Is Rice Vegan? (+Rice-Based Vegan Recipe)

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

is rice vegan

Rice comes in all shapes and sizes, from long-grain white rice to short-grain brown rice to sticky glutinous rice. The price depends on what else you want to serve with it and how much time you have. 

So is rice Vegan? Yes, rice is vegan! There’s a wide variety of rice, with most, if not all, qualifying in a vegan diet. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, vegans can eat many types of rice. White rice, brown rice, fried rice, and even individual brands like Uncle Ben’s can all be eaten by vegans. 

Let’s explore more on rice and rice-based vegan recipes!

What Makes Rice Vegan?

Rice is naturally vegan because it’s obtained from grain. It’s a staple food for many people around the world. Rice is a common ingredient in many foods and dishes of different cultures. There are many kinds of rice, but they all have one thing in common: they’re made from the seed of a plant.

Rice is made from the grain of a plant called Oryza sativa, which can be grown in any climate with enough water and sunlight. The grains are harvested and left to dry naturally before being ground into flour or cracked into kernels for cooking or storage purposes.

It’s often called “the mother grain” because it’s so versatile and nutritious; it can be eaten plain, steamed or boiled, boiled then fried, or even mixed with other ingredients to make different dishes.

Is White Rice Good for You?

Yes, white rice is good for you as a carbohydrate source. White rice provides you with 3 grams of carbohydrates, with each gram providing you with 3 grams of carbohydrates. In addition to giving more energy than most other foods, white rice also has a low carb level, making it an excellent choice for those watching their carb intake.

White rice, however, lacks fiber and has a higher glycemic index than brown or wild rice. This effect could pose a serious health risk if you have diabetes or are trying to lose weight. You need more high volume low calorie foods.

Is White Rice Free of Gluten?

Yes, white rice is a gluten-free grain that everyone can enjoy. This rice includes brown rice, white rice, and wild rice. 

white rice on a brown ceramic bowl

White rice, also called ordinary rice, is a variety of long-grain rice grown in flooded fields. It’s most commonly used to make sushi and other Japanese dishes.

The gluten in white rice is destroyed during processing, which makes it safe for those with celiac disease and other gluten intolerances.

Who Would Benefit Most From Eating White Rice?

Individuals on weight loss programs will benefit more. White Rice is low in calories and carbohydrates, which will help you reach your weight loss goals.

White rice is also an excellent source of dietary fiber and helps you feel fuller longer than other types of grains. It also contains magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure, which is a significant health benefit.

Also, white rice is gluten-free, making it suitable for people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. It’s also good when taken with alkaline foods for vegans.

Common Vegan Rice

You can enrich various vegan dishes with rice, which is versatile and nutritious. As a source of fiber, it increases your fullness, extends your satiety, and reduces your risk for cancer.

Besides being a good source of protein, rice is also suitable for repairing muscles and enhancing nerve function.

The most common types of vegan rice are brown, regular, and wild.

Brown rice is made from whole-grain brown rice ground into fine flour. It has a mild flavor and is a healthier option than regular white rice.

Regular white rice can be found in wide varieties, including long- and short-grain white. They all have the same essential ingredients: water, salt, and preservatives.

Wild rice is harvested from the marshes of Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States. It’s often used as a substitute for long-grain white or wild American black rice when making paellas.

Which Brands of Rice are Vegan?

The good news is that the most popular rice brands are vegan.

rice field

But what about those brands you see at your local grocery store? How do they fare when it comes to being vegan? The answer is surprisingly well!

However, many of these products are labeled with unfamiliar ingredients, such as vitamin B12 and lactic acid—which isn’t necessarily bad. Adding these ingredients to processed rice increases its nutritional value and fortifies it against bacteria and fungi.

But if you want to avoid animal products in your food and don’t want to buy specialty brands, there are many options.

Here are some popular brands of vegan rice:

  • Suma
  • Green City
  • Mr. Organic
  • Uncle Ben’s 
  • Lotus Foods
  • Castagno Bio
  • Nature’s Store
  • Seeds of Change
  • Bare Naked Foods

What Are Non-Vegan Rice?

Non-vegan rice is rice grown and harvested using practices that aren’t vegan. Non-vegan rice can be produced using pesticides or fertilized with animal byproducts.

In addition, any rice that is cooked with non-vegan ingredients becomes non-vegan.

