Vegetable Fried Rice (Thai Style)

IMG_2944When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you ‘left over’ rice,…..make Fried Rice!  Vegetable fried rice is a great way to use up not only ‘left over’ rice but also ‘left over’ veggies that you have in the fridge.  Whenever I do the groceries, my refrigerator gets filed with all kinds of produce.  And then through out the week ,those poor delectable vegetables look at me with such anticipation every time I open the veggie drawer (sigh! I just get very ambitious when I shop I guess! 🙂 ) So this Fried rice idea is really a great fridge cleaning exercise (hence I often end up making this on Friday nights!) plus you get a dish packed with great nutrition and flavors! The family loves it! And the other great plus – Only one wok to clean!

The great thing about fried rice is you can change it up by just modifying the flavors a little bit each time.  If you just would like a simple Chinese style fried rice, you could just do with soya sauce and ginger/garlic for flavoring.  But if you like something that is a bit more adventurous, then this ‘Thai style’ fried rice is for you.

Disclaimer: I am by no means stating that this is an authentic version of Thai fried rice …I simply try to balance the flavors I like by marrying up the sweet, the sour and the sexy (hot)  🙂 Here’s the recipe – of course you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge! 🙂 .  I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday -let’s party, folks !.  And my sincere apologies for not having beautiful pictures of the final dish… The thing is as soon as its ready, hungry mouths can’t wait….so not really my fault!

This recipe will make about 4-5 servings as a main dish. 
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
4 cups cooked rice (jasmine or basmati or brown rice)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup fresh green beans,french cut
1/4 cup carrots, cut into thin pieces
1/4 cup peas
1/2 cup lettuce, shredded (optional)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp garlic, finely chopped 
1 tsp ginger,finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli flakes(use 1/2 tsp for mild)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Red onions, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped finely (optional)
1/4 cup spring onions,finely chopped

For the sauce:
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp tom yum paste dissolved in 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp tamarind pulp(nickel size tamarind dissolved in
2 tbsp warm water and strained to get pulp) or
you could use lime juice instead
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sriracha (hot sauce)
Lemon grass stalks 1 tbsp (optional)

For garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves,chopped
Basil leaves, chopped
lime wedges
salt and pepper to taste


1. Take the cooked rice (if in the refrigerator) and let it thaw to room temperature. (If preparing fresh rice, make sure you give enough time to cool the rice). With your hands, break any lumps to get the grains separated.

2.Wash and chop all the veggies and keep ready.


3.Take a small bowl and mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside.


4. Take a big wok or a wok style pan and add the olive oil. When hot, add the harder veggies first so broccoli, cauliflower, first followed by

green beans.  (Cover and cook on medium for about 2 minutes).

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Then add the ginger, garlic and the other veggies – carrots,cabbage,peas and lettuce and stir on medium for a couple minutes. Cover and cook again for a couple minutes if you think the veggies are not cooked.IMG_2924 IMG_2925 IMG_2926

Add the mushrooms in the end and stir for a minute or so until they are cooked through.


Next add the chili flakes, onions, tomatoes and spring onions. Continue to stir for a minute or so until the tomatoes get a little soft(not too soft).


Final step – Add the rice , the basil and cilantro and the sauce that you prepared before. Stir carefully on low heat to coat the rice and the veggies evenly with the sauce. (If you feel that the quantity of rice is more and you need more sauce, just add some water to sauce before mixing with rice)



Serve with fresh cilantro/basil on top and lime wedges.!


Tom Yum paste contains dried shrimp hence the strict vegetarians may want to skip this.

Tamarind pulp is not a standardized ingredient hence if you are using store bought tamarind pulp or paste, use cautiously. Start with less , you can always add more if you want.!

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  1. Thai is our favorite and this is a good one Indu. Always tried different ingredients to get that flavor, but never tom yum. Loved it!!! Great job, keep it up:)

  2. Hi Indu – I told Angie that when I clicked on your name it said it was not available and to contact the home page (Angie) so you may have missed some “likes” and “comments”. Angie thanked me and said she fixed it 🙂

  3. This dish looks quite delectable, Indu. I’ve never made fried rice with tom yum paste or tamarind pulp and I am intrigued! Vietnamese fried rice is such a homey dish and can be cooked with any number of items in it like your recipe here (the “traditional” way actually includes ketchup!). I just like to throw in lots of veggies to make it glow green. Have a lovely weekend!

  4. We are vegetable and fried rice lovers and your sauce is intriguing. I will look for the Tom yum paste the next time we shop on the big island. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is a favorite way to eat rice. I always make a bunch in my Breville Rissoto Plus to have on hand for dishes such as this. Guess what – I have some in the refrigerator just waiting to try your recipe. Except I need some sauce ingredients – some I have never heard of before and I will look forward to finding them – thanks Indu 🙂

    • Yes the sauce is something i have improvised (and continue to improvise) every time I make it but as long as you can get the balance of hot,sour and sweet it will be great. If you can’t find tom yum paste, you should at least use kaffir lime leaves lemongrass stalks to give the flavors.

      • Hi – it is Judi/Juju again. Back from shopping and its starting to snow. I found lemongrass 4 ways; fresh (big long stalks), in a little container trimmed, and dried in a bottle. One store had bottled lemongrass and cut into little ringlets like a tiny onion. Found two kinds of lime leaves; kaffir which was dried and fresh lime leaves. No go on the Tom Yum Paste. Would Thai Chili garlic paste work? There are a bunch of Tom Yum Pastes online – any brand suggestion? Thanks as it was fun learning something new about Thai cooking.

  6. I love this! I’ve been researching woks for the last couple of weeks, and once I decide on one and get it properly seasoned, this will definitely be a recipe that I will try! It sounds fabulous!!

    What a lovely blog you have…I look forward to catching up! 🙂

    • thanks so much Prudy for your comments! Yes a wok is what works the best for this one. And believe me once you purchase it you are going to use it a lot! And so pleased to meet you through Angie’s Fiesta Friday. thanks for stopping by!

  7. I think this is very creative. I’ve never thought of using tom yum paste in fried rice before, but sounds like it would actually work. Like you said the sour would give it that Thai flavor. Good recipe, Indu! XOXO

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