Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs)

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This light and fresh Bún Chả recipe features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs paired with vermicelli noodles and plenty of herbs and vegetables. Bún chả is light yet filling and it comes together effortlessly in a few straightforward steps. Served with a homemade dipping sauce, this refreshing recipe is perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

Close up of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

What is Bún Chả?

Growing up, I didn’t realize there was a name for these delicious juicy pork meatballs. They were just something my mom made for me because it was one of the five things that I was willing to eat without question. It’s a recipe that you can easily make, you can scale it up or down, and most importantly, it’s super flavorful. 

Bún chả, also known as Vietnamese pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles, is a popular Vietnamese dish that is thought to have originated in Hanoi. You can find them served anywhere from street food stalls to restaurants in Hanoi. While a popular lunchtime recipe, you can enjoy this recipe any time of the day. I love how refreshing the noodles, vegetables, and herbs are on a hot summer day. You can even find Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama enjoying it on an episode of Parts Unknown!

What is fish sauce? 

Fish sauce is the secret ingredient of this entire recipe. It goes into the meatballs as well as the dipping sauce (nước chấm) and is an absolute umami bomb. It is a liquid condiment that is made from fermenting fish over time. It adds major savory, salty, and general deliciousness to the overall dish. You can find fish sauce in the international aisle in most grocery stores, or at an Asian grocer.

Bún chả being dipped in a bowl of sauce with ingredients on the sides.

What is lemongrass? 

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that has a fragrant complex flavor that is bright and citrusy. You can purchase lemongrass fresh or frozen. I usually find frozen lemongrass at Asian grocers and like to stock up my freezer with them. If you can’t find lemongrass, lemon zest and some ginger could work in a pinch, but I highly recommend not substituting the lemongrass because it is key to achieving the authentic Vietnamese flavor profile.

When using fresh lemongrass, keep in mind that the bottom woody section should be discarded. I’ve been noticing more chain grocery stores carrying fresh lemongrass so you should be able to find it relatively easily. If not, check where the ginger paste is kept and you might find lemongrass paste instead for an easy swap!

How to store leftovers

This recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Store the rice noodles, veggies, and herbs in one container and the pork meatballs in another container. This makes reheating the meatballs much easier, especially at work. Everything should keep and stay fresh for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Tips for Making Bún Chả

  • Do not overpack the meatballs while shaping the meatballs as you do not want them to be dense. 
  • For uniformed meatballs, use a cookie scoop. This helps them cook evenly as well. You do not want to go any larger than around a golf ball’s size.
  • For the nước chấm, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. 
  • While I use a non-stick skillet, you can use a grilling pan or cast-iron skillet as well. 
  • When buying rice vermicelli noodles, make sure to double-check the ingredients. At first glance, they look similar to cellophane noodles but they are not the same.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

Bún chả

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnames
Total Cost $16.22 recipe / $4.06 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 469kcal
Author Carmy Do

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $4.49
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped $0.24
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot $0.68
  • 4 Tbsp minced lemongrass $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce $0.23
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02

Dipping Sauce (​​Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) $1.20
  • 3/4 cup water $0.00
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce $0.68
  • 1 Thai red chili pepper $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced $0.16

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles $2.99
  • 1 head butter lettuce $1.59
  • 1 handful fresh mint $2.19
  • 1 carrot, sliced $0.16
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.50

Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  • CHop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

For the Sauce:

  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For the Bowls:

  • Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
  • Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.

Notes

Editor’s note: The prices listed above are from U.S. chain grocery stores. If you have an Asian market in your area you’ll be able to source ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, limes, Thai chilis, mint, and rice noodles for much cheaper and often with much higher quality.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 2098mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

How to Make Bún chả – Step by Step Photos

Prepared aromatics for the meatballs on a cutting board.

First, prepare the aromatics for the meatballs. Mince three cloves of garlic, ¼ cup shallots, and 4 tablespoons lemongrass.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl.

Add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass to a bowl with about one pound of ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix the ingredients together then set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge so the flavors can blend.

Shaped meatballs in a casserole dish.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs, and then gently flatten them a bit. To help divide the mixture evenly, first, dive the meat into four equal pieces, then divide each quarter into five pieces to yield 20 meatballs.

