February 27, 2014

Brussel Sprout Fried Rice

by IsaChandra

Serves 4
Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 30 minutes

Brussel Sprout Fried Rice

I know, I know, I put Brussel Sprouts in everything. Well, until someone invents an even more awesome vegetable*, I will continue to overuse them. Even fried rice is not safe from that little cruciferous flavor bomb! Not that anyone is complaining.

This version is fresh and aromatic with the addition of a million herbs and scallions. And pinenuts are a surprisingly tantalizing addition to fried rice! A small handful goes a long way to adding another decadent layer of flavor. You can top with some gingery tofu or something, if you’d like it to be an entree. Or you can toss in some browned tofu. Or simply serve in addition to a bigger Thai-inspired spread. Or just be like “It’s fried rice for dinner/breakfast/elevensies!” and eat the whole darn thing.

*Maybe a more awesome vegetable has been invented? Google “lollipop kale.” OMG.

Recipe Notes

~The rice has to be cold for this recipe to work correctly, otherwise it will get mushy and sticky. Many supermarkets carry frozen bags of rice for reasonable prices. I’ve made this recipe with a standard 20 oz bag of rice in mind (Whole Foods has frozen Jasmine rice, even.) But you can certainly freeze your own! Just steam it up, fluff it and place in a mesh strainer. Just sticks the strainer in the fridge to cool comletely, that way it will cook quickly and evenly. Then place rice in a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. I always keep a bag at the ready for quick weeknight meals, veggie burgers, what have you. For this recipe, you can just toss the rice into the pan frozen.

~I love the richness of coconut oil here, but if you wanna use another veggie oil, I won’t be mad at you.

~If you’re not feeling the pinenuts, try some roasted cashews!

~The agave is only for the very very slightest hint of sweetness to elevate the flavors. If you don’t have any, dissolve some sugar in the soy sauce and that’ll work just fine!

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, divided
12 oz Brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 cup finely chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice [see note]
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon agave

Sriracha to serve

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Saute the Brussel sprouts and carrots in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes, until Brussel sprouts are lightly charred. Toss in the pine nuts and cook for two minutes, tossing often, until toasted. Transfer everything to a large plate and set aside.

Lower heat a bit to medium. In 1 teaspoon oil, saute the basil, cilantro, scallions, garlic and ginger for about a minute. The herbs will wilt and everything will smell aromatic and wonderful. Now add the rice, red pepper flakes and the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often.

Add the Brussels mixture back to the pan, and drizzle in the soy sauce, lime juice and agave. Cook for 3 more minutes or so, until rice is lightly browned. Taste for salt. Serve with plenty of Sriracha!



  • February 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm: Lizz

    Um, yeah, that looks super duper delicious. With tofu? Yes, please! :-)

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm: Chiara

    Totally going to make this next week, looks delicious!! And of course Brussel Sprouts are the best thing ever, totally agree :)

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:39 pm: Katrina @ WVS

    Oh man, this looks great!!

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm: Jeshua

    It’s like you’re reading my refrigerator’s mind, All I need is the lime!

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm: Jenni

    Gone are the days when Brussels were a stinky vegetable nobody would touch with a ten foot fork! So glad, because I’m obsessed with them too. This looks fabulous! As does everything you make…

  • February 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm: Kathleen

    In the words of the great philosopher,Joker, “Where does she get those wonderful toys!” This one’s going straight to my weeknight repertoire. And there is no such thing as too many Brussels Sprout recipes! What happens this summer when they go away? Lollipop Kale I guess!

  • February 28, 2014 at 12:16 am: Fintan

    Any suggestions what a good vegan Irish lad could use instead of red pepper? Never ever found it anywhere here and as you use it so much Isa I’ve tried paprika, chilli a mixture of the two but I’m never sure if the flavour is quite right. Any suggestions? PS happy paddys day in advance. For me and my missus it’s a green day every day.

  • February 28, 2014 at 12:38 am: Lauren

    Crazy as much as others love brussel sprouts.. I just can’t get behind them. This recipe sounds amazing though – perhaps subbing with chopped broccoli? I’ll have to try. :)

  • February 28, 2014 at 1:41 am: Leslie

    Fintan, they’re also called “crushed red pepper flakes”. You shouldn’t be without them. I’m happy to send you some from Seattle. Nothing weird, just wanting to help a vegan in need. pilatesbyleslie@comcast.net

  • February 28, 2014 at 1:44 am: Chris

    looks awesome, I will totally make this. I love the chili paste they sell at the Asian market near me, much hotter than srirarcha!

