Tofu Fried Rice is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that cooks in under 20 minutes. Just fry tofu, eggs, garlic, ginger, carrots, scallions, and peas with rice, then toss with an easy sesame-soy sauce.
We’re cooking a lot more vegetarian dishes in my house these days, and I’m not missing the meat at all. We haven’t fully given up eating meat and fish, but I’m trying to convert everyday meals into vegetarian form whenever possible. Take this Tofu Fried Rice recipe. In the past, I’ve made this dish with chicken, or leftover pork, or shrimp, but I’ll tell you, the tofu in this dish is a winner. If you’re looking for more easy ways to reduce your meat consumption, I encourage you to check this out.
Table of Contents
Why Make This Recipe
- Super Easy to Make: Once you have your ingredients chopped and your sauce prepped, it takes under 20 minutes to make this fried rice recipe.
- Great Base Recipe: Learn this technique, and you can sub in different proteins or vegetables.
- Perfect for Leftovers: This easy tofu fried recipe is perfect for using up leftovers, like the last bit of sautéed greens or the contents lurking on the bottom of your crisper drawer. Or, stretch the end of a pork tenderloin or the last bit of a rotisserie chicken into a full meal.
- Carrots: You can use frozen carrots as well as fresh. If you have carrots that are frozen in small pieces, just put them in at the end when you add the frozen peas. If they are frozen in bigger slices, thaw before adding with the peas at the end. A super easy idea is to use the frozen combination carrot/pea bags rather than chopping fresh carrots. If you don’t have carrots at all, add in a bit of celery for that crunch factor.
- Peas: You can use fresh peas as well as frozen. For fresh peas, add with the carrots, ginger, and garlic. You could also replace the peas with greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, or collard greens. Just make sure to either use baby kale or baby spinach, or else chop your greens into small pieces so that they cook quickly.
- Tofu: This is a vegetarian recipe, but if you prefer to make a meat version, you can replace the tofu with cooked cubed pork or rotisserie chicken or even shrimp. If your meat is already cooked, just add it with the ginger and carrots. Otherwise, follow the instructions for the tofu and cook your protein fully before removing it from the pan and adding the eggs.
- Rice vinegar: If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can substitute lime juice instead. Since lime juice is a bit more acidic than rice wine vinegar, you may want to add a bit of sugar to the sauce as well.
🥣 Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Start by preparing your ingredients, so they are all ready to go before you start cooking. Peel and chop 2 large carrots into very small pieces or julienne into thin strips. (Larger pieces will not cook through by the time you are done cooking the rest of the ingredients.)
2. Peel, then mince 2 cloves of garlic and a ½-inch piece of fresh ginger.
3. Slice 3 scallions thinly, separating the white/light green parts from the dark green parts.
4. Drain one package of extra-firm or firm tofu and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into small cubes.
5. Scramble 2 eggs in a small bowl with a fork.
6. Make the sauce by stirring together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and ¼ teaspoon sriracha. You could also add in some chili garlic sauce if you like!
7. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large nonstick skillet, a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, or a wok. Bring to medium-high heat. Add tofu and stir occasionally until lightly browned on all sides (about 5-8 minutes).
8. Remove from pan and add another tablespoon of oil, then add eggs. Scramble eggs for 2 minutes, or until fully cooked, breaking into pieces with a spatula.
9. Remove from pan and add another tablespoon of oil. Add garlic, ginger, carrots, and the white and light green parts of the scallions.
10. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Carrots should be approaching crisp-tender.
11. Add 4 cups of cold, pre-cooked rice and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully incorporated, breaking up any chunks of rice.
12. Add back crispy tofu and eggs along with frozen peas. Stir fry for 1 minute over medium heat, then pour in sauce.
13. Stir until sauce is incorporated and peas are cooked, about 1-2 more minutes.
14. Garnish with green onion slices, and extra sriracha, if desired.
🧐 Recipe FAQs for Tofu Fried Rice
The best fried rice has rice grains that are separate, and not in sticky clumps. As a result, choose a medium to long grain rice. I often use Thai-style jasmine rice or basmati rice. Avoid using short grain rice like sushi rice or arborio rice, which is made to stick together. And, feel free to use brown rice instead of white if you prefer.
Precooked (and chilled) rice is much better behaved in this recipe than warm rice. Cooking the rice in advance and chilling it helps the rice grains dry out and firm up so they do not get mushy in your fried rice. That said, I’ve made fried rice with a fresh, warm batch of rice, and it’s not terrible. If you’ve got a fried rice craving and no cold rice, cooking a fresh pot won’t completely ruin your dish. And, you can try using a little bit less water to cook your rice, which can reduce the stickiness of the freshly made rice. Keep in mind that rice freezes beautifully too so you can make in advance and have in the freezer for later.
This vegetarian fried rice with tofu recipe is gluten free with the exception of the soy sauce in the sauce. But there are gluten-free soy sauces on the market, and also Tamari, which is quite close to soy sauce but made without wheat. Just make sure your soy sauce or Tamari bottle says gluten-free, and you’re good to go!
👩🍳 Expert Tips
Vegan Tofu Fried Rice: It's very easy to make a vegan fried rice version of this dish— just leave out the eggs. In the past, there was some concern about soy sauce being made with fish products. However, the vast majority of current commercial soy sauce products now do not contain any fish. Still, please check the label of your ingredients if you are at all worried.