Cooked meatballs in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

Prepared dipping sauce in a small container with a whisk.

For the sauce, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¾ cup water, 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 finely chopped red chili, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and some thinly sliced carrots (optional garnish). Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your taste buds.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a sieve over a bowl.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (they usually require cooking for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water). Drain the noodles and set them aside.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables for your bowls. Slice a cucumber, slice a carrot into matchsticks, pull a handful of mint leaves from the stems, and wash some tender lettuce.

Finished Bún chả bowl from above.

Build the Bún chả bowls by adding the rice vermicelli noodles to a bowl along with some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Bún chả. Dip the Bún chả into the sauce, or drizzle a little over the bowl.

Bún chả in a bowl of dipping sauce.

SO fresh and so GOOD!

Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with noodles and vegetables, dipping sauce on the side.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Carrots with Basil & Carrot Top Pesto

Roasting carrots brings out their natural sweetness; when topped with a tangy pesto made with the parsley-like carrot tops (just say no to food waste!) it makes for a perfect seasonal side dish. The feathery carrot greens are blended with sweet basil, pine nuts, olive oil and vinegar to make a tangy green sauce that’s […]

The post Roasted Carrots with Basil & Carrot Top Pesto first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Roasting carrots brings out their natural sweetness; when topped with a tangy pesto made with the parsley-like carrot tops (just say no to food waste!) it makes for a perfect seasonal side dish.

The feathery carrot greens are blended with sweet basil, pine nuts, olive oil and vinegar to make a tangy green sauce that’s a perfect compliment to the natural flavor and sweetness of the carrots.

Blue and white ceramic platter with pile of Roasted Carrots, drizzled with Basil and Carrot Top Pesto on a blue background.

We’ve been getting big beautiful bundles of carrots in our CSA lately, vibrantly orange and sweet, with plumes of feathery greens still attached that I hate to just throw away (yes, they’re edible just like beet greens or turnip greens). Add in bunches of fragrant sweet basil that came with our most recent share, and this recipe basically developed itself.

If you haven’t had them before, carrot greens have an earthy, parsley-like flavor that can be used in myriad different ways, including this unique and flavorful pesto-like green sauce. It’s somewhat similar to the carrot top pesto I served with this creamy carrot soup; the flavors of the sweet carrot and grassy pesto are perfect compliments to each other. You know what they say, if they grow together, they go together (actually, I don’t know anyone who says that, but in this case it totally fits).

(more…)

Vegan Egg Rolls in Rice Paper (3 Ways)

These vegan egg rolls have a delicious filling of carrots, cabbage, spring onion, and mushrooms wrapped in crunchy rice paper wrappers. You can prepare the filling in 10 minutes and bake the whole batch in one in 20 minutes. Or deep-fry or air-fry them…

These vegan egg rolls have a delicious filling of carrots, cabbage, spring onion, and mushrooms wrapped in crunchy rice paper wrappers. You can prepare the filling in 10 minutes and bake the whole batch in one in 20 minutes. Or deep-fry or air-fry them in a couple of minutes. If you are looking for more...

Read More

The post Vegan Egg Rolls in Rice Paper (3 Ways) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Mushrooms

Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) also known as fresh summer rolls are a popular appetizer or snack which you can also easily prepare at home. Wrapping fresh julienned vegetables, fresh herbs like basil and mint, rice vermicelli noodles (b…

Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) also known as fresh summer rolls are a popular appetizer or snack which you can also easily prepare at home. Wrapping fresh julienned vegetables, fresh herbs like basil and mint, rice vermicelli noodles (bún) and crispy mushroom shreds with rice paper wrappers (bánh tráng) will make for a delicious treat....

Read More

The post Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Mushrooms appeared first on My Pure Plants.

How to Steam Carrots Without Cooking Them to Death

One of the easiest side dishes to make is steamed vegetables—like carrots—but they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. One second the vegetables are practically raw and the next they’re an overcooked mess that may as well turn into a mash. So what’…

One of the easiest side dishes to make is steamed vegetables—like carrots—but they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. One second the vegetables are practically raw and the next they’re an overcooked mess that may as well turn into a mash. So what’s the best way to steam carrots so that they’re actually appealing?