  • February 28, 2014 at 2:34 am: Kris

    Convenient frozen rice and Brussels sprouts? Love it!!

  • February 28, 2014 at 5:03 am: Hillary

    Looks fabulous! Thanks

  • February 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm: Karen Faivre

    I agree. Brussels sprouts are the most fabulous vegetable!

  • February 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm: Heather @ French Press

    LOVE this – and I’m pretty sure i could eat ti all day long

  • February 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm: Laura Dembowski

    I absolutely love Brussels and put them in everything too! I have been wanting to make fried rice at home so this will be my next Brussels sprout adventure!

  • March 1, 2014 at 2:46 am: Randi (laughfrodisiac)

    yeah YEAHHHH! Awesome!

  • March 1, 2014 at 9:17 am: Gil

    Has anyone tried to replace coconut oil with something else? I have about 10 different types of oil in my kitchen and I’m loathe to buy another type.

  • March 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm: Allison @ Clean Wellness

    This is a Brussels sprout revelation! My favourite part of Thai food is the fresh basil and cilantro, so I like the heavy-handedness with the herbs. Good idea about adding the tofu -I think I’ll do just that!

  • March 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm: Miss Lynx

    This sounds great – can’t wait to try making it! I am totally in agreement with putting brussel sprouts in everything – love them!

    I actually converted a formerly brussel-sprout-hating friend of mine recently. I made a brussel sprout dish for a potluck I was hosting and she said she couldn’t stand brussel sprouts, but she’d try a bite just to be sporting. She ended up eating a whole serving and asking for the recipe, and last I heard was eagerly seeking out other recipes that treated them in a similar way.

    What I’d done with them was to cut them in half, put them in a baking dish drizzled with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a generous handful each of pecans and dried cranberries, and some sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and roast them at around 400° until they were slightly browned. It’s amazing how flavourful roasted brussel sprouts are! I think they get a bit caramelized or something…

  • March 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm: Traci

    Ohhhhh so good is how this looks! A unique take on fried rice–saving this recipe. I just found your website and love it so far! Can’t wait to look around further.

  • March 2, 2014 at 2:52 am: Caitlin

    This was so yummy! I used a mixture of brown basmati, red and black rice and it had the most amazing texture! Wouldn’t have thought to do sprouts in this way. Thanks a million and looking forward to seeing you when you visit Melbourne! :-D

  • March 2, 2014 at 4:19 am: Julie T.

    Holy cow, this was SO good! Everyone in my house already thought you were a rock star, but now the word genius is being used too! Bravo!

  • March 2, 2014 at 7:17 am: Kelli

    Oh yum, this looks fabulous. Why didn’t I ever think of putting my beloved Brussels Sprouts into fried rice before? That must be remedied immediately!

  • March 2, 2014 at 7:25 am: Lizard100

    I think sprouts are amazing too. We recently had them in a curry. My favourite is with gnocchi and blue cheese!

  • March 3, 2014 at 2:51 am: Luv What You Do

    I just bought brussel sprouts. What a great idea to use them in fried rice!

  • March 3, 2014 at 4:59 am: Sarah @ The New Loaf

    Yum! I love brussel sprouts. That salad looks so delicious.

  • March 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm: Allison

    Made this last night and it was amazing. I <3 brussels sprouts!!

  • March 4, 2014 at 12:09 am: Paula M

    Made this tonight and it was amazing! I had some homemade kimchi on the side which turned out to be the perfect combination for this dish. Even my 2 year old got seconds!

  • March 4, 2014 at 1:01 am: Sarah

    Made this tonight with Trader Joe’s shredded brussel sprouts/cabbage/kale mix and Baked Tofu from Isa Does It– fabulous! I was a little worried that it might be too dry for me (I’m a saucy vegan!) but the combination of flavors was really out of this world. Thanks again, Isa!

  • March 4, 2014 at 2:36 am: Doran

    Oh holy hell, this was so good….I used pistachios instead of pine nuts, bragg’s instead of soy sauce and added garlicy/gingery tofu….so good! Thanks, Isa!

  • March 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm: Laurie

    Brussel Sprouts!!! This seems like such a natural fit; I can’t wait to try it out.

  • March 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm: Rachael O

    Ok so I’m very newly vegan and this was my first recipe I have followed and it is lovely!!! Love Brussel sprouts. x

  • March 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm: Tammy

    My favorite thing about brussel sprouts is how they grow. How can anything that looks so cool not be delish?

