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Vegetable Cai Fan (Rice Pilaf with Carrot, Mushroom and Bok Choy)

Chinese food, chinese vegetable rice, cai fan
Vegetable Rice Pilaf

This is the vegan version of the rice dish with salted pork I posted two weeks ago.

Rice, cai fan, bok choy, chinese rice dish, chinese sausages, chinese food, shanghai food
Rice with Salted Pork

The main ingredients of this vegan recipe are white rice, green vegetables like bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms. I prefer dried shiitake mushrooms. Hydrate them in 1 cup of water for 1 hour until soft before cooking. Save the umami mushroom-soaking water.



  • 2 cups of jasmine rice or short-grain rice

  • 10 oz bok choy

  • 3 oz carrots

  • 3 oz, 3 to 4 shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh

  • Sesame oil, optional

  • Chili sauce or chili oil, optional

  • Vegetable oil

  • Salt


1. Soak dried mushrooms for 1 hour until soft (save the soaking water). If you are using fresh mushrooms, only wash them and pat dry. Finely chop the mushrooms.

2. Rinse rice and discard starchy water. Add enough water to cover the rice and let it soak for 30 minutes.

3. Wash bok choy and carrots and pat dry. Cut carrots into 2 mm pieces and bok choy into 2 to 3 cm pieces. Set them aside.

4. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to the rice cooker. Saute carrots and mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 tsp salt. Use a regular pot if you don't have a rice cooker.

5. Add soaked rice to the rice cooker or pot. Mix it well with the carrots and mushrooms. Add mushroom-soaking water or just water. The liquid level should be slightly lower than when you cook plain white rice since there is moisture in vegetables. 1/4 inch above rice is recommended. Cover and steam. If using a regular pot, cook on medium-high heat until the water bubbles. Then go to step 6.

6. When the rice water starts to bubble, add bok choy and 1/2 tsp salt, then mix well. Cover and let it cook for another few minutes until the cooking process finishes and the rice cooker switch to warm. If you use a regular pot, when the rice water starts to bubble, turn the heat low and add the bok choy, then steam for another 12 minutes.

7. When the time is up, turn off the rice cooker or stove. Keep the rice covered and let it sit for 5 more minutes. Then serve with chili sauce or chili oil. You can also add a few drops of sesame oil to your bowl.

Reply to this email with your questions about the recipe or any feedback. If you like this recipe and think someone you know will enjoy it, please share this with them.


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