This vegan dragonfruit fried rice, 火龙果炒饭 (Huǒlóng guǒ chǎofàn) is delicious with its vibrant colors that will surely make you happy just by looking at it.
Fried rice is definitely my favorite go-to meal as it’s flexible, quick, and best to include a variety of vegetables, perfect for those clean-out-the-fridge days. Fried rice is also called Nasi Goreng in Malay or 炒饭 (Chǎofàn) in Mandarin. It’s one of the staple foods in our household.
But have you tried Dragonfruit fried rice before? It was about 10 years ago when I first tried this fantastic and fragrant fried rice at Mama Sayang restaurant, Malaysia. When the chef suggested this dish for me to try, I was quite skeptical and wondered how this sweet fruit will work with a savory dish. To my surprise, the hint of sweetness lends the perfect touch to the fried rice without overpowering the taste. It was a WOW for me.
Dragonfruit has been a popular fruit for many years and you can see it’s been used in different dishes; sweet or savory. Although it’s often used as a smoothie, dessert, it tastes equally well in savory dishes like this.
Fried Rice Cooking Tips
- Overnight vs Freshly cooked rice – I find that they both worked quite well but for freshly cooked rice, you’ll need to make sure it’s cooled down before use. Also, use a little less water if you are using freshly cooked rice for this dish. My favorite rice to use is Jasmine rice as it has a wonderful aroma.
- Cook the ingredients separately – If you are using mixed vegetables or any other ingredients, it’s advisable to cook them separately and seasoned. This way each bite of the fried rice is flavorful and delicious.
- ‘Fry’ the rice – When making fried rice, it’s great to slightly ‘fry’ the rice to further dry them up especially for this recipe when the dragonfruit has moisture in it. I love to cook the rice until some grain starts to dance in the pan.
- High heat for Wok Hay (Breadth of wok) – Fried rice tastes the best when they are cooked in a wok with high heat. That char from the heat gives the grain its wonderful aroma.
How to make vegan Dragonfruit Fried Rice
Fresh or frozen dragonfruit works great in this recipe. Fresh fruit is the best and since it’s harder for me to get the fresh one here, I used the frozen dragonfruit. Be sure to thaw and drain out the juice so it has less moisture.
Cook the veggies and tofu separately and season well. Then, dish out and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok and cook the rice until slightly dry.
Add the drained dragonfruit cubes and toss to combine until all grain is coated with the color.
Now, add the cooked veggies in and season to taste. Serve warm with a side of homemade sambal, pickles, and fresh tomato slices.
Check out my other Rice dishes:
This Dragonfruit Fried Rice is
- Colorful and vibrant
- a perfect quick meal for kids and family
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Dragonfruit Fried Rice – 火龙果炒饭
- Rice cooker
- ¼ cup dragonfruit flesh only used frozen and drained out the liquid
- ½ cup chopped green beans or veggies of choice
- ½ cup pan-fried tofu and seasoned with salt
- ¼ cup frozen corn
- ¼ cup toasted cashews
- 2-3 cups of cooked rice
- salt to taste
- fried shallots for garnish optional
- oil for cooking
- In a heated wok with oil, sauté green beans, pan-fried tofu, and frozen corn for a minute or so over medium-high heat. Then season with salt and turn off the heat. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Using the same wok, add a little more oil if needed, 'fry' the cooked rice until you see the grain starts to dance in the wok.
- Use the back of the spatula and press the rice to loosen the grain (use light pressure and not mash it)
- Then, add in the dragonfruit flesh and toss everything together until the rice is well coated with the color.
- Place the cooked veggies and tofu in and give it another toss until well-combined. Season to taste and finally, add in the toasted cashews.
- Serve warm with homemade sambal (check my blog for the recipe and video), pickles, tomato slices, fried shallots, and salad.