Crispy fried rice with cucumber, peanut and herb salad


Our last recipe for cucumber was a cocktail. Now we’re getting back to main events with this vegan dish by the wonderful Meera Sodha. Can’t beat the original blurb: “Addictively crisp and chewy hard-fried rice is mixed with an eye-wateringly punchy, sweet, sour and crunchy salad”. The rice needs to be cooked the day before and kept cold in the fridge – this is essential.


  • 1kg leftover cooked jasmine rice (or basmati) equates to 350g uncooked
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 12 spring onions, finely sliced (fewer if large-ish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chillies (to taste), finely chopped
  • 2½ tsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp. lime juice (2 or 3 limes)
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 125g edamame beans, defrosted
  • 5 tbsp. (50g) salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful coriander leaves (10g), chopped
  • 1 handful mint leaves (10g), chopped


  1. Fried rice: Warm the oil in a large saucepan (for which you have a lid) over medium-high heat; once hot, add the spring onions and fry, stirring, for two mins. Add the rice and salt, gently mix to combine, then press down with a fish slice/spatula to even out the top. Leave to cook for six to seven
  2. Salad: Whisk the garlic, chili, sugar and lime juice in a bowl, add the cucumber and all the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
  3. Serve: Put the rice on a serving plate and pile the herby, nutty salad in the centre, but only do this just before serving, or your newly crisped rice will go soggy.