You can choose from fresh bamboo shoots or canned for a really easy addition to any meal.
Combined with the other ingredients in fried rice, this delicate veggie is sure to shine.
10. Bean sprouts
Bean sprouts have a mild flavor and satisfying crunch that make them a perfect addition to fried rice.
You can get bean sprouts at the grocery store, or you can grow them at home—which is easier than you might think!
Just take some beans and soak them overnight in water, then place them in a jar with cheesecloth over the top.
After about two days, they should be ready! Rinse them off and eat within three days for best flavor.
Cauliflower has become popular as a substitute for carbs in lots of dishes lately, but have you tried it in your fried rice?
It has a nice, neutral flavor and acts as a great foil for the other ingredients—plus it’s totally healthy!
You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower in your fried rice.
If using frozen cauliflower, just thaw it out before adding it to your rice.
Cabbage is a great addition to any meal, but it’s especially important in fried rice.
The crunchy texture is a nice contrast to the soft rice, and the flavor is mild enough that it doesn’t overpower other ingredients.
Plus, cabbage is incredibly nutritious, so you can feel good about indulging in this classic dish.
And then there’s spinach. Like cabbage, spinach contributes a great crunchy texture to fried rice while also adding a little bit of mild flavor.
Spinach also has a lot of nutritional value, so you can get some healthy vitamins while enjoying your dinner!
Mushrooms are an excellent choice as they have a neutral flavor that pairs well with any spice or seasoning you decide to use on your fried rice.
Plus, they have an almost meaty texture that makes them a perfect substitute for animal proteins like chicken or beef in your dish (if you’re vegetarian or vegan).
- To cook mushrooms for fried rice, simply slice them into thin strips and saute them over medium heat until they begin to brown slightly around the edges—about 3 minutes should be enough time.
- Then toss them into your wok along with all other ingredients before serving!
Next up: zucchini!
It’s pretty versatile, so it’s great for when you just don’t know what else to do with the zucchini in your fridge or pantry.
You can slice it or dice it—I usually go for a chop, but if you’re craving something chunkier, don’t be afraid to leave it in bigger pieces.
3 Benefits of Putting Vegetables in Fried Rice
Vegetables have a lot to offer any meal, but they’re an especially good addition to fried rice.
Here are three reasons why:
1. They’re a Healthy Way to Add Color and Texture
Vegetables are a great way to add vibrance and visual interest to your dish, as well as contrast in color and texture.
After all, what would a salad be without that lovely rainbow of veggies?
2. They Can Help Round out The Meal Nutritionally
While you may think of veggies as being mostly filler, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for your body’s overall health and well-being.
By adding them to your meal, you can really round out the nutritional profile of your meal.
3. There Are so Many Different Kinds
There is an amazing range of vegetables out there, including everything from hearty root vegetables like potatoes to mouth-watering squashes and leafy greens like kale and spinach.
So whatever flavors or textures you’re craving, you can find them in a vegetable somewhere!
15 Vegetables That Go Well in Fried Rice
- Bell Peppers
- Bamboo shoots
- Bean sprouts
- Pick any of the veggies on this list to put in your dish.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to eat in no time!