How to Steam Carrots (No Steamer Basket Necessary)

First, are you steaming baby carrots or large carrots? Will they be cooked whole, halved, or in smaller rounds? All of this will impact exactly how long to cook carrots for.

Read More >>

Roasted Carrots

Oven roasted carrots are extra sweet and delicious, plus they’re a super easy side dish that goes with just about any dinner.

The post Roasted Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What do you do when there are supply chain issues and the only carrots left in the store are in five-pound bags?? Make roasted carrots! Lots of them! Roasted carrots are an easy side dish for dinner, they’re inexpensive, and are definitely my favorite way to eat carrots. Oven-roasted carrots become extra sweet and delicious in the oven, plus they can be paired with several different herbs and spices, making them very versatile.

roasted carrots garnished with parsley in a bowl.

Why Roasted Carrots are So Good

Roasted carrots are, in my humble opinion, the best way to cook carrots. The dry heat of the oven concentrates the flavors and caramelizes the natural sugars in the carrots making their sweet flavor extra delicious. There’s no water to dilute the flavor of the carrots, it’s just 100% carrot heaven. Not to mention, they’re so easy.

How Do You Season Roasted Carrots?

I usually keep seasonings very simple when roasting vegetables to allow their natural flavors to shine through. For instance, in the recipe below I seasoned the carrots simply with salt, pepper, and a small amount of garlic powder. But roasted carrots go with all sorts of different seasonings. Here are some other seasoning ideas for your roasted carrots:

Do You Need to Peel the Carrots?

You do not need to peel your carrots before roasting, as long as you clean the carrots well. A soft-bristled vegetable brush does a great job of getting sand and dirt out of the textured surface of the carrot.

What to Serve with Roasted Carrots

Roasted carrots have such a versatile flavor that they really can go with just about any dinner. They’re great with some simple pan-seared chicken breast, Glazed Ham Steaks, Classic Meatloaf, Crunky Kale and Chicken Salad, or Honey Mustard Pork Chops.

Roasted carrots garnished on a baking sheet.
Roasted carrots in a bowl from above.

Roasted Carrots

Oven roasted carrots are extra sweet and delicious, plus they're a super easy side dish that goes with just about any dinner.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.38 recipe / $0.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 156kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. carrots $2.00
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel or scrub the carrots, then cut them into one-inch sections.
  • Place the carrots onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the carrots until they are well coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the carrots in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then give them a good stir. Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of browning.
  • Taste the carrots and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 302mg | Fiber: 6g
Side view of roasted carrots in a bowl.

How to Make Roasted Carrots – Step by Step Photos

Peeled carrots on a cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel or scrub two pounds of carrots.

Sliced carrots on a cutting board.

Slice the carrots into one-inch sections. I like to slice them on a diagonal to create a more visual appeal. Because pretty food tastes better!

Oil being drizzled over carrots on a baking sheet.

Place the sliced carrots on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over top.

Seasoned carrots on a baking sheet.

Season the carrots with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Toss the carrots until they are well coated in oil and seasonings. Spread the carrots out on the baking sheet so they have room to breathe (this is important for getting good caramelization).

Roasted carrots on a baking sheet.

Roast the carrots for 20 minutes, then give them a good stir. Continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of browning.

Roasted carrots in a bowl from above.

Give the carrots a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. I garnished with chopped parsley, but it is not needed to flavor the carrots. Serve hot and enjoy!

Try These Other Roasted Vegetables:

The post Roasted Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Spicy pickled carrots are an easy and delicious snack that can also be served as a side dish or condiment with your favorite meals.

The post Spicy Pickled Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, there was a restaurant, Ninfa’s, that kept jars of spicy pickled carrots and other vegetables on the tables as an appetizer. Practically every time I went there I would ruin my appetite on those pickles before I even had a chance to order an entree. So, when I saw this post for Ninfa’s Spicy Pickled Carrots on The Homesick Texan, I got very, very, very excited. I didn’t have all the ingredients called for in that recipe, but the version I made below is still AMAZING and I literally can’t stop eating them.

Originally published 8-11-2011, updated 4-27-2022.

Overhead view of a glass bowl full of spicy pickled carrots

What’s in Spicy Pickled Carrots

These spicy pickled carrots are a “quick pickle” not a fermented pickle, so they start with a vinegar brine. This particular brine includes white vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, and oil. To add even more flavor, the carrots are pickled along with red onion and jalapeño. The original recipe that I used for inspiration also included garlic, but I completely forgot to add it to mine, so if you have it, add a couple of cloves of fresh garlic in there, too!

