This vegan cabbage fried rice recipe is ready to enjoy in 25 minutes and is a delicious way to use leftover rice.

A bowl of cabbage fried rice with green onion and green peas.

About the Recipe

Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable and adding it to this quick cabbage fried rice recipe is a great way to include more of in your diet.

The recipe features leftover rice, green cabbage, green onion, green peas, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce for a flavorful dish that’s sure to be a hit on the dinner table.

I love mixing this rice with kimchi or sauerkraut for extra flavor and nutrition. You can serve it on its own as a side dish or pair it with your choice of protein such as crispy baked tofu or tempeh. You could also mix this tofu scramble into it as an alternative to scrambled egg.

If serving cabbage fried rice as a side dish, it pairs well with dishes like Thai basil eggplant, lentil dahl or Kung pao cauliflower.

It also makes a great base to use in bowls like this teriyaki chickpea rice bowl, peanut tofu bowl or tofu edamame buddha bowl or for serving with a curry like cauliflower chickpea curry or butternut squash curry.

This is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for quick weeknight dinners, especially if you use coleslaw mix – it’s so easy!

For more cabbage recipes, check out my ramen noodle stir fry, red curry noodles, drunken noodles and ramen noodle salad.

Looking for low-carb fried rice? You’ll love this healthy cauliflower fried rice or vegan pineapple cashew cauliflower rice.

Ingredients

All of the ingredients gathered for making a cabbage fried rice recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text overlay and the list can be found on the corresponding blog page.
  • Oil: You can use any oil for cooking such as olive oil or avocado oil. Butter is a suitable substitute.
  • Onion: Use white onion. Shallot would also work.
  • Cabbage: You can use green cabbage, Napa cabbage or prepared coleslaw mix/shredded cabbage. I often make this recipe with a bag of coleslaw mix to make it super quick and easy. You can also substitute red cabbage but I do prefer a green cabbage variety for this recipe.
  • Garlic: Lots of fresh/raw garlic is key for fried rice! I wouldn’t recommend using garlic powder.
  • Rice: You’ll need pre-cooked rice, preferably a day old or at least cooked a few hours before. Jasmine or basmati rice work well. You can substitute brown rice if you prefer to use a whole grain.
  • Frozen Green Peas: Any frozen peans work. You could also use canned and drained green peas. Edamame works well as a substitution (or addition).
  • Soy Sauce: You can substitute gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free recipe.
  • Rice Vinegar: You can use unseasoned or seasoned rice vinegar.

Please note the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and detailed instructions if located at the end of the post.

Variations and Additions

This recipe is super easy to customize with your favorite vegetables or grains. Here are some ideas:

  • For vegetable additions, try diced carrot, corn, bok choy, snap peas, bean sprouts, bell pepper or mushroom.
  • You can use cooked and cooled quinoa or farro instead of rice.
  • Fresh Thai basil and cilantro work well for herbs. Stir in 1 cup freshly chopped herbs at the end.
  • For spicy fried rice, add 2 tsp sambal oelek or sriracha when you add the soy sauce. You could also use up to 1 tsp red chili flakes or cayenne pepper or just serve the rice with a drizzle of Sriracha or other hot sauce you enjoy. You could could also add minced jalapeno with the other veggies.
  • Add a few handfuls of baby spinach at the end and mix until wilted.
  • As is, the recipe is Asian-inspired, to make it with Indian spices, omit the sesame oil and rice vinegar and add 2 tsp yellow curry powder or 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp coriander powder.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the veggies.

Cabbage, onion and garlic cooking in a large skillet.

Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, chopped cabbage and white parts of the green onions. Season the veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another minute while stirring.

Step 2: Fry the rice.

Rice, peas and cabbage cooking in a large skillet.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the rice, peas, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar.

Spread the rice in an even layer and let cook for 1-2 minutes without disturbing.

Stir well, scraping any bits off the bottom and spread it in an even layer again, cook another 2-3 minutes until heated through and browned and crisped to your liking, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rest of the green onions, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

A large skillet of cabbage fried rice with green peas and onion.

Recipe FAQs

Is fried rice good for you?

Restaurant fried rice tends to be a high-calorie dish laden with oil and lacking in protein, not exactly good for you, but everything in moderation.

When making homemade fried rice, you can control the amount of oil and what else goes into the dish, making it a healthier alternative than ordering from a restaurant.

This version of fried rice is fairly low in oil and contains nutritious ingredients like cabbage, green peas and onions. I would suggest pairing it with a source of protein for a more balanced meal.

If you’d like to use a whole grain in this recipe, you can use brown rice instead of white rice.

Is fried rice with cabbage gluten-free?

The recipe is not gluten-free as written. Please use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of sauce for a gluten-free recipe.

Can you freeze cabbage rice?

You can freeze cooled cabbage fried rice in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

How long does cabbage rice keep?

Leftover fried rice will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in a sealed container. Reheat leftovers in a pan or in the microwave until heated through.

Why should I use leftover rice?

Freshly cooked rice is too soft, moist and fluffy for fried rice. Leftover cooked and cooled rice dries out and firms up, so the grains keep their texture when fried so while you can use freshly cooked rice, just know the final dish will have a mushier texture than typical fried rice.

You can use day-old rice or rice that’s been cooked 3-4 hours before hand and chilled on a pan in the fridge. Sometimes, I’ll also dry it out in the oven on a baking sheet at a low temperature until dry and slightly crisp.

A bowl of cabbage fried rice with green peas and green onion beside a large skillet of fried rice with a wooden spatula in it.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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A large skillet of cabbage fried rice with green peas and onion.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Cabbage Fried Rice

This cabbage rice is the perfect recipe to use up leftover rice. Serve as an easy side dish, pair with with any protein or serve with a curry or stir fry for a hearty weeknight meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Deryn Macey

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil divided
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped (190 g/1 ½ cups)
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix 280 g
  • 6 green onion thinly sliced, green and white parts separated (30 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated (20 g)
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled white rice like Jasmine or Basmati (about 600 g)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas 170 g
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari 45 mL
  • 2 tsp sesame oil 10 g
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar 10 mL
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook Veggies: In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onions, cabbage and white parts of green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 min, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender. Add the garlic. Cook for another 1 min, stirring, until fragrant. 
  • Fry Rice: Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan. Then add cooked rice, green peas, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Spread the rice in an even layer and cook for 1-2 minutes without disturbing. Stir, scraping any bits off the bottom and spread evenly again. Cook another 3-4 min, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to brown and slightly crisp up. 
  • Serve: Stir in the remaining green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

Use day old rice or rice cooked at least 3-4 hours beforehand and chilled in the fridge on a baking pan. Freshly cooked rice is too moist and will result in mushy fried rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 253mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g