Making Tofu Fried Rice in Advance: Fried rice is a dish that I think tastes best right off the stove. If you’re serving guests and want top-notch fried rice, I wouldn’t recommend making it in advance and reheating it. That can cause the rice to steam a bit more upon reheating (especially if you microwave it), which will lead to a more mushy texture. But for everyday eating, I say have at it. Reheated fried rice is better than none, and it will keep in your refrigerator for at least a couple of days.
And, this dish can be made very quickly if you start with already cooked tofu. Try making my Crispy Baked Tofu in advance, and then going on with this recipe.
Freezing Tofu Fried Rice: If you are wondering whether you can free tofu fried rice, the answer is yes. Just store it in an airtight container or in freezer bags with any air pressed out. You can freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then toss into a hot skillet for a few minutes to reheat. You may want to add a little bit of water or an ice cube to the skillet to steam the rice a bit—this is a trick I use when reheating frozen plain rice, and the principle is the same here. The freezer will take some of the moisture out of the rice, so adding a little water in when you reheat helps it come back to life.
Other Vegetarian Main Course Recipes
If you’re looking for some other vegetarian dinner options, I’ve got you covered.
- I love this Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta dish featuring a to-die-for spinach-artichoke cream sauce.
- Red Lentil Bolognese is a delicious, plant-forward take on traditional Bolognese sauce
- These Corn Tortilla Quesadillas are easy to make and have a delicious filling of black beans, spinach, and caramelized onions
- If it’s summer where you are, my Caprese Crepes are super easy and highlight farm-fresh tomatoes. Or try my Zucchini Stir-Fry with Tofu for when you have zucchini coming out of your ears.
- If grain bowls are your thing, I’d highly recommend this Ramen Egg Rice Bowl and this Parmesan Pearl Barley Grain Bowl.
Of course you can find more recipes in my Main Course Archive as well.
Other Vegan Main Course Recipes
If you want to take the next step, and go vegan, don't miss four of my favorite dishes of all time:
If you try this Tofu Egg Fried Rice recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me.
And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
📖 Recipe Card
Tofu Fried Rice
Tofu Fried Rice is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that cooks in under 20 minutes. Just fry tofu, eggs, garlic, ginger, carrots, scallions, and peas with rice and toss with an easy sesame-soy sauce.
- 2 large carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½-inch knob fresh ginger
- 3 scallions
- 250g (8.8 oz.) extra-firm tofu (or whatever package size you have)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 T. vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (from 1 cup dried rice)
- 1 cup (5 oz.) frozen peas
- 3 T. soy sauce
- 1 ½ t. rice vinegar
- 1 t. sesame oil
- ¼ t. sriracha
- Start by preparing your ingredients, so they are all ready to go before you start cooking. Peel and chop carrots into very small pieces or julienne into thin strips. (Larger pieces will not cook through by the time you are done cooking the rest of the ingredients.)
- Peel, then mince the garlic and ginger.
- Slice the scallions thinly, separating the white/light green parts from the dark green parts.
- Drain tofu and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into small cubes.
- Scramble eggs in a small bowl with a fork.
- Make the sauce by stirring together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large nonstick skillet or wok. Bring to medium-high heat.
- Add tofu and stir occasionally until lightly browned on all sides (about 5-8 minutes).
- Remove from pan and add another tablespoon of oil, then add eggs.
- Scramble eggs for 2 minutes, or until fully cooked, breaking into pieces with a spatula.
- Remove from pan and add another tablespoon of oil.
- Add garlic, ginger, carrots, and the white and light green parts of the scallions.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Carrots should be approaching crisp-tender.
- Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully incorporated, breaking up any chunks of rice.
- Add back crispy tofu and eggs along with frozen peas.
- Stir for 1 minute, then pour in sauce. Stir until sauce is incorporated and peas are cooked, about 1-2 more minutes.
- Garnish with green onion slices, and extra sriracha, if desired.
- Precooked (and chilled) rice is much better behaved in this recipe than warm rice. Cooking the rice in advance and chilling it helps the rice grains dry out and firm up so they do not get mushy in your fried rice.
- To make this a vegan tofu fried rice dish, you’ll just need to leave out the eggs. In the past, there was some concern about soy sauce being made with fish products. However, the vast majority of current commercial soy sauce products now do not contain any fish. Still, please check the label of your ingredients if you are at all worried.
- Feel free to make lots of ingredient substitutions with this dish, as this recipe is very flexible! Tofu can be replaced with leftover cooked pork, chicken, or steak, or fry up some shrimp instead. For the vegetables, try using celery or any kind of greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens). Just be carefully to finely chop any greens that don't cook quickly on their own (or use pre-cooked greens).
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or can be frozen in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 448Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 724mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.
Instagram Users: Now that you've made this fried rice with tofu recipe, tag me @vanillabeancuisine or #vanillabeancuisine because I'd love to see your results!
Such a great dish! I add crushed up cashews and it's perfection! thanks!
Chef Molly says
Oooh, love crushed up cashews on top! Great addition.
Delicious! I added cabbage and bok choy as well. Thanks for the recipe!
Chef Molly says
My pleasure! Great idea to add cabbage and bok choy too. Sounds delicious!
Tofu fried rice is such a great idea - we love classic fried rice over here with some meat and it would be so fun to switch it up sometimes! What a fabulous idea for tomorrow night dinner. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Molly!
Chef Molly says
You're so welcome! Tofu is a fun little twist. I love recipes that you can keep the same base for, and just switch up the ingredients here and there.
Jeff the Chef says
This sounds delicious! And thank you for your notes. The one about rice is particularly helpful.
Chef Molly says
Glad to hear it! I try to give whatever pointers I can!