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  • March 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm: Becky

    Made this earlier in the week and it was really great! Omni housemate said she could eat it every day. I used cashews since I didn’t have pine nuts on hand. I also doubled the recipe in my huge skillet, and it turned out great.

  • March 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm: Angell

    This was so amazing. And even more amazing(-ly), my five year old — who won’t eat fried rice in general and on principle — LOVED it!!!!!!!

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  • March 9, 2014 at 8:36 am: Skinny girl

    Omg this looks amazing i love me some Brussels

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  • March 12, 2014 at 8:28 am: Bearnard

    This was SO GOOD! I don’t know how you managed to balance spicy, savory and sweet like that but it kind of blew my mind.

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  • March 13, 2014 at 2:06 am: Alison

    I added some broccoli for some added protein and I mean who doesn’t love broccoli too! Easiest stir fry I’ve ever made. Great to work with the cast iron too! Thank you!

  • March 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm: Geralyn

    The flavors were fantastic, but I found it a bit on the dry side. Perhaps I need to add a bit more soy and/or lime juice.

  • March 18, 2014 at 1:23 am: Susan Roth

    I have now made this twice in one week! It is amazing and even my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend loves it!! Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  • March 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm: JennO

    Here to say it doesn’t only look great (your pics are da bomb…are people still saying that? well, this peep is :) it tastes great too and the leftovers are ah-mazing. I used frozen brussels to make it even easier plus it was super-duper cold out so when the rice was done I put pot and all out on my porch to chill…sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. Thanks for once again sharing a mutual passion for all foods vegan.

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  • March 20, 2014 at 4:06 am: Allergy Cookie

    This looks amazing! We are allergic to both pinenuts and soy. I’m confident I could find a suitable replacement for the pinenuts but do you have any suggestions on a soy substitute, or have you tried it by just omitting the soy sauce?

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  • March 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm: Rita

    This was even better than I thought it would be!! The pinenuts were an unexpected addition, but I can’t imagine it without them! I followed the recipe to the letter, but also added a touch of sesame oil and an extra 2 Tbs of red pepper flakes…. incredible! Your recipes just get better and better, Isa!

  • March 21, 2014 at 2:25 am: Sophie

    Terrific. Made it with black rice instead of jasmine and the results were tremendous. It’s QUICK, and the coconut oil is actually not optional. You must use coconut oil. You will hate yourself until you die if you do not.

  • March 21, 2014 at 8:23 am: Susan

    I loved it. I would make it more than once. No offense, but next time I may skip the freezing of the rice step to see what I think.

  • March 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm: Garage Gyms

    This looks pretty good. It’s actually the only way I can enjoy brussel sprouts is to cook them with a lot of other things! But since they’re so good for me, it must be done.

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  • March 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm: Alex

    We feel your pain here at Veganosity: we’re in love with Brussels sprouts too! The other day we made the best vegan balsamic roast brussels sprouts. Here’s the link if you want to take a look: http://www.veganosity.com/food/balsamic-roasted-brussels-sprouts-and-red-wine-spritzer-tgif/ Anyway, love the recipe and hope to see more sprouts in the future!

  • March 26, 2014 at 1:16 am: Viola

    Love it! I made it with a bunch of substitutions. Broccoli for Brussels sprouts because it looked better in the store. Parsley for cilantro. Frozen brown rice. No oil saute with mushroom broth. Braggs instead of soy sauce. Easy on the agave & heavy on the red pepper. I want thirds but I’m too full to eat them. I might try Thai basil next time.

  • March 27, 2014 at 1:57 am: Ashley

    When we saw this recipe posted, we were like oh my god is this for real? We love brussel sprouts and who doesn’t love fried rice?! Don’t know what took us so long but finally made this for dinner tonight. Better than we had imagined. So incredibly good. I thought it was pretty easy to throw together. And a nice variation!

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  • March 29, 2014 at 1:23 am: Corrin Radd

    I love brussels sprouts so this was a must make and we did tonight and loved it, thanks.

  • March 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm: Maritsa

    Made this for lunch today and it was great! My kitchen smelled heavenly from the herbs. Thanks Isa :-)

  • March 31, 2014 at 11:46 pm: David

    If you just put rice in the freezer it forms a block. I know better than this. I should have spread it out on something to freeze and then put in a bag. I tried breaking it up the best I could. Now I have small chunks of frozen rice in the pan burning. I am frustrated.