How Long Do Pickled Carrots Last?

These deliciously spicy carrots will last about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. 

What Else Can I Add?

I’m dying to add all sorts of other vegetables to my spicy pickled carrots the next time I make them. I think small cauliflower florets would just be incredible in there, but it would be fun to also try some sliced radishes, green beans, or maybe even some mini bell peppers. 

How to Serve Pickled Carrots

As mentioned above, I was first introduced to these carrots as a sort of snack or appetizer. But I think they’d also be great added to a salad, bowl meal, tacos, or salads. Basically, anytime you want to add a tangy-spicy bite to your meal, add a spicy pickled carrot!

Close up side view of spicy pickled carrots.

Overhead view of spicy pickled carrots in a glass bowl.

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Spicy pickled carrots are an easy and delicious snack that can also be served as a side dish or condiment with your favorite meals.
Course Appetizer, condiment, Snack
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $2.12 recipe / $0.27 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 101kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. carrots $1.00
  • 1/2 red onion $0.21
  • 1 jalapeño $0.08
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups white vinegar $0.50
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 tsp salt $0.05

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the carrots into ¼-inch thick slices. Slice the red onion and jalapeño into ¼-inch thick slices as well.
  • Add the water, vinegar, oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to a pot. Bring the brine to a boil.
  • Carefully add the sliced vegetables to the boiling brine, then continue to boil for about 5 minutes.
  • After boiling for 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and carefully transfer the vegetables and all of the brine into jars or another heat-proof container.
  • Store the pickled carrots in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 624mg | Fiber: 2g

Overhead view of spicy pickled carrots in a glass bowl.

How to Make Spicy Pickled Carrots – Step By Step Photos

Sliced carrots, onion, and jalapeño.

Begin by slicing 1 pound of carrots (about 8 carrots), ½ of a red onion, and one jalapeño. I like to slice my carrots on a diagonal to give them a more interesting shape. 

Brine ingredients in the pot.

Make the brine by combining the 1 cup water, 2 cups white vinegar, ¼ cup cooking oil, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, 2 tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Bring the bring up to a boil. 

Vegetables added to the brine.

Add the sliced vegetables to the boiling brine (carefully) and boil for about 5 minutes. You don’t want the carrots to get too soft or for the color to fade too much.

Pickled carrots in a glass bowl.

After boiling, carefully ladle the vegetables and all of the brine into jars or another heat-proof container. You can eat them right away (I couldn’t help it!), but the flavor is even better after refrigerating for at least a day.

side view of a glass bowl full of spicy pickled carrots.

The post Spicy Pickled Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pad Woon Sen {Vegan} (Thai Glass Noodles Stir Fry)

This is a classic Pad Woon Sen recipe turned completely meatless. Silky Thai glass noodles in a sweet and salty sauce are stir-fried with carrots, cabbage, tomato, onion, and mung bean sprouts. For added protein, this recipe calls for tofu scramble and…

This is a classic Pad Woon Sen recipe turned completely meatless. Silky Thai glass noodles in a sweet and salty sauce are stir-fried with carrots, cabbage, tomato, onion, and mung bean sprouts. For added protein, this recipe calls for tofu scramble and marinated oyster mushrooms. It is a phenomenal, flavorful, and delicious glass noodle stir-fry...

Read More

The post Pad Woon Sen {Vegan} (Thai Glass Noodles Stir Fry) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Carrot Cake Loaf

I love carrot cake, but I don’t love decorating layered cakes. I don’t have the patience or talent to do anything too fancy. That is why I LOVE this Carrot Cake Loaf. You get all of the same flavors and textures as traditional carrot cake, …

I love carrot cake, but I don’t love decorating layered cakes. I don’t have the patience or talent to do anything too fancy. That is why I LOVE this Carrot Cake Loaf. You get all of the same flavors and textures as traditional carrot cake, but it is SIMPLE to make! You don’t even need…

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!

