Spicy Vegan Fried Rice… for the brave and adventurous!
This dish was inspired by the “Guru Fried Rice” dish at Loving Hut – one of our local vegan restaurants (they have locations all over the world!). Their version – with brown rice, crispy tofu bits, peas, and carrots – is characterized by a fragrant curry aroma, with a kick of black pepper. My husband can happily devour an entire large plate of their spicy vegan fried rice! While I prefer Loving Hut’s saucy stir-fry dishes, I do sneak a few bites off of Mr. VP’s plate when he orders it 😉
You can easily replicate Loving Hut’s “Guru Fried Rice” at home on a lazy weeknight if you have some pre-cooked brown rice handy. Sometimes we use the Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice packets (we get them at Costco) with some frozen veggies and the seasonings (we skip the tofu on busy nights) for a quick and satisfying meal. I usually don’t even measure; you can just warm everything in a pan and sprinkle in curry powder, black pepper, and tamari (or soy sauce) to your liking.
The other day, I had the rare pleasure of taking Mr. VP along grocery shopping with me. Even something as routine as buying groceries becomes an adventure when he’s there. Well, he spotted an iconic red bottle of Sriracha sauce in the Asian food aisle and immediately put it in the cart. Of course, I had heard of Sriracha, but I had never bought a bottle of it before or even knew what it tasted like. Really, what would I do with another big bottle of hot sauce? (we already had Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce and Tapatio at home)
Well, I was wrong. As soon as we got home, Mr. VP made me taste-test some Sriracha on a tortilla chip. Skeptical, bracing myself for burning hot chili taste, I was surprised by what a unique, pleasant flavor the sauce had, with just enough heat at the end to make my eyes open a little wider. I smelled the sauce and realized… I have tasted this before! I just never knew what it was! It reminded me of kung-pao sauce. How had I never owned a bottle of this stuff?? All of a sudden, I started thinking of all the dishes I could add Sriracha to…
…So we started with this Spicy Vegan Fried Rice!
It was like our copycat version of the “Guru Fried Rice,” but now with the extra chili-garlic saucy addition of the Sriracha. You might want to start with less, and add more to taste depending on how much you can handle. Mr. VP of course, drizzled lots of extra Sriracha sauce on his plate of rice 😉
- 4 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
- Cooking oil, about 2 Tbsp. (I like this blend)
- 1 package (14 oz.) extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 cups frozen mixed veggies or peas and carrots
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tsp. Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Cut the tofu into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 10 slices), then cut each slice into 6 small rectangles. Gently separate.
- In a small measuring cup, combine water, tamari, Sriracha sauce, curry powder, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp. cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the tofu bits to the pan, and let brown on the first side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip the tofu bits and let brown on second side for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan, repeat with second batch of tofu bits (add more oil if needed). Remove and set aside with the rest of the tofu.
- Keeping the skillet over medium heat, add the frozen veggies and cook for 3-4 minutes until warm. Add 2 tsp. cooking oil in center of pan to warm, then add cooked rice. Stir gently to incorporate with the veggies, about 3 minutes until warmed. Stir in the brown tofu bits.
- Reduce heat, pour over the sauce mixture, and stir well to coat rice evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve rice with extra Sriracha sauce, if desired.
Nutrition information below is for 1 serving, 1/4 of spicy vegan fried rice recipe.