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  • April 4, 2014 at 6:23 am: Emmy

    This looks so good and on top of that is a healthy meal. Will definitely try and make it. Thanks!

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  • April 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm: Lori

    Made yesterday for potluck. My cilantro hating kids loved it, as did everyone else. You are a national treasure, Isa!

  • April 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm: Lori

    I made this twice this week – once for a potluck and once for my family. My kids loved it and were feeling the sriracha love! Yum!

  • April 8, 2014 at 9:24 am: Kym

    I made this tonight, with tofu I had frozen, then thawed which made it very firm.
    I actually had everything in the house that I needed…..
    Your recipe was delicious!

  • April 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm: VeggieChristine

    This was AMAZING!! I used SWEET soy sauce (recap manis) for extra flavor!!! I have made it a few times already, and just toss in whatever veggies I have on hand!

  • April 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm: Kristine

    Made this a couple of weeks ago and, like everything else I’ve tried from your site, it did not disappoint. Absolutely delish! Thanks so much!!!

  • April 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm: Davi

    First note, I’m an EXTREME novice in the kitchen, and a very newly vegan. I had some VERY non-vegans over last night and I gave this recipe a try. Not only was it SUPER easy (as in, I couldn’t mess it up), but I loved it, and THEY went nuts over it! Of course, they commented it would be even more delicious with shrimp or chicken, which is a valid point. Next time I’ll up the red pepper flakes for a stronger kick but otherwise this is perfection. THANK YOU!

  • April 15, 2014 at 2:44 am: S.

    Just made this, and it came out really great! Good recipe, and easy enough for people like me, so cool :)

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  • April 16, 2014 at 11:57 pm: TomF

    I’ve made this twice now.. and the whole family absolutely loves it! The only modification I make, is switching out the jasmine rice with bulgur. It’s far more nutritious and adds it’s own interesting flavor to this dish. Thx Isa! I bought your new big cookbook and everything so far is fantastic!!

  • April 21, 2014 at 3:46 am: Bryan

    Made this tonight. Words cannot describe how freaking AMAZING this was!! The only deviation I made was used shelled pistachios instead of pine nuts. Incredibly delicious. Thank you so much again Isa. I am so glad I found your blog. Lovin’ the vegan life!!!!! Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!

  • April 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm: amarose

    LOVED this! Made as written (I usually tinker, but didn’t here), and it was perfect! DH loves brussels, and with recipes like this, I’m becoming a convert :-) We’ll definitely have to change up the veggies, though, since this is something we both want to be able to make all year long. In double batches :-)

  • April 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm: Carolina

    Hi. I had difficulties with the frozen rice. I had chunks and while the rice lower side was getting brown and the herbs were starting to get burned I had to use a knife to help crumble the rice chunks. (I made the frozen rice and packed it in plastic bags with space, it was not crampt)

    • May 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm: IsaChandra

      For perfect frozen rice, spread it out on parchment to cool before freezing.

  • April 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm: Grant from The Sushi Knife Store

    Very creative and tasty looking dish! :)

  • April 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm: Miriam

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. One note: you misspelled Brussels! It has an “s” at the end of it (like the city, Brussels in Belgium). When I do a search on your site for all your delicious Brussels sprout recipes, it leaves some of these out because of the spelling error!

  • April 26, 2014 at 6:31 pm: Josh

    Made it today for lunch! Fantastic!!!! 10/10 will make again

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    Remove the oil and sweat the veggies, reduce by 2/3’s of calories

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  • April 30, 2014 at 3:05 am: Lisa

    I made this and loved it. I added chicken-free strips, and it was quite a meal. I agree with a previous poster, though about problems with the frozen rice. Some of the ingredients were starting to burn while I still had huge chunks of frozen rice. I will not freeze the rice next time. Overall, great recipe!

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  • May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm: Hollie

    This is wonderful. I made it last night — I didn’t actually “measure” the brussels (just used the last of what I had) and it barely all fit in my pan, but regardless. SO DELICIOUS. I just had leftovers for lunch and was pretty sad when it was gone.

  • May 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm: Rachel

    I made this with quinoa instead of rice, and I forgot to add the lime juice, but it is still so delicious. I would have never thought to have put basil and cilantro in my stir-fry! WONDERFUL FLAVOR! :D :D :D

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  • May 20, 2014 at 11:11 am: Wendy

    This was delicious. I added tofu which had been marinated in sesame oil and tamari, then sauted.

