Chinese Fried Grains and Vegetables with Honey-Mustard Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I’ve modeled this recipe on the idea of fried rice, and it’s a tasty way to use up leftover cooked grains plus whatever vegetables are screaming for attention in your fridge or freezer. Use the recipe as a template for your own combinations and consider the quantities approximations. Start by quick-steaming the vegetables. Then add cooked grains and a homemade stir-fry-style sauce for the final few minutes. You can make the dish more substantial by adding some cooked meat.

NotesSpeed Tips: This recipe makes ¾ cup of honey-mustard sauce, but you won’t need all of it. Refrigerate the leftover sauce for up to 1 month and make another version of this recipe even more quickly.

Buy chopped vegetables from the salad bar.

Use a store-bought stir-fry sauce.

Other Ideas:

• Use a 1-pound package frozen mixed vegetables for the stir-fry. Run them under hot water briefly and drain well before adding to the pot.

• Once the vegetables are steamed, tip them out. Heat a little oil in the same pot, add 2 beaten eggs and scramble them. Return the vegetables to the pot, add the grains, and continue as directed.

• Add cubed, firm tofu along with the grains.

• Garnish each portion with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves3 to 4

Cooking Methodsteaming



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, vegetarian


Moodstressed, tired

Taste and Texturecrunchy, light, savory, sweet, tangy


  • ¼ cup Japanese soy sauce (tamari or shoyu)
  • 3 tablespoons mustard, preferably whole grain
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chile-garlic paste or crushed red pepper flakes (optional), to taste
  • 4 to 5 cups chopped, raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, zucchini, and snow peas
  • 2 cups cooked grains, such as brown rice, barley, or quinoa
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped cooked meat (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger


  1. Make the sauce: In a small jar, combine the soy sauce, mustard, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and chile-garlic paste (if using). Add 3 tablespoons of water and shake well.

  2. Prepare the vegetables and grains: In a heavy 12-inch skillet, bring ¼ cup of water to a boil over high heat. Add the dense vegetables (such as broccoli, carrots, and Brussels sprouts), cover, and steam until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add the quick-cooking vegetables (such as zucchini and snow peas), cover, and cook until all of the vegetables are tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes more. Add a few tablespoons more water during this time, if needed. Stir in the grains, meat (if using), and ginger.

  3. Shake the sauce and pour on enough to coat the ingredients lightly, usually ¼ to 1/3 cup. Divide among plates and serve.

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