Think fried rice is gluten free? Not if you use soy sauce, which is made with wheat gluten. Check out this Gluten Free Fried Rice made without soy sauce. It’s the easiest Gluten-Free Fried Rice recipe ever. You can even use leftover meat and vegetables for a delicious meal.
I know what you’re thinking. Fried rice is gluten free, right? Actually, no. The rice and vegetables certainly are gluten free – but meat and other toppings could have gluten. So make sure you check food labels thoroughly.
But the real culprit is soy sauce. Unless you buy gluten free tamari or gluten free soy sauce, the regular soy sauce you buy at grocery stores contains wheat gluten – as well as sodium benzoate and other preservatives.
Soy-Free Sauce For Fried Rice – How To Make It Gluten Free
There’s an easy swap to make your fried rice gluten free. Simply swap out the regular soy sauce for gluten free tamari, gluten free soy sauce, or soy-free Coconut Aminos. I find that all three make a great substitute for regular soy sauce.
Tamari and gluten-free soy sauce are the closest when it comes to flavor and consistency. They are darker in color and stronger in flavor. Coconut Aminos (derived from coconuts) is a bit lighter in color and flavor too – with a hint of sweetness. If you use Coconut Aminos you may need to adjust the recipe a bit and add a little more to your taste.
Once try these soy sauce alternatives, you’ll find they are so good. I even bring my own gluten-free soy sauce when I dine out for sushi (in a leak-proof travel container).
How to Make this Gluten-Free Fried Rice
Now this recipe is really flexible. In fact, for Chinese people, fried rice is used for leftovers. Take whatever leftover meat or vegetables on hand and stir fry it with rice.
I personally love it with luncheon meat (like ham or even bacon). I cut into squares and crisp them up in a skillet first, and then remove. Then cook up the eggs and then remove. That’s the secret. You need to cook the eggs and meat separately first. You could even cook the vegetables separately and add them at the very end. That helps to prevent them from getting soggy. Then cook up the onions and garlic, and add the rice and gluten-free soy sauce. Let it cook a while to melt the flavors together and make the rice glutinous (sticky in texture). At the end, you fold in the meat, eggs and vegetables, and mix well. Top with chopped green onions.
Fried Rice Combinations: Try it with shrimp with cabbage, thinly sliced chicken with peas, thinly sliced pork with bok choi, or even a simple vegetarian with scrambled eggs and green onions.
Rice Hacks: Use day-old cooked rice if possible. It works best for fried rice. But if you need to cook up rice beforehand, try to do a mix long grain and short grain rice to get the texture of long grain but the stickiness of short grain rice. It’s a trick I learned from my Chinese-born mom.
Best Rice to Use: Jasmine, calrose, short-grain rice, long-grain rice. Avoid Basmati rice – it’s too long and loose (aka the fried rice won’t stick together).
Can You Use Cauliflower Rice?
Yes, you can substitute white rice with cauliflower rice. Here’s a great tutorial on how to make cauliflower rice. Pre-cook the cauliflower rice, remove excess water, and then follow the instructions in this recipes. It’s important to remove the excess water or the fried rice may come out a bit watery.
How to Serve with this Gluten-Free Fried Rice
Ideally, this Gluten-Free Fried Rice is made with leftovers, so you don’t even need to serve it with anything. Easiest dinner ever! But you can serve it with these Gluten-Free Chinese Dumplings for an Asian-inspired meal or for Chinese New Year.
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Gluten Free Fried Rice
- 2 cups cold cooked rice half short grain, half long grain rice
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1/2 lb thinly sliced meat chicken, beef, pork, bacon, or ham cut into 2-inch strips about 1/2-inch thick)
- 2-3 large handfuls of uncooked vegetables such as Napa cabbage, green cabbage, bok choy, green and red peppers, snow peas or Chinese broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2 -3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green onion stalk chopped
- 2-3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
- 2-3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1-2 tsp organic sesame oil
- Add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet or wok and heat to medium. Saute meat until cooked thoroughly. Add a little salt if desired. Set aside.
- Add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan, add eggs, and scramble until done. Set aside.
- Again, add a little oil or lard and half the onion and garlic. Then, add vegetables. Cook until al dente. Don’t overcook or let it get too soft. Set aside.
- Add a little oil or lard, add the remaining garlic and onion and saute for a minute, then add the rice. Keep turning over the rice so the garlic and onion really gets in there. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the gluten-free soy sauce – sprinkling over all the rice to coat it evenly. Saute for another 4-5 minutes, keep turning the rice over to cook evenly. The goal is to have the sauce really get in and cook in the rice. The rice will become more glutinous and sticky. I like to cook it until the rice gets a little browned.
- Once the rice is complete, add the vegetables, meat, eggs, and sesame oil. Stir everything together to mix well for about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and garnish with green onions.
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / judelemari79
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