This healthy fried rice is perfect for meal prep and for people who workout! It shows how to make brown rice much more interesting, and how to pack it with loads of flavour! This recipe is also gluten free.
I’m sure many people look at brown rice as the “inferior rice” but I disagree. I love how brown rice has more texture, and I love how it has that beautiful nutty flavour which works perfectly in this fried rice!
How to cook brown rice
Now, there are different kinds of brown rice, so it’s important to note that I am using medium grain brown rice. So if you get anything other than medium-grain, make sure you read the packet instructions.
Ok, so start by rinsing the rice under a colander for about half a minute. Or you can just let the rice soak in a bowl of water for a minute or 2 and drain it afterwards.
I then put plenty of water in a pot (at least 4-5 cups more than the rice) with a generous pinch of salt. And then bring that water to a boil and add the rice. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes.
Finally, I like to drain the rice and then transfer it to on a tray lined with kitchen paper.
As you can see, I use the boiling method rather than the absorption method. The reason for this is because I see so many people claiming the best water to brown rice ratio. So instead of going through the hassle of picking “the right ratio”, I just figured that using the boiling prevents us from having to do that.
How to make brown fried rice
So now that your rice is cooked, it’s time to start making the fried rice. I like to cook a few of the ingredients separately in the wok, transfer them to a bowl or container, then put them back in the wok later on with the other ingredients.
Here’s what I mean, so first I like to fry half of the chicken in my wok over very high heat.
I then transfer that chicken in a bowl, then I cook the other half. The reason I cook the chicken in 2 batches is that I don’t want to overcrowd the wok. Overcrowding a wok, pan, pot etc. with meat can cause flooding.
So after I cook the chicken, I then add the beaten eggs.
Now eggs cook rapidly over high heat, we’re talking seconds so make sure you don’t leave the egg in the wok for too long. As soon as the egg is cooked, transfer it to another bowl or container.
From there add some more oil, then add your red onion, garlic, carrot and broccoli. Fry for a bit and then cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to help cook the vegetables.
Add your peas, hoisin sauce and your soy sauce.
And then you add the rice, keep stirring it over high heat and finally, put your chicken and egg back in the wok and stir everything together until well combined.
So you see why I like to cook the chicken and egg separately first in the wok? It’s because if I just pile everything on top of each other in the wok as each ingredient cooks, the wok would get too overcrowded and some of the ingredients might even overcook.
Why make this recipe with brown rice?
- It’s a healthier alternative since it’s a whole grain. Meaning it contains the germ and the bran which has all the fibre, vitamins and minerals. White rice, on the other hand, has that germ and bran removed so it doesn’t have as many of those nutrients.
- Brown rice is also lower in carbs and the fibre content of brown rice allows your body to absorb those carbs in a more controlled fashion.
- This recipe shows that brown rice doesn’t have to be some bland boring ingredient, it can be exciting.
- Brown rice gives you those wonderful complex carbs instead of simple carbs.
- And finally, if you’re someone who’s on a fitness journey, you may be on a weight loss journey, maybe you’re someone who works out a lot, perhaps you’re a bodybuilder or something of that nature. Brown rice is often a fantastic alternative for people who are into fitness because again, you’re getting all those nutrients that you wouldn’t be getting if you had white rice.
If you want a clear definition of what complex carbs are, check out this short article: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19529.htm
Alternative for chicken
If you’re vegetarian, I would recommend using marinated tofu instead of chicken.
Marinated tofu is absolutely fantastic because it’s just sitting there soaking up all the flavour before you even buy it, and then that flavour transfers into the fried rice when you add it! So much better than regular tofu that will just taste bland, unless you flavour it yourself, but that will take more time so it’s up to you.
As always thank you so much for reading through this post, and if you’re not a fan of this whole “brown fried rice” theme, then check out of my Spicy Vegetable Fried Rice recipe. Made with good old fashioned white rice.
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Brown Fried Rice
- 3½ cups of medium grain brown rice
- Rice bran oil
- 750 g of chicken breasts cut into half-inch thick dices
- 4 eggs beaten in a bowl
- 2 carrots peeled and diced fine
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 200 g of broccoli finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 125 g of frozen peas
Rinse the brown rice in a colander for about half a minute.
Bring a pot filled with plenty of salted water to a boil, then add your rice. Bring the water to a boil again, and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook the rice for 25 minutes or cook to packet instructions.
- Drain the rice, then transfer onto a tray lined with kitchen paper.
Preheat a wok or a large pot over high heat for at least 1.5-2 minutes.
Add about a tablespoon of oil, then add half of your chicken, stir occasionally until cooked. Transfer the chicken to a bowl, then do the same with the other half of your chicken.
Turn the heat down slightly, then add your egg. The egg will most likely cook in seconds, so keep stirring it quickly, and when it's cooked, transfer the egg to another bowl or container.
Add some more oil to the wok, then add your carrots, red onion, chopped broccoli and garlic and fry for about half a minute. Then cover with a lid and let the vegetables cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add your hoisin sauce, soy sauce and the frozen peas. Stir through until the peas are no longer frozen.
Add your rice and continue stirring. As the rice starts to heat back up in the wok, put your chicken and eggs back into the wok and keep stirring until everything is well combined.
- Season to taste with soy sauce, serve in 6 individual containers and store in the fridge or the freezer.
- If you aren't using medium grain brown rice, or if you aren't sure what kind of brown rice you have, read the packet instructions.
- When you cook the chicken, make sure you pre-heat the pot or the wok over high heat for a good amount of time, and then only add half of the chicken. Adding all of the chicken at one can cause the wok or pot to flood because it will be too overcrowded.
- When you add the eggs the pot or wok will be very hot, and will probably cook in seconds, so be careful not to overcook the egg.
- Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice.
- If you're vegetarian, and you want to replace the chicken. I recommend that you use marinated tofu instead.
- If you want to use white rice instead of brown rice, that is absolutely fine.