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  • May 20, 2014 at 11:12 pm: Monique

    Delicious! I made it with brown rice tonight and it was wonderful. I didn’t have garlic so I just bumped up the amount of ginger.

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  • June 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm: Corinne

    This is one of my favorite recipes ever! I’ve made it multiple times and recommend to anyone looking for an easy but still flavorful & delicious recipe.

  • June 4, 2014 at 1:00 am: Elizabeth Sharp

    This recipe is amazing and has become a fast favourite! I have made it for family and friends and they all love it. I eat it far more often than is reasonable.

  • June 12, 2014 at 12:19 am: Audrey

    I made this as a side for some orange teriyaki seitan. SO good. I might have gone a little overboard with the Sriracha – next time I’ll cut back – but otherwise it’s just about perfect. The pine nuts are an amazing addition.

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  • June 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm: Jen

    Delish…I modified it a bit: added Thai basil plus a bit of the regular kind, used cashews instead of pine nuts, chives from the garden instead of scallions, and added crimini mushrooms, white onion and pan fried tofu…I also threw in some organic Hoisin sauce I had around which added a bit more sweetness along with the maple syrup I used instead of agave. oh yeah, and used brown rice…it makes a great one pot meal! Thanks for this, and all your fantastic recipes!

  • July 2, 2014 at 12:30 am: Claire

    Omg dayummmm this is good! I used a bag of shredded cruciferous veggies from Trader Joe’s, frozen cilantro cubes, onion instead of scallion and it was still amazing!

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  • July 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm: Rep Fitness

    My girlfriend generally doesn’t like chinese food, but I think this qualifies as just “good food.” It’s actually been a while since I’ve had fried rice and I love the addition of all the healthy veggies.

  • July 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm: Sarah Burns

    I just made this and it’s SUPER awesome! I love brussel sprouts so it’s a winner. Excellent combo with the coconut oil and Tamari. Someone else said tofu, thanks for the idea I will add that next time!

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  • July 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm: Mallory

    I have made this SO many times since I first saw it. It’s a staple at my house. I know rice is not a super balanced meal, but we definitely just eat 2 huge plates of it for dinner when I make it!! =D

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  • August 31, 2014 at 2:34 am: Deborah

    Made this tonight for dinner- excellent! I didn’t have fresh ginger so I used candied ginger and left out the agave. I think the sweet touch was just right.
    This recipe is so much more than what I thought of as “fried rice”. All the herbs really made it fabulous. Of course the brussels sprouts are terrific too and I’m always looking for recipes that include them. Thank you Isa!

  • September 5, 2014 at 1:07 am: lizzy22

    This is amazing, I made a couple of substitutions but I love the taste the coconut oil gives it. Thanks for another staple!

  • September 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm: susan

    I make something really similar but use left over quinoa instead of rice. I always mean to make enough for lunch the next day but somehow the family eats the whole pan. Thanks!

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  • September 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm: Jennifer

    Any ideas on a substitute for soy here? My son is allergic and I breastfeed.

  • September 28, 2014 at 12:15 am: Michelle

    I made this the other night, but modified a bit. I didn’t think the little ones could deal with the red pepper. My husband is Jamaican, and since there was already ginger, coconut milk, and lime, instead of red pepper I threw in a couple of TBSPs of Jamaican curry powder, and more like 3/4 cup coconut milk. And lots of fresh thyme. My only negative thing was a slight bitterness from the Brussels sprouts. Abby suggestions on countering that?

  • September 28, 2014 at 12:17 am: Michelle

    Darn, ignore that comment. Was meant for a different recipe. Oops.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 6:52 am: sharon

    This is the first time I’ve made one of your recipes as my daughter’s vegan boyfriend came for dinner and I wanted to serve a vegan meal that wasn’t just a bunch of salads and humus with pitta. I live in Haifa where it’s not always easy to get exotic ingredients but I found the coconut oil and the recipe was fantastic!!!!! I added tofu, cubed and marinated in some teriyaki sauce, which substituted for the agave (that’s just a little too exotic for this market). A very substantial, healthy and tasty meal. I’ll be checking out your recipes more often now. Thanks Isa.

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm: Prepper Steve

    I love Brussel Sprouts and this looks delicious. Thanks for the post.

  • November 19, 2014 at 12:32 am: Loraine

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  • November 20, 2014 at 1:30 am: jess b.

    Ugh. I overcooked my rice and it’s pretty mushy. Will it fry up okay once it’s been frozen or should I just make it over again and use the mush for something else? Any advice?