Mushroom Fried Rice recipe is budget-friendly and super quick to make. It's a great way to use up leftover cooked rice, is made all in one pan and takes no more than 15 minutes!
Mushroom fried rice FTW! It's such a basic recipe but just perfect for using up leftover rice. It also happens to be super quick to make which is always a good thing midweek because life is REAL.
This easy and naturally vegan recipe can be served as a main dish or a side dish and we're talking no more than 15 minutes start to finish. A bit like my Peanut Noodles and Brussels Sprout Fried Rice recipes. Add them all to your after work dinner rotation!
As well as making it speedy, we're making it super simple too. Here's what we've got going in that big ol' pan of fried rice:
- Cashew nuts - Whole and toasted in the pan before we start cooking everything for ultimate flavour and interesting texture.
- Toasted sesame oil - For it's delicious flavor! It's so delicious and a little goes a long way.
- Green onions - Otherwise known as spring onions. Most of them cooked and a handful raw. Use the greens too. They look pretty and taste so good in dishes like this. The cooked/raw contrast is really good.
- Celery - Texture and flavour. I get it. I know celery can be controversial. So many people don't like it much, including me if I'm honest. You'll never see me munching on a raw stick of it. But, when cooked in this it adds so much flavour in a not obviously celery kind way. Go with me on this one.
- Bell pepper - Sweetness and colour. Red, orange, yellow or green bell pepper will do. Red stands out nicely though and makes it look pretty ;O)
- Mushrooms - Cremini, chestnut, portobello or white mushrooms. So good in fried rice!
- Rice - Cooked and chilled. It must be chilled and not freshly cooked rice. White, brown, long grain, jasmine or basmati rice. Doesn't matter. They all work great.
- Tamari or soy sauce - Either is fine. Tamari has a better, mellower, richer, smoother flavour than soy sauce and is always my choice if I have some, but soy sauce is great too. Be sure to use gluten-free tamari if you need the recipe to be gluten-friendly.
How to make Mushroom Fried Rice
(For detailed measurements and instructions, see the printable recipe card).
After you've assembled your ingredients it's very quick and simple to make fried mushroom rice:
- Toast the cashews
- In a large skillet or wok sauté the onions, celery and pepper until softened.
- Add the mushrooms and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Pour in the rice and tamari/soy sauce, stir and cook until hot, then add the cashews and garnish with the raw green onions.
Pile it in a bowl and grab a fork. Job done in about 15 minutes!
- Make sure the rice is cooked and that it has cooled thoroughly. It's best if it has been refrigerated. Freshly cooked rice clumps together and gets mushy if you try to fry it. Once cooled and refrigerated it dries out and separates easily when crumbled up into the pan. If you don't have any cooked and refrigerated rice simply cook some and lay it out in a thin layer on a large baking sheet, cover with some cling wrap and pop in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes.
- When I cook rice I always make extra because leftovers in the fridge are so handy for making quick dinners like this. Be sure to cool it quickly and refrigerate it as soon as possible.
- Use a big wok or wide skillet so you can easily stir everything around without making a mess.
- Prepare everything before you start because things move fast.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean rather than washing them under water.
- Don't skip the sesame oil. it's really important for flavour.
- Use high heat. This helps fry and brown everything well and will prevent the rice from steaming in the pan and getting sticky.
- Don't add salt to season the rice. The soy sauce provides enough seasoning.
Ways you can adapt this recipe
Mushroom Fried Rice is perfect for a quick meal just as it is, but it is also really easy to customize. You could add:
- Justegg to make egg-fried rice
- Add some diced vegan ham
- Fresh cilantro (right before serving)
- Diced fresh pineapple
- Fresh ginger
- Different more exotic mushrooms like shitake, enoki or oyster mushrooms
- More veggies. Different colour bell peppers, bok choy, corn, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, frozen peas, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts edamame beans would all be good.
- Vegan kimchi - If the pieces are large chop it a bit then add to the pan when you add the rice.
- Diced vegan chick'n pieces, tofu or tempeh (add them to the pan once the onion, celery and pepper has softened)
- It's also great when made with cooked and cooled quinoa instead of rice.
What to serve with fried rice
I love to serve my Mushroom Fried Rice with a drizzle of chili oil and a scattering of fresh cilantro. It can easily be a main meal all on its own. You could also serve it with:
- stir fried veggies
- vegan egg rolls or spring rolls
- Baked Tofu
- a drizzle of sesame oil
- sriracha or a dollop of chili paste
- Five Spice Tofu
- breaded vegan chick'n
- a drizzle of Healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce or Habanero Hot Sauce
- a drizzle of Easy Teriyaki Sauce
Long grain rice is the most commonly used rice for making fried rice but you can use any cooked and cooled rice medium to long grain rice including brown rice, basmati or jasmine. I don't recommend using short grain, sweet, sushi or glutinous rice.
If you don’t have any cooked and refrigerated rice simply cook some and lay it out in a thin layer on a large baking sheet, cover with cling wrap and pop in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes. Then proceed with the recipe. You will get the best results with day old refrigerated rice though.
For food safety reasons I do not recommend reheating or freezing leftovers. This is because rice can cause food poisoning if reheated more than once. This recipe is made with pre-cooked rice so technically you are reheating it that one time when making your fried rice. For more information see the NHS's advice on reheating rice.
To avoid mushy fried rice always use cooked and thoroughly refrigerated rice. You absolutely cannot use freshly cooked rice to make fried rice. If you do it will become mushy and sticky. Be sure to use medium to long grain rice, not short grain sweet/sushi rice or glutinous rice. Make sure you don't overcook the rice you will be using to make the fried rice. It should be cooked but still retain a bit of a bite. Use a very hot pan and cook it quickly.Don't crowd your pan. Use the biggest pan you have so all of the ingredients have lots of room and be sparing with the liquids you add to your fried rice. Adding extra could make your rice soggy.
Mushroom Fried RiceAuthor:
- ½ cup (80 grams) raw cashew nuts (omit to make nut-free)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 bunch spring/green onions , sliced into circles
- 2 sticks celery , diced
- 1 large bell pepper , diced
- 4 cups (320 grams) sliced or quartered mushrooms , brown or white
- 3 cups (450 grams) cold cooked rice (long grain white or brown works well)
- ¼ cup (60 mls) soy sauce or tamari , gluten-free if necessary
- Put a large wok or pan over a medium heat. Add the cashew nuts and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, moving frequently, until they smell toasty and are starting to turn golden in areas. Tip out of the pan into a small bowl and set aside.
- Put the pan back on the heat and add the sesame oil. Turn the heat up to medium high and add most of the onions (leave a few to scatter over raw at the end), celery and bell pepper and cook for a couple of minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the cold rice and soy sauce/Tamari and stir well. Keep moving everything about in the pan until the rice has heated through.
- Add the toasted cashews, stir again and remove from the heat.
- Serve scattered with the reserved green onions.
Important food safety info Rice should only ever be reheated once so once made this recipe cannot be reheated or frozen. Any leftovers need to be discarded. For more information see the NHS's advice on reheating rice.
This recipe was originally published on April 18th 2015, but the post was updated and new photos and a video were added on February 5th 2020. The recipe remains the same.