Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu Made With No Oil

For a long time, I thought that good fried rice was available only in Asian restaurants.  But my problem with restaurant fried rice is that it’s loaded with added fat, salt, prepared with white rice and I can’t really feel sure that it’s vegan.  So if I want fried rice, it has to come out of my own kitchen.  Enter Mark Bittman.  I modify his recipe for fried rice from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  I omit the oil (and egg) and use baked tofu and the veggies I have on hand.  That’s the beauty of a dish like fried rice.  Not only can you tweak it to your own tastes, but also to what you have in the refrigerator and cupboard.

Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu


  • 3-4 cups cooked brown basmati, brown jasmine or regular brown rice (~1 1/2 cups dried)
  • vegetable broth or water as needed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups baked tofu, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced, grated or microplaned
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • cilantro, chopped
  • scallions, chopped
  • roasted peanuts, chopped
  • limes, quartered
  • hot sauce



  1. Have all of your veggies and liquids ready to go before you fire up your skillet or wok.
  2. Heat skillet/wok over high heat.  Splash in a little vegetable broth and add the onion and bell pepper.  Lower heat a little bit and stir, adding more broth as needed.  Cook for about 5 minutes – letting the broth cook off so that you get a little browning on the vegetables.  Remove veggies to a bowl or plate.
  3. Add more broth to the pan, then add the asparagus, cooking just until they get bright green.  Add to the onion and bell pepper.
  4. Another splash of broth to the pan and now add the garlic and ginger, stirring just for about half a minute or so.  Start adding the rice a bit at a time, breaking up any clumps.  Stir and add broth as needed.  Once you have all of the rice in the pan, stir until it starts sticking a bit.  Now add the tofu and the cooked veggies to the pan along with the sherry.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the scallions.
  5. Divide rice between four big bowls and top with cilantro, peanuts and limes.  (Kel suggests also adding fresh chopped tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.  Too bad he suggested this after we’d finished eating!)

OIl-free Tofu Fried Rice An Unrefined Vegan

Fried Rice Veggies An Unrefined Vegan

29 thoughts on “Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu Made With No Oil

  1. trueindigo

    Bittman has a lot to offer; food for thought AND the belly. We just had a nice “steam fry” this week and love the idea of cucumbers for next time!

  2. inkspeare

    Yum, this sounds delicious. I love tofu so this is mana from heaven for me. I will try this way of cooking it. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  3. Sweet Posy Dreams

    It looks fabulous. What a funny thing to think of something fried with no oil! So much healthier.

  4. Somer

    I love Mark Bittman, I read his cooking articles in the New York Times all the time. Sounds like I need his book! Are there a fair amount of vegan recipes in it? I have been trying to significantly reduce my oil consumption (too hard to eliminate entirely). This recipe is just up my alley! Now, I really just need to know what you do to your baked tofu to make it look so fabulous?!?

      1. An Unrefined Vegan

        Eazy-peazy and no added oil – keeping in mind I don’t measure and I change up the ingredients – but typically: press tofu for at least 30 minutes, drain, cut into 8 thick pieces. In a Pyrex dish, splash in a good amount of veggie broth, Bragg Liquid Aminos (or tamari) minced garlic, some lemon juice, black pepper, Liquid Smoke if I’m feeling crazy. Bake at 425F turning pieces once. Add more broth if necessary, but let the tofu get nice and brown!

  5. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    Looks like a really great alternative to take out fried rice! Which is always a good thing- I swear that all of the Chinese places were I live make egg-fried rice and refuse to make it otherwise :(. I guess this way you get to choose exactly what goes in it AND make it healthier. Win, Win!

  6. Keri

    Fried rice and tofu is one of my favorites! I’ve been gluten-free for three years, but since giving up oil (and going vegan), I’ve been intimidated to try this dish! Thanks for posting the recipe! I’m inspired to give it a go!

  7. Choc Chip Uru

    This looks fabulous! You use tofu, my weakness, and no oil making this a definite keeper!
    Thanks 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Richgail Enriquez

    Yum! Hooray to healthy & clean eating! I also like to cook my rice with vegetable broth instead of water (in a rice cooker), then just add stir fry or steamed veggies to serve.

  9. shaheen

    The sriracha hot sauce in the corner has me doubly excited. Cooking this dish without oil, intrigues me. And guess what i like tofu.

  10. The Good Luck Duck

    Ann, somehow I missed that you were an oil-free vegan. That’s the path we’re moving down (although I’m missing my peanut butter a little). Yes, inspired by Campbell (first), then Esselstyn.

    I mentioned this “fried” rice recipe to Annie, who had already seen it and taken ingredient inventory. Score!

    The Good Luck Duck

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Well-played, Annie! I’m not completely oil-free (not sure I like how that sounds), but we no longer cook/saute/roast with it. Baking is another matter. I generally reduce the fat by half and we try to keep the baked sweets at a minimum. Peanut butter. So far…still eating it – though much less than we used to. Anyway, very interesting that you are going this way – and very wonderful!

      1. The Good Luck Duck

        Annie has switched us to canola in cases where she does use oil. I’m so disillusioned with olive oil! How you have betrayed us, humble olive!

  11. Lou

    mmm I love “fried” rice like this… I always smother with a peanut satay sauce to bump up the fat content that I omit in the oil stage. Sauce is better than oil 🙂

  12. luminousvegans

    Yes please. I loved fried rice too, but you’re right, it can often be too greasy at restaurants. Yours looks great and gotta love that Sriracha sauce! The tomatoes and cucumbers sound like a great addition too.

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