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Quick and Easy Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple fried rice! Before last week, I had never made this dish, but it has become one of my favorite things (I’ve made it twice in the last 7 days). There’s something really satisfying about sweet pineapple chunks sautéed with Asian flavors like soy, sesame, and garlic – all stirred with tons of fresh veggies and brown rice.

I designed this recipe as something you can throw together in about 25 minutes (once you have some cooked brown rice) with normal ingredients and no nonsense. And, you can freestyle the veggies as much as you want – if you’d prefer something like jalapeño and kale instead of bell pepper and mushrooms, go for it.

Personally, though, I think the coolest part about this recipe is the “fried egg” that I made with mashed tofu and a bunch of magic. It’s so flavorful and really adds another dimension to this dish. The rice and veggies on their own can seem a little one dimensional (even when they’re well-seasoned), but adding the fried tofu egg is a subtle touch that adds protein, flavor, and texture that really works.

Makes: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 12 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 + 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 + 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 12 oz frozen peas
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro (optional)

Prep: Cook some brown rice You’ll need about 4 cups cooked, which is about 1.5 cups dry (see package instructions). This can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer.

Step One

Start the “fried tofu egg” by mashing 12 oz of tofu into small chunks and adding to a skillet over medium-low heat with a tiny splash of water. Throw in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast and some black pepper. Let this sauté until most of the water from the tofu has evaporated (stirring occasionally). After about 15 minutes, add in a clove of minced garlic, a tablespoon (or less) of soy sauce, and a tiny drizzle of both toasted sesame oil and maple syrup. This will all start to caramelize on the outside of the drying tofu and create some amazing flavors. Stir regularly (if it sticks to the pan, fine, just keep scraping it up) and let it keep cooking slowly until the very end of this recipe.

Step Two

Right after you get the tofu started, turn to the veggies. In a large pan or wok, add a minced onion with a splash of water over medium heat. As that’s going, chop and add in the mushrooms, carrots, peas, and bell pepper and stir fry them until the onions are translucent and everything is cooking down nicely (10-15 min).

Step Three

Add about 4 cups of the cooked rice into the veggies and stir to incorporate. This is super bland and uninteresting at this point, so let’s change that: add in the cubed pineapple, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, some fresh grated ginger, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir this well and give it about 5 more minutes before finishing.

Step Four

To finish this dish, transfer the “fried egg” into the rice mixture and add some optional chopped cilantro if you’d like. Serve immediately. You may want to reserve some of the tofu or cilantro for a garnish.

Note: this stores really well for next-day leftovers too!

5 Comments

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  1. Special oils are hard to get where I live (rural Germany). If I was to use olive or rapeseed (canola?) oil, what would you recommend adding to get that little pizazz I’d be missing from the toasted sesame oil?

    • Hey Matt, sorry I missed this comment. So the toasted sesame is all about the beautiful toasted sesame flavor. Canola for example would be useless in that case. You’d be okay without it, just maybe use toasted sesame seeds and a little extra soy sauce.

    • Hmm, on one hand, you could probably get by without it. But… oh, what about eggplant and/or walnuts pulverized in the food processor, then cooked along the same technique as the tofu (maybe with Braggs aminos instead of soy sauce). That might be interesting.

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