Vegetarian Fried Rice With Parsley Pesto

Some might think I’m mixing cultures by posting a recipe with fried rice that originated in China and pesto that originated in Italy. 

According to Wikipedia:

Fried rice first developed during the Sui Dynasty in China and as such all fried rice dishes can trace their origins to Chinese fried rice.

Pesto…  is a sauce originating in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy.”

Actually, there are many cross-overs between these two cultures. Take spaghetti. says,

“While some historians believe pasta originated in Italy, most are convinced Marco Polo actually brought it back from his epic voyage to China. The earliest known pasta was made from rice flour and was common in the east. In Italy, pasta was made from hard wheat.”

There are many opinions about the origins of food, so draw your own conclusion from whatever sources you think are trustworthy. 🙂

What I like about this recipe is that it is resourceful in using all of the broccoli (stems too) and lefover rice. 

Are you ready to try it? Be brave! This fried rice will reward you with flavor from both cultures. 


The Parsley Pesto recipe can be found HERE. Regular pesto can also be used as a substitute in this recipe.

Vegetarian Fried Rice With Parsley Pesto
Recipe type: side-dish,
Cuisine: Multi-cultural
  • 2 cups broccoli (flowers & stems) cut into bite-size pieces*
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1" pieces
  • 2 eggs, whisked and seasoned with ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon powered ginger (spice)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups cooked rice, leftover or day old*
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons parsley pesto
  1. Whisk sugar, soy sauce and salt in a small bowl. Add garlic and ginger and whisk again.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add broccoli and scallions. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Let veggies char on one side (about 5 minutes) until broccoli is crisp-tender and scallions are wilted. Remove from skillet.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet on medium low. Add eggs and scramble until slightly runny (not overcooked).
  5. Add rice and soy sauce to egg mixture. Stir to combine. Evenly distribute ingredients in the skills and leave undisturbed until rice is slightly crisp on one side (about 5 minutes).
  6. Return veggies to the skillet and combine. Remove from skillet and add sesame oil and vinegar. Top with parsley pesto.
  7. Serve as a meal, or side dish to meat, chicken or fish.
  8. *cook rice in vegetable, chicken or beef broth to add flavor
  9. *Broccoli stem can be shaved/peeled and cut into slices before adding to florets in this recipe.


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