As someone who can easily lose an hour-plus prepping dinner when I really only had 30 minutes to spare, this ridiculously easy scrambled Tofu Fried Rice is such a welcome respite. Why? This vegan fried rice only takes 12 minutes to make. For real!

Bowls of tofu fried rice ready for serving

In this Article

The Story Behind the Recipe

I love a good fried rice recipe, but I wanted one without eggs yet lots of protein. I also love a good tofu scramble, and I thought … why not make a tofu scramble situation then add that to a fried rice situation?! I know, I know, that’s a lot of situations – but trust me. This tofu fried rice, uh, situation … works.

In a nutshell, instead of the more traditional eggs, this vegan fried rice recipe uses a good amount of tofu to increase the protein quotient and make it vegan while it’s at it.

If you’re a vegan, you undoubtedly know all about tofu scrambles. But if you don’t? Basically, you crumble up extra-firm tofu and saute it with spices and maybe a few veggies. The end result is remarkably reminiscent of scrambled eggs, especially if you throw a little turmeric into the mix to lend the tofu a yellowish hue while it cooks.

I adapted this recipe from Pinch of Yum’s 10-Minute Fried Rice. My version takes a couple more minutes because it includes onions, which isn’t necessarily normally found in fried rice, but I love the flavor it lends to the tofu.

Bowl of tofu fried rice with fork

Why You’ll Love this Tofu Fried Rice Recipe

It tastes like traditional fried rice – but it has more protein and is super hearty and filling! The tofu doesn’t need to be cubed or separately cooked or pressed or otherwise fussed with. Just mash it and add it to the pan! No need to remove it before you add the rice, either, like with eggs. The tofu benefits from some extra cooking time, and you get to enjoy all the convenience. 12 minutes from fridge to table – seriously.

Here are a couple of highlights from the comments and reviews section from those who’ve made it:

  • I love this recipe. I’ve done it more than once. I usually add the whole block of tofu, because I never remember to use the extra tofu! Tastes great every time. Thanks so much for this.
  • Very very yummy! My husband is a devoted carnivore but he loved it too.
Close-up of tofu fried rice ready to eat

Tofu Fried Rice Ingredients

  • Extra-firm tofu – just like when you make a tofu scramble, there is no need to press it
  • Olive oil – sub veg or canola oil if you want a completely neutral oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Toasted sesame oil – adds so much flavor!
  • Ginger
  • Smoked paprika & turmeric – not exactly common fried rice ingredients, but perfect for adding flavor and color to the tofu
  • Rice – brown or white, use your fave! 
  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen peas
  • Tamari or soy sauce

Because we’re a mixed-diet home, sometimes my guy will crumble a little cooked bacon over his plate of fried rice. Leave it to our household to top a vegan dish with bacon!

How to Make It

Cook the onion, garlic, and spices in your pan, then add your mashed tofu.

Tofu being mashed on a cutting board

Cook for a bit, then add your rice until sizzling. Add the corn, peas, and soy sauce at the last minute and cook through until steaming hot. That’s it!

Wooden spoon full of tofu fried rice ready for serving

How to Top It

Sometimes, I keep it simple and skip the toppings (like in the photos). Other times, I top mine with a few goodies – usually a combo of something like this:

  • Garnish with chives, scallions, and/or herbs
  • Drizzle with a little (or a lot) Sriracha sauce
  • Spoon on a bit of spicy chili crisp or chili oil
  • Add diced avocado or sliced cherry tomatoes

Other Favorite Tofu Recipes

Is tofu the most versatile ingredient in the world? Might just be!

Tofu fried rice in a bowl with a fork
5 from 7 votes

Tofu Fried Rice (12-Minute Recipe)

Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 9 minutes
Total: 12 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 3
Tofu scramble meets fried rice for an ingenious 12-minute, protein-heavy, vegan tofu fried rice dish. So easy!


  • 7 ounces extra-firm tofu (half of a 14-ounce block)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil*
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 1 medium clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (divided)
  • 1 thumb-sized knob ginger (peeled and minced) (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice** (I like brown Basmati rice) (cold, day-old rice is best)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2-3 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce


  • Set the tofu on a large cutting board and mash with a potato masher or fork until it’s crumbled. Set aside.
  • Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  • Add one tablespoon of the sesame oil, then add the ginger, smoked paprika, turmeric, and mashed tofu. Cook, stirring until the spices are well-incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining sesame oil and the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice sizzles and is thoroughly warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the corn, peas, and Tamari (or soy sauce) and cook until the veggies are warm, about one more minute.
  • Taste and add additional Tamari or soy sauce if desired.


Topping Ideas

Serve topped with chopped chives or other herbs of choice, chopped scallions, or even a little crumbled bacon for the carnivores’ portions if you like. We like to pass the Sriracha and/or chili crisp with this fried rice, as well.

* Oil Note

If you prefer to use a more neutral oil, feel free to sub vegetable or canola oil.

** Rice Note

You can use white rice too! Whichever rice you prefer – just remember day-old usually makes better fried rice. 

Meat option

Top the carnivores’ portions with some cooked and crumbled/chopped bacon.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum’s 10-Minute Fried Rice

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 490kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 719mg, Potassium: 550mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 669IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 3mg

Originally published 1/11/2016

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