Vibrant beetroot fried rice—diced beets stir-fried with cooked rice and light spices. This versatile recipe is easy to tweak with your choice of additional vegetables and protein to make a delicious meal.
What I love about this dish is the vibrant pink colour that the beetroot infuses into the rice. To balance the natural sweetness, I like to add in some tanginess. Depending on what I have on hand, I find pickles or preserved lemons to work very well with the beets. The spice mix is rather mild—a pinch of paprika, turmeric and black pepper.
This recipe can really be tweaked to your liking. I usually use what I have on hand in terms of vegetables and protein. I chose to add some fresh button mushrooms, peas and sweet corn but you can either leave these out or opt for any other vegetables, e.g. broccoli, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers…
For the beetroot, I sometimes use them raw and stir fry them until cooked before adding the rice. At other times, when I have some leftover steamed beetroot, it makes this dish much quicker to prepare. The recipe uses raw beetroot. If you are using cooked beetroot, you don’t actually need to cook them any further, just stir fry with the rice and other vegetables.
Various cooked legumes like chickpeas, lentils, or stir-fried tofu can be tossed in or added on top when serving, for some added protein, to make this a complete meal. I used small fava beans which have a nice earthy roasted flavour.
Jasmine rice is my rice of choice in this dish, as I like the delicate slightly sticky texture and aroma. But you can certainly use other varieties too like brown rice or basmati rice. The texture will obviously be different in this case.
This beetroot fried rice is also onion and garlic free but feel free to add these in as per your preference.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or other cooking oil
- 340 g (2 medium-sized) beets, peeled and finely diced
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 - 6 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup frozen sweet corn
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- 600 g (3 cups) cooked jasmine rice, or basmati/brown rice
- 150g (¾ cup) cooked beans, I used small fava beans
- 2-3 pickled gherkins, or ½ preserved lemon
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- Fresh herbs, like coriander leaves (cilantro), basil, parsley or spring onions, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large, wide skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the diced beetroot and stir well. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until beets are starting to soften. You may cover the pan for quicker cooking.
If using cooked beets, skip the first step and add them together with the other vegetables in the following step.
Add the ginger (chopped garlic and onions, if using) and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Next add the other vegetables, sweet corn, peas and mushrooms, to the pan and stir well.
Add the spices, paprika, turmeric, and black pepper, and stir.
Continue to cook while stirring frequently for another 3 minutes or until the mushrooms start to sweat, and the other vegetables are half-cooked and still crisp.
Add the cooked rice, diced gherkins or preserved lemons and cooked beans; stir to combine. Finally, add the soy sauce to the pan and stir to combine.
Adjust salt to taste and continue stirring, until rice is hot throughout.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, basil, parsley or spring onions, and other toppings or accompaniments as desired. Serve warm.