Easy Gluten Free Fried Rice Recipe: Jazz Up Your Leftovers in Minutes

If you think going gluten free means sacrificing flavor I have a simple, delicious treat for you. This gluten free fried rice recipe bridges the gap between your dietary needs and your love of good food. 

gluten free fried rice with barbecue chicken and roasted veggies

Eating Fried Rice from a Restaurant

Have you ever found yourself staring at a Chinese takeout menu wondering, “Is fried rice gluten free”?

Sadly, it’s probably not, and here’s why.

Although rice is a gluten free grain and safe for people with celiac disease, what we add to it can cause problems.  Fried rice contains soy sauce, and most soy sauce is not gluten free.  Also, rice is sometimes cooked in chicken broth and not all chicken broth is gluten free.

So, if you want to order fried rice look for a gluten free Chinese restaurant.  It’s the only way to ensure a safe meal.

Making Fried Rice at Home is Simple and Delicious

Fried rice is a staple in many Asian cuisines, with roots tracing back over a thousand years. Even then home cooks struggled to find interesting ways to re-invent leftovers.  If we leave out the gluten, this timeless classic can transform our leftovers too.

Let’s Explore the Key Ingredients

Chances are you have everything you need in your pantry.  If not, the ingredients are so simple and available that a quick trip to the supermarket will have you all set up.

The Best Rice for Gluten Free Fried Rice

bowl of white rice with sweet peppers on the side

Rice is naturally gluten free, so don’t worry about looking for a special gluten free label. 

Long-grain white rice or jasmine rice work best.  You can cook it on the day you make the recipe, but day old rice will give you the perfect firm yet fluffy texture. 

Can you use Minute Rice or brown rice?  Absolutely!  The only variety to avoid is the short grain rice that we use for risotto.  It’s a bit too starchy for this dish.  And besides, leftover risotto is great as risotto, why mess with it.

Adding Protein to Your Fried Rice

Fried rice with veggies makes a lovely light side dish, but adding protein turns it into a hearty meal.

Gluten free chicken fried rice is popular, but feel free to explore other options like shrimp or pork.  Egg adds texture and protein to fried rice but if you don't eat eggs leave it out.  Whatever protein you use, make sure there are no gluten-containing marinades or seasonings.  Remember, all whole fresh cuts of meat, fish and poultry are naturally gluten free.  It’s the add-ins that cause problems.

Got leftovers? Perfect!  Dice up that roast chicken, pork chop or ham and toss it in right at the end.  You’ll love it.

Using Vegetarian Protein

To make a complete vegetarian meal of your gluten free fried rice try a plant based protein like tofu or beans.  How about a handful of sesame seeds or chopped walnuts.  Adding nuts, seeds or beans to rice gives you a healthy complete source of vegetarian protein.1

Diced Vegetables Add Color, Texture and Nutrients

Traditional choices include peas, carrots, bell peppers, and green onions. I like to dice up a little white onion and celery too.  If you use fresh carrots, steam them for a minute or two in the microwave to speed things up. 

Want a super time-saving tip? Use frozen mixed vegetables.  Run them under cool water in a colander to thaw before use. And remember to check the label for gluten sources.

Use Up Leftover Vegetables

Dice up those green beans or asparagus spears from last night, it will be delicious.  Avoid anything mushy that will break up too much when you stir it into your rice.  I’d pass on the potatoes, sweet potato or squash unless it’s quite firm. 

Be Sure to Use Gluten Free Soy Sauce

gluten free soy sauce alternatives, tamari, coco aminos, vh soy sauce

Regular soy sauce contains gluten, so we need a safe alternative: 

  • Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce that is gluten free.
  • Coconut aminos comes from the sap of the coconut plant and is similar to soy sauce.  
  • In Canada, Vh brand has a traditional Chinese style soya sauce that’s gluten free. 

You can find these gluten free sauces in most grocery stores or online.

Tips and Tricks for Preparing Your Gluten Free Fried Rice

What Pan to Use

You need a large skillet to hold all the ingredients and give you room to stir.  A wok or stir fry pan is great.  A large cast iron skillet will work well too.

Order of Ingredients

Add ingredients in the order of how long they take to cook.  Uncooked meat or tofu goes in first. Stir-fry until it’s nicely browned and cooked through, then remove it and set it aside.

Onions, celery and carrots go in next because they take a while to soften up.  Add softer vegetables, beans or pre-cooked protein toward the end.

The soy sauce goes in last because nothing will brown after you add liquid.

Pin for Later

Pin Image - gluten free fried rice with other Asian dishes and ingredients.

Pump up the Flavor!

Want a little trick to really pump up the flavor?  Let the rice sit for a moment without stirring so it browns, then stir it up again. This gives a wonderful depth of flavor and a little crispiness.

Don’t add salt as the soy sauce is salty enough, but a pinch of black pepper amps up the flavor again.  If you like a hint of spice, try some red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.

Garnish with freshly chopped green onions. If you’re feeling fancy throw in some toasted sesame seeds for a lovely finishing touch.

How To Serve Gluten Free Fried Rice

If you’ve included a protein, your gluten free fried rice is a complete meal.  It is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and it makes a handy microwavable lunch for home or office. 

With or without the added protein, fried rice makes a delicious side.  Serve it with barbecued pork or chicken.  Or stir-fry some beef and veggies for a lovely Asian inspired meal.

The Recipe

naturally glute free logo in circle

Easy Gluten Free Fried Rice Recipe: Jazz Up Your Leftovers in Minutes

By ,

fried rice on a black plate

If you think going gluten free means sacrificing flavor I have a simple, delicious treat for you. This gluten free fried rice recipe bridges the gap between your dietary needs and your love of good food.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Tags: Gluten Free, Vegan Option

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cooked long grain rice (approximately)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 stock of celery diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup of gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion sliced on the bias
  • oil for frying
  • Optional Protein - Add Any of the Following

  • 1 cup of diced meat like chicken, pork, beef or seafood
  • 1 cup of diced tofu or 1 can of beans (black beans or pinto beans work well) or 1/2 cup of chopped nuts or seeds
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet then add your diced protein if using. Stir and cook until it’s nicely browned and cooked through. Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan. (If you’re using leftover meat, or a vegetarian protein like beans, nuts or seeds, save it ‘til last.)

  2. Remove the protein and set it aside, then heat a little more oil in the same pan.  Add diced onion. Stir for about a minute until translucent, then add your celery and carrots.  Give them two or three minutes to soften up then add the rest of the veggies.  Stir for a few more minutes until everything is tender but slightly crisp.

  3. Add your pre-cooked rice to the skillet. Break it up with your spatula and mix it in with the vegetables. Keep the rice moving so it doesn't stick and to ensure everything heats evenly. Let the rice sit for a moment without stirring so it browns, then stir it up again.

  4. Return your cooked protein to the skillet and stir. If you're using precooked meat, beans, nuts or seeds add them now.

  5. Make a well in the center of the rice mixture so you can see the bottom of the pan. Add a little oil and let it heat up. Crack in your 2 eggs and stir till cooked through, then stir them into the rice mixture.
  6. Add gluten-free soy sauce (or Tamari or coconut aminos.) Stir well to mix thoroughly. Cover the pan and let it sit on low heat for a two or three minutes so everything heats through.

  7. Garnish with sliced spring onion and serve.

Sources:

1. The Complete Protein Foods List And Facts | Piedmont Healthcare. (n.d.). https://www.piedmont.org/living-real-change/what-is-a-complete-protein

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