This Thai basil fried rice features the most flavorful basil fried rice with lots of crispy sesame marinated tofu. – it’s so easy to make in minutes using leftover cooked rice!
We love a good everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fried rice around here! Especially if there’s marinated tofu involved.
This killer fried rice is vegan-friendly but you’d NEVER know it from the amount of goods we’re piling inside!
Herby Thai basil and lots of sesame tofu cubes pull in the most incredible flavor profile and really just make it one for the takeout-fakeout record books.
The best part? This fried rice is one of those meals that lets you transform leftovers! Hello, leftover rice sitting in the fridge looking for a new home.
This Thai Basil Fried Rice features…
- Flavorful sesame marinated tofu cubes.
- Tender sauteed veggies.
- Herby fresh basil and a flavorful sauce.
Making the Thai Basil Fried Rice
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Cooked rice
- Extra-firm tofu
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Rice wine vinegar
- Agave nectar
- Vegetable oil
- Green onions
- Thai red chilies
- Thai basil
- Sesame seeds
Choosing Your Rice
The beauty of fried rice is that it works well with many different kinds of rice! Our personal favorite is steamed jasmine, but feel free to use your favorite.
A few of our recommendations include brown rice, white rice, basmati, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
Tips for Perfect Fried Rice
- Use cold rice – fried rice is best made with rice that’s been chilled and dried out a bit in the fridge. Leftover rice is perfect here!
- Cook vegetables separate from rice – the carrot + onion will cook at a different rate from the rice, so it’s important to cook these separately.
- Use a wok – woks are ideal for cooking fried rice because of the tall sloping walls that create two heating zones, enabling you to cook the vegetables + rice fast, evenly, and efficiently. However, if you don’t own a wok, a large stainless steel skillet will also work!
- Press tofu before marinating – allow the tofu to press for about 15 minutes to remove extra water so the tofu can soak up the marinade.
- Add tofu marinade to fried rice – this adds a lot of flavor to the fried rice and lets you repurpose the marinade so there’s less waste!
- Add basil at end of cooking – this helps preserve the fresh flavor of the basil throughout the fried rice.
Follow these instructions for easy make-ahead options!
- Cook rice – cooked rice may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days before using in fried rice.
- Chop vegetables – all the vegetables can be chopped and stored in the fridge up to 4 days. Wait to chop the basil until just before adding to rice.
- Marinate tofu – the tofu may be marinated up to 6 hours before using in fried rice.
- Store fried rice – it may be stored in the fridge up to 6 days and reheats beautifully in the microwave.
Try these variations for a different twist on this recipe!
- Swap out the veggies – this recipe can easily be adjusted to include your favorite veggies! Shredded cabbage, sweet pepper, peas, or zucchini would all be perfect additions.
- Add meat – sliced chicken or steak would be great replacements for the tofu.
- Make it mild – feel free to skip the Thai chilies if you would like a milder fried rice.
The flavors in this fried rice really do just work their magic together! The tofu is perfectly savory and loaded with sesame, while the fresh basil adds an unmatchable herby flavor.
Consider the leftovers game changed forever!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
We love fried rice around here! Try these similar recipes next.
Thai Basil Fried Rice with Sesame Tofu
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- 1 block (12 oz) extra-firm tofu (pressed for 15 minutes)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Thai Basil Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 bunch green onions, white parts finely minced and green parts cut into 1-in pieces
- 1-3 small Thai red chilies, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cups cold cooked rice
- 1 cup chopped fresh Thai basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sesame seeds for topping
- Place tofu in a square dish. In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and garlic until smooth. Pour over tofu and marinate in fridge 1 hour (or up to 6)
- Remove tofu from marinade and chop tofu into 1/4-in cubes. Reserve tofu marinade and set aside.
Thai Basil Fried Rice
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and swirl to coat bottom. Add tofu and cook on all sides until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat same wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and swirl to coat bottom. Add carrots and saute until tender. Add green parts of onion and cook until just slightly wilted. Add white parts, chilies, and ginger and cook an few extra minutes until fragrant.
- Add rice to skillet and cook until rice is heated through. Add basil, tofu marinade and browned tofu and stir well until combined. Season rice with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm with sesame seeds on top for garnish. Enjoy!