Vegetarian egg fried rice
I have probably seen and eaten more rice while in Vietnam for my gap year than in my whole life in the UK. I’ve discovered Egg Fried Rice is one of the easiest and most delicious meals you can make. I normally make a big batch once a week with whatever vegetables we have in the fridge but you can use whatever you want. The main thing is to have a variety of colours and textures.
Rice is a staple crop in Vietnam and can be seen everywhere. The Mekong River Delta is known as the rice bowl, as 80% of its population is involved in rice production, contributing around half of the country’s food production.
Vietnam is the second highest exporter of rice in the world and the seventh highest consumer of it. – in fact Vietnamese get 75% of their daily calories from rice.
For this recipe, my rule of thumb is equal parts rice to vegetables and one egg per meal you expect to get out of the batch. Cook your rice the night before and refrigerate it, this is very important as it prevents it from clumping together in the pan and not mixing properly with the vegetables.
This is a very cheap meal and requires very little effort if you don’t have much time or energy.
- 3 eggs
- 400g cooked white rice
- Your favourite spices eg turmeric, paprika, cumin
- Soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 fresh chilli, chopped
- 1 large onion & 4 spring onions
- 1 red pepper
- 5 small mushrooms
Start by melting butter in a pan and scrambling the eggs, lightly seasoning them. Pre–cooking the eggs will mean you will have chunks of egg in your rice, rather than a creamy sauce. I prefer this but you can save an egg or two to add in at the end if you want.
Once the eggs are done, set them aside in a bowl and melt some more butter, adding the garlic and chilli.
Begin frying the vegetables on a medium heat, starting with the onion and pepper. Season throughout.
Add the rest of the vegetables and season to taste. Add a splash of soy sauce and let the pan sit with the lid for a few minutes before you add the cooked rice*.
When the vegetables are ready, clear some space on one side of the pan and add your rice. If your pan is too small then split your vegetables and rice in half and mix them separately.
Start mixing the vegetables and rice together. This can be a messy process, especially with a big batch but it’s really important to fully mix the rice in. Add some soy sauce or a splash of water if the rice is clumping together but it’s generally pretty easy to break it up with a wooden spoon.
Once the vegetables and rice are fully mixed, add your eggs. It might be worth using a fork to break up the egg before you add it so you have small pieces throughout.
Check your seasoning, I like to add some turmeric for colour.
Once everything has been mixed, put a lid on the pan and turn up the heat. This will make the rice on the bottom brown and crispy. Stir it up periodically, making sure the rice doesn’t stick or burn, and leave it like this for about 5 minutes.
Serve. It can be eaten straight away but I often find it tastes better the next day. Make sure you fully reheat it through if you are having it later.
It’s as easy as that. This is a very quick, easy meal with minimal preparation. I encourage you to experiment with it and use lots of different ingredients. It’s very hard to go wrong.
*Pre-prepare your rice the day before. I use a rice cooker which can be found in any Vietnamese kitchen, but it is really as simple as pouring the rice into your preferred receptacle and pouring hot water over it until the surface just covers the rice, then leaving it on the heat for about 20 minutes.