The post Vegetable Fried Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Fried rice is a take-out classic because it’s fast, easy, filling, delicious, and inexpensive, which is everything I want from a meal made at home, too! I love making vegetable fried rice at home because it’s an easy way to use up odds and ends in my fridge, it’s always satisfying, and it’s FAST. Plus, I can always add some meat or seafood if I’m feeling it!

Originally posted 6/2/2010, updated 3/30/2022.

Overhead view of a black plate full of vegetable fried rice on a yellow background

What is Fried Rice?

Fried rice is a Chinese dish made with cooked rice that is then stir-fried in a wok with other ingredients, like meat, seafood, vegetables, and eggs, and then seasoned with a savory sauce. It’s extremely flexible and budget-friendly, which is why we love this dish! The recipe below is an American adaptation, using a skillet instead of a wok and ingredients that are easily sourced in most American grocery stores. If you’d like to try an authentic Chinese Fried Rice recipe, be sure to check out Chinese Fried Rice from Rasa Malaysia, Egg Fried Rice from Red House Spice, or Classic Chicken Fried Rice from The Woks of Life.

Use Leftover Rice for Best Results

To avoid clumpy or gummy fried rice, use rice that has been previously cooked and completely cooled, preferably overnight. The slightly drier, less starchy rice is perfect for stir-frying because it can absorb moisture from the sauce and vegetables without becoming overly sticky. If you don’t have leftover rice from the day before, simply cook some rice, spread it out thin on a baking sheet or wide baking dish for faster cooling, then refrigerate until completely cool before using in the stir fry. 

Do I Need a Wok?

Woks are wonderful for stir fry because the large surface area makes it possible to add a lot of ingredients without overcrowding. While using a frying pan doesn’t work quite as well, we can make up for the crowding issue by cooking the ingredients separately, then combining them at the very end. 

What Else Can I Add to Vegetable Stir Fry?

Here’s my favorite part. A simple Vegetable Stiry is a blank slate for all sorts of add ins, whether it’s more vegetables, a meat or seafood, a different sauce, or even a crunchy topping! Here are some other fun add-ins for your stir fry:

  • Other vegetables like beansprouts, mushrooms, green beans, corn, broccoli, red chiles, or kimchi
  • Meat or seafood like chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, or sausage
  • Other sauces like oyster sauce, sriracha, or chili crisp
  • Crunchy toppers like cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, crushed ramen noodles

Overhead view of fried rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Overhead view of a plate full of vegetable fried rice on a yellow background.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Chinese
Total Cost $4.50 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 336kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 1 carrot, diced $0.16
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced $1.50
  • 4 green onions, sliced $0.40
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled rice $0.62
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.30

Instructions

  • Prepare the vegetables before hand so they're ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.
  • Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
  • There should be a good amount of oil left in the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots and stir and cook for about two minutes. Next add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic, ginger, and cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through.
  • Pour the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 4g

side view of a plate full of fried rice with chop sticks on the side.

How to Make Fried Rice – Step By Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Prep the vegetables before you begin cooking because once you start, it will go fast! Mince two cloves of garlic and mince or grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Peel and dice one large carrot and one red bell pepper. Slice four green onions, separating the tender green top half from the firm lower half, and measure out one cup of frozen peas.

Scrambled eggs in a skillet

Lightly whisk two large eggs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs to the skillet and gently scramble until cooked through. Remove the scrambled eggs to a clean bowl or plate.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet

There should be quite a bit of oil left in the skillet after removing the eggs. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrot to the skillet and stir fry for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the firm white ends of the sliced green onion. Stir fry for about a minute more. Lastly, add the frozen peas and stir fry just until heated through. Remove the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.

Stir fried rice in the skillet.

Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface again. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and three cups of cooked and cooled rice to the hot skillet. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry if the rice sticks a bit to the bottom. It will loosen after the sauce is added.

Stir fry sauce being poured over the rice.

Add 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil to the rice. Fold the rice and sauce together until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.

vegetables and eggs added back to the rice.

Add the vegetables and eggs back to the skillet. Turn the heat off and stir to combine, allowing the residual heat to reheat everything through.

Finished vegetable fried rice in the skillet.

Top with the sliced green ends of the green onions and you’re done! Give it a taste and add extra soy sauce or sesame oil to fit your taste buds.

finished vegetable fried rice in a skillet against a yellow background.

What do you like to put in your fried rice?

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