Here are some of the non-vegan Rice:

  • Biryani: It’s mainly made with dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or ghee.
  • Bibimbap: It consists of Gochujang sauce, meat, and vegetables.
  • Étouffée: It’s cooked with shellfish as the main ingredient making it Non-vegan. 
  • Fried Rice: It consists of animal-based products such as meat, vegetables, or eggs.
  • Risotto: It’s prepared with animal products like chicken broth or cheese.

Rice-Based Vegan Recipes 

Food staples such as Rice have been around for centuries. It’s perfect for making soups and stews and can be used as a side dish or snack. You’ll find that most people eat rice at least once a day.

Try these vegan rice dishes if you want to spice up your diet:

1. Vegan Fried Rice 

There’s nothing better than vegan fried rice on a busy night. It’s packed with flavor, thanks to adding garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.

garlic fried rice with spring onions on a blue bowl

Ingredients 

  1. 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  2. Carrots, onions, and garlic
  3. 1 cup of uncooked white Rice 
  4. 1/4 cup of frozen corn kernels
  5. 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  6. 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce or to taste (non-dairy)

Instructions 

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, peas, and corn kernels to the pan, and cook until they are slightly tender but still crunchy about 5 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (rice through soy sauce/tamari) to the pan and stir well to combine everything evenly.

2. Mango Ginger Rice Bowl

It’s a simple combination of ingredients that works together to create a great meal.

rice with mango

Mango + Ginger + Cilantro  = A delicious rice bowl!

Ingredients 

  • ½ peas
  • Lemon juice
  • Toasted peanuts
  • Thinly sliced cucumbers 
  • ¾  Black beans(cooked)
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼  cup dried sesame seeds
  • One teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Fresh Cilantro or parsley
  • 1 cup cooked brown Rice or quinoa
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh mango (about 1-2 mangos)
  • Two tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free alternative)
  • One clove of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (optional)
  • One tablespoon Sriracha sauce (hot chili sauce) or red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions 

Here’s how to make a mango ginger rice bowl:

  1. Toss the Rice, shredded cabbage, carrot, cucumber, mango, black beans, pickled ginger, and basil in a large bowl.
  2. Layer this mixture on top of the Rice in 4 bowls and drizzle them with half of the dressing. Top with toasted peanuts and sesame seeds; garnish with avocado slices if you want.
  3. Drizzle bowls with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle some tamari and sriracha on for an extra kick.
  4. Add extra toppings like sesame seeds or peanuts if you like!
  5. Chop 1/2 of an onion (or two if you want to cut back on cooking time)
  6. Chop 1/4 cup of fresh CilantroCilantro
  7. Peel and slice ripe mangos; seeds removed
  8. Add them to a medium bowl with the CilantroCilantro and onion, drizzle with sesame oil and toss well until combined.

FAQs

Is Brown Rice a Vegan Food?

Yes, brown rice is vegan! Besides being fully packed with fiber, brown rice is one of the healthiest types of rice. Fiber is abundant in brown rice, making it a filling but not overpowering food. 

brown rice in a bowl with wooden spoon

It’s also an excellent source of magnesium and iron, two minerals that are important for healthy heart function and bones.

Brown rice contains more protein than white rice. It also has more fiber and antioxidants than white rice, which can help you stay healthy in many ways.

Is Basmati  Rice a Vegan Food?

Yes, Basmati rice is vegan. Basmati rice is a long-grain variety of white rice from the basmati rice plant. It’s grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and has a thin, light brown hull. The flavor of basmati rice is delicate and fragrant but not at all sweet.

As a general rule: if you’re cooking with basmati rice, ensure that you don’t cook it for more than the package instructions say it needs to be done. If you do this and your rice isn’t fully cooked, let it sit off the heat for another 5 minutes before serving.

Is Fried Rice Vegan?

Yes and no. If it’s cooked with vegan ingredients, fried Rice remains vegan.

But it becomes non-vegan when cooked with non-vegan ingredients such as eggs, meat, or seafood.

The egg is usually added to this Rice to give the dish its characteristic color and texture. If you’re looking for a vegan version of fried Rice, you can try using tofu instead of eggs to create a similar-tasting dish.

Final Thoughts 

Rice is a very versatile food you can use in many different ways. It can be used in various dishes, from salads to soups and desserts. Rice is also a good source of carbohydrates which helps keep you energized throughout the day. Rice is also high in fiber which helps keep your digestive system healthy and functioning correctly.

But if you’re looking for a low-fat diet or if you have diabetes, brown rice may be the best choice for you since it has more fiber than white rice. Brown rice contains antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart fibers and cancer while lowering cholesterol levels in your body. You can practice carb pairing to see how it works.

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