Zero-Waste ‘Leftovers’ Fried Rice

Fried rice is a fantastic way to make a delicious dinner from what’s already in the fridge – this recipe also incorporates package free alternatives to common fried rice ingredients

Why get takeaway when you can make it at home I say!  Rice is such a versatile ingredient because it just takes on whatever flavour you add to it – so the base for this can be whatever vegetables, sauces and herbs you have in your fridge.

Common fried rice ingredients include diced veg, corn, soy sauce, a protein, and a garnish of chilli and shallot.  It’s a pretty good recipe to incorporate into your zero waste regime because you can throw almost any vegetable and protein source into the rice, add some soy sauce and BAM it’s dinner.

A 2:1 ratio of rice to veg/other ingredients is ideal, but nobody is judging or counting so feel free to adapt as you need.

A few ‘zero waste’ tips for this recipe:

  • Use fresh corn instead of tinned – it works just as well, just make sure you cook it a bit longer
  • Throw in whatever combination of veggies you like – zucchini, broccoli, carrot, celery, squash, capsicum, roasted pumpkin(?) – use what you have!
  • If you’re after a vegan alternative to the fried omelette on top, try frying up a chickpea omelette (below) – but it’s optional!
  • Protein isn’t a necessity, but I like adding tofu to this.  I’m lucky enough to find it package free, but any cooked beans such as black turtle beans will do just fine
  • Experiment with different herbs, nuts and spices for your garnish!  I make this recipe different every single time so this is just a suggestion!

Makes approximately 8 serves (so perfect for meal prep)


  • 1/2 C water or vegetable/sesame/canola oil
  • Corn kernels from 2 cobbs corn
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 5cm stalk ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated or diced
  • Stalks of 4 broccoli, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1.5 Cups cooked adzuki beans – or chopped tofu, or other beans
  • 6 cups cooked rice – preferably brown
  • 1/2 C tamari or soy sauce – if you don’t have this throw in a few tablespoons of your favourite curry paste
  • 1/4 C mirin (optional)
  • Optional – 2/3 C cashews, peanuts or other nuts
  • 1 bunch garlic chives, coriander, or mint – chopped
  • Chopped chilli, sesame seeds, sliced shallot to serve
  • Optional chickpea omelette, sliced (recipe below)

Chickpea Omelette:

  • 1 C chickpea flour
  • 1 C water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp kala namak (optional – just gives it more eggy flavour)

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth – crepe consistency.  Heat oil in a non-stick frypan on medium, add mixture in 1/4 cup intervals and spread thinly as you would an omelette.  It will cook quickly, so flip after about 30 seconds to ensure both sides crisp up – don’t overcook as it will set upon cooling.  Repeat with remaining mixture, set aside

  1. Heat the oil in a large wok, fry pan or saucepan on HIGH.  Saute the onion, garlic, corn, ginger until softened.  Add the rest of the vegetables and saute for 2 more minutes until they soften slightly – you want to get some colour on these so don’t worry if they stick and start to crisp up!
  2. Add the diced tofu or beans and saute until golden brown
  3. Add the rice and stir until the oil and vegetables are evenly distributed.  Throw in the nuts and sauces and heat through for a further minute – let some of the rice sit and develop colour on the bottom of the pan for a while.  Check the taste and if needed add a few pinches of salt or some more soy/tamari.
  4. Set aside – stir through the chives/herbs.  Scoop into bowls and top with chilli, sesame and shallots (and some chilli sauce if you want) – top with the omelette if desired.

Fried Rice

Nutrition Facts – includes chickpea omelette

8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories347.5
  • Total Fat1.0 g
  • Saturated Fat0.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0.2 g
  • Cholesterol0.0 mg
  • Sodium2,682.8 mg
  • Potassium343.4 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate67.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber7.8 g
  • Sugars8.9 g
  • Protein16.3 g
  • Vitamin A63.5 %
  • Vitamin B-126.3 %
  • Vitamin B-639.7 %
  • Vitamin C99.8 %
  • Vitamin D0.0 %
  • Vitamin E1.6 %
  • Calcium6.4 %
  • Copper10.0 %
  • Folate24.9 %
  • Iron24.9 %
  • Magnesium12.2 %
  • Manganese46.0 %
  • Niacin36.5 %
  • Pantothenic Acid9.4 %
  • Phosphorus15.8 %
  • Riboflavin37.0 %
  • Selenium15.6 %
  • Thiamin54.3 %
  • Zinc7.8 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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