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Vegetable Stir-Fry with Forbidden Rice

Sharon Palmer

One of the best ways to move to a plant-powered diet is to focus on dishes that showcase vegetables, such as this stir-fry, which includes a mix of traditional Chinese plant foods—bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby corn, carrots, Chinese cabbage, and bean sprouts. Add tofu, tempeh, or seitan for a punch of plant protein. Loaded with flavor and texture, the colors of this completely plant-based (vegan), gluten-free Vegetable Stir-Fry with Forbidden Rice really pop when juxtaposed with jet-black “forbidden” rice—so precious that it was reserved for Chinese emperors.

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Vegetable Stir-Fry with Forbidden Rice

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Loaded with flavor and texture, the colors of this completely plant-based (vegan), gluten-free Vegetable Stir-Fry with Forbidden Rice really pop when juxtaposed with jet-black “forbidden” rice.



  • 1 ⅓ cups uncooked forbidden (black) rice
  • 2 ⅓ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced (see Note)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely sliced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely sliced
  • One 15-ounce can baby corn, drained
  • One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
  • One 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 3 cups sliced Chinese (Napa) cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, gluten-free
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cashews


  1. Place the rice and water in a small pot, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, until tender, with all of the water absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat.
  3. Add the carrot and onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add the bell pepper, corn, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, sprouts, and cilantro and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, agave, broth, and cornstarch in a small dish until smooth. Add to the pan with the vegetables and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are crisp-tender. Garnish the stir-fry with the green onions and cashews and serve with the rice.


*A food processor may come in handy for slicing the fresh vegetables in this recipe.

*Variation: Add 12 ounces of sliced extra firm tofu (pressed for best results) with cabbage.

Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes

  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Asian, American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 272
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 279 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Keywords: vegetable stir-fry, vegan stir-fry

For other plant-based stir-fry recipes, check out:

Bitter Melon Tofu Stir-Fry
Snow Pea Seitan Stir-Fry Brown Rice

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