Vegan Fried Rice
Panda Express Copycat Fried Rice is a great base or side dish for almost all Asian dishes.
Panda Express Fried Rice is probably my most versatile of the Panda Express recipes because I use it for so many other meals too. The Chow Mein on the other hand I pretty much only pair with other Panda Express entrees because the flavor is so distinctive.
This recipe benefits from cold already cooked rice. You can use white or brown, white is more authentic to Panda Express. There are many other additions that I add to my non copycat version of fried rice, but to be Authentic to Panda Express (I have spoken with and watched people at the restaurants about the method and ingredients) you should really keep it simple.
I always cook fried rice (and most of my Asian stir fries) in a wok. This recipe really benefits from the spoon and spatula that come with some wok sets. Alternately, use a metal spatula that can be used as a scraper too along with a spoon.
There is one other thing worth noting. Recently there was a change in the recipe Panda Express uses in their fried rice. They used to use eggs but swapped eggs for corn for… ingredient cost related reasons. I think it was a bad move and that the flavor of fried rice is unequivocally changed for the worse with this swap. So I highly suggest that you keep the eggs in and do not swap them for corn. That being said I should technically let you know it is more “authentic” if you add 1/4 cup of corn kernels to the rice instead of the eggs.
Are there any favorite Panda Express recipes you are looking for?
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||40 minutes|
- 1 cup long-grain rice or 2 cups leftover cooked rice
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup carrot cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh shelled peas or 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1/2 cup white onion cropped
- 250 g tofu pressed
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Four simple steps and you will have a great base.
- First – cook the rice. If you have a rice cooker – go for it! If not follow these steps.
- In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and stir well.
- Return the water to a boil and then reduce heat and cover.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes – do not peak. The water will be absorbed and the rice will be light and fluffy when it is done.
- Spoon the rice out into a large bowl or flat baking sheet and let it cool off. This actually makes the fried rice better.
- If you are using fresh vegetables then while your rice is cooking heat a tablespoon of the olive oil to a skillet or wok and heat to medium-high.
- Add the diced onions and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the veggies from the pan and add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat to medium-high.
- Add the tofu, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes breaking up the tofu as you go.
- Add the cooked rice and sauteed veggies to the skillet.
- Cook and stir for about a minute. The rice will still be white.
- Add the tamari and sesame oil.
- Sauté/fry the rice mixture for 5 minutes, stirring and turning frequently until mixture is mixed well and hot all the way through. As you cook, the rice will pick up some of the turmeric and tamari and turn golden.
- All ready and serve up.
- You can break off the tofu a bit before starting to cook or place it in the skillet as a small block and chop it up as you fry.
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