This stir-fried red rice with Thai flavors and crunchy vegetables and soft scrambled eggs is a fusion of amazing flavors that lead to a wholesome vegetarian rice dish that tastes so good on its own and doesn’t even require a side to go with. Simple, quick, delicious and healthy, the stir-fried red rice is perfect for a weekday lunchbox or a weeknight dinner that doesn’t keep you busy in the kitchen for long.
Hello, rice lovers! Why is it that eating rice has become so difficult these days with all that health talk going on about rice being the “villain” of a healthy diet? It’s the type of rice and the quantity you eat that matters. The fiber-rich and nutrient-rich red rice cooked with Thai flavors of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and stir-fried with vegetables is the answer to all the rice woes. With this fried red rice recipe, you can have your favorite fried rice and eat it too!
Does the citrusy, refreshing flavor of lemongrass make you wonder why it should be called a “grass” at all? Yes, I agree, it does sound quite demeaning. Well, my love for the Thai herbs –lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves has transformed into this flavourful fried rice recipe with red rice and some veggies thrown in, with egg as an option.
More options to pair this fried rice with
- Buttermilk chicken legs
- Baked salmon kebabs
- 5 Ingredient garlic prawns
- Beet orange salad
- Quick and easy braised tofu
Health benefits of red rice
Red rice is rich in minerals and fibre which makes it a lot more nutritious and more attractive in terms of taste and health than white rice.
- The red rice gets its rich color from an antioxidant called anthocyanins, that can reduce inflammation, allergy, prevent risks of cancer and help in weight management.
- manganese helps in strengthening metabolism.
- magnesium helps in controlling migraine, lowers blood pressure as well as risks of heart attacks.
- calcium helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth and prevents risks of arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Selenium protects the body against infections.
- high fiber content slows down the digestion process which leads to a strengthened digestive system.
- fiber also aids in slowing down the rate at which carbs are converted into blood sugar, making red rice one of the foods with a low glycemic index. This means your blood glucose does not shoot up as when you eat white rice.
What you will need for stir-fried red rice
For the Thai flavors, you will need lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. You’ll find them at any Asian store in separate packings or as a “tom yum combo” which comes with other stuff like shallots and lime. Any vegetables used for regular fried rice can be used here, like carrots, peas, cabbage, bell peppers along with onions, ginger, garlic and chilies. Egg can be added if you are not vegan.
How to cook the red rice with Thai flavors
Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks, chop them into 2-inch pieces with diagonal cuts (you can see them in the first picture, peeking from the left top corner) and lightly smash them with the flat part of your knife. Break the kaffir lime leaves into lobes (they are double-lobed leaves).
Add the lemongrass pieces and the kaffir lime leaves to the red rice, add water and cook as per package instructions. The quantity of water or stock to cook rice may vary depending on the type of red rice being used and the cooking method. I used Thai unpolished red rice cooked in an electric rice cooker which requires 2 cups of water.
Once the rice is cooked, allow it to cool by spreading it on a large tray (baking tray would be fine). Remove the lemongrass stalks and the lime leaves. The red rice needs to be thoroughly cooled before stir-frying to avoid it becoming sticky.
Boil the green peas and keep aside.
Stir-frying the vegetables and red rice
Roast in oil the minced ginger and garlic on medium flame until you get an aroma, but not browned. Add the onions and chili and saute until translucent. Add the grated carrots, cooked peas, and salt and saute for 5 minutes.
If you’re using eggs, beat them with a few dashes of salt and pepper and stir-fry along with the vegetables. Mix in the rice when the eggs are semi-cooked (still gooey) and stir well. It is important that the rice has to be added before the eggs get fully cooked so that the eggs combine well with the rice. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Now, GO AHEAD. Eat your stir-fried red rice without an ounce of guilt.
Asian stir-fried chicken with red rice and red beans is another red rice recipe you might love.
In search of brown rice recipes? GO for:
Looking for a low-carb rice/ keto option? Try these:
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Stir-fried Red rice with Thai flavors
- 1 cup red rice
- 2 cups water or stock to cook rice
- 1 carrot grated
- 1/2 cup green peas frozen or fresh
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 green chili finely chopped
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs optional, can be skipped for a vegan recipe
- cilantro for garnish
- Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks, chop them into 2-inch pieces with diagonal cuts and lightly smash them with the flat part of your knife. Break the kaffir lime leaves into individual lobes (they are double-lobed leaves).
- Add the lemongrass pieces and the kaffir lime leaves to the red rice, add water and cook as per package instructions. Once the rice is cooked, allow it to cool by spreading it on a large tray. Remove the lemongrass stalks and the lime leaves.
- Boil the green peas and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok on medium flame, add the minced ginger and garlic and roast until you get an aroma, but not browned. Add the onions and chili and saute until translucent. Add the grated carrots, cooked peas, and salt and saute for 5 minutes.
- If you’re using eggs, beat them with a few dashes of salt and pepper and stir-fry along with the vegetables. Mix in the rice when the eggs are semi-cooked (still gooey) and stir well. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Once cooked, the red rice needs to be thoroughly cooled before stir-frying, else it may become sticky.
- While stir-frying, the rice has to be added before the eggs get fully cooked, so that the eggs combine well with the rice.