This fried farro with spinach and edamame makes a delicious alternative to traditional fried rice. This recipe is vegan, high in protein and easy to make with just a handful of simple ingredients.
What is farro?
Farro is a variety of wheat considered to be an ancient grain. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture. Farro can be used in salads, soups, stir fries and anywhere else you’d use whole grains like rice and quinoa.
How to Cook Farro
Farro can be cooked stovetop or in an Instant Pot. To make farro stovetop:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 1 cup of uncooked farro, cover and reduce heat.
- Lightly simmer for 20 minutes until the farro is tender.
Find full instructions for Instant Pot farro here.
Quick Tip: Before cooking, rinse uncooked farro under cold water for 60 seconds to remove the powdery reside it often has.
Farro is a delicious, nutty and chewy whole grain that works well as a stand-in for rice in this variation on traditional fried rice.
- Farro. One cup of uncooked farro will produce enough cooked farro for this recipe. I recommend making the farro the day before and chilling it in the fridge overnight for best results.
- Vegetables. The recipe calls for snow peas, green onions, carrots and corn but you can easily add more veggies or swap any of those ones out. Corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli and zucchini all work well in this recipe.
- Sesame oil. Sesame oil gives the dish that delicious “fried rice” flavour. I don’t use a lot of oil in cooking but I think sesame oil for fried rice is a must! I only use a bit – just 2 tsp for the whole recipe. It can be substituted with water or broth if you want the recipe to be oil-free.
- Edamame. Usually I add peas to fried rice recipes but I for this variation, I used edamame instead for a boost of protein. If you prefer, you can omit the edamame and add green peas and/or tofu or tempeh.
- Sweetener. The recipe really benefits from a little natural sweetener. I recommend coconut sugar or maple syrup here but it can be omitted if needed.
Why cold farro?
Much like fried rice, fried farro is best made with cooked and completely chilled farro, ideally refrigerated overnight. Warm farro doesn’t fry as well and tends to clump in the pan.
In a pinch, use can fresh cooked farro that’s been cooled in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 15 but leftover refrigerated farro is the best!
This recipe is very easy to make. If you have cooked farro ready to go, it will be ready about 20 minutes.
Step 1. Saute the carrots, onions, garlic, white parts of green onion and ginger.
Step 2. Add the snow peas, green parts of the green onion and cook for a few more minutes.
If you’re using the red pepper flakes, add them now as well. I’d recommend using them just to give the dish a bit of pop. If you’re sensitive to spice, use 1/4 tsp. If you like a little heat, use 1/2 tsp. If you want it SPICY, feel free to add more!
Step 3. Add the farro, sweetener, edamame, corn, soy sauce and black pepper.
Step 4. Mix in the spinach.
Once the spinach is mixed in, season with additional soy sauce and pepper, if you feel it needs it. It’s now ready to enjoy! I like to serve it topped with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped cashews.
- Roasted Squash Farro Salad
- Mediterranean Farro Salad Bowls
- Vegan Jambalaya
- Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Mushroom Fried Rice
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (15 g)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (10 g)
- 1 cup (145 g) chopped carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- 1 bunch scallions, white part finely chopped (about 1/4 cup or 30 g), green part roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup or 35 g)
- 1 cup (120 g) snow peas, about 1 big handful
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cups cooked and chilled farro (1 cup uncooked)
- 1 cup (170 g) cooked, shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup (85 g) corn, fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1.5 tbsp coconut sugar maple syrup
- 2 cups (60 g) or big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- Add the sesame oil, carrot, garlic, ginger and the finely chopped white bits of the scallions to a large skillet or wok. Bring to medium high heat and saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the green parts of the scallions, the snow peas and the red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add everything except the spinach and stir to combine. Let sit for about 2 minutes to brown the farro, stir and repeat, mixing any browned bits on the bottom on the pan back in.
- Mix in the spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes until the spinach is wilted. Season with additional soy sauce and pepper, if desired.
- Enjoy right away topped with chopped cashews and chopped fresh cilantro.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
My go-to method for cooking farro is in an Instant Pot. Find instructions for easy Instant Potfarro here.
Keywords: healthy, plant-based, rice