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Vegetarian Hainan Rice Veggiekins Blog

Vegetarian Hainanese Rice (Grain Free Option)

  • Author: Remy Park
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 5 green onion stalks, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained*
  • 23 lime leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp veggie bouillon (or use vegan “chicken” bouillon”)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 pandan leaf strips
  • 1 tbsp finely minced lemongrass stalk (optional)

To serve

  • protein of choice, like vegan chicken or tofu
  • fresh cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • green onion, diagonally sliced
  • chili crisp


  1. Start by preparing your green onion stalks. Remove the roots and then thinly slice the white stems. Using a mortar and pestle, smash your green onion stalks with salt until a paste forms.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add neutral oil and sesame oil. Once hot, add your smashed green onion paste and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Next add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute. If using lemongrass, you’ll want to add it at this stage as well.
  4. Add your rice and lime leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring so that the rice is nicely coated.
  5. Next add your bouillon and stir to incorporate before adding water to the pan. Toss in pandan leaves and bring the entire mixture to a simmer.
  6. You can finish your rice in the pan by simmering on low heat with a lid partly on, but I like to transfer everything into a rice cooker to finish my rice.
  7. Once cooked, remove all of the leaves and fluff the rice. To serve, I like to pack it in a bowl, flip it upside down on a plate and garnish with cucumbers and green onion.


  • This dish is traditionally enjoyed with Hainanese chicken, which you can substitute for tofu, or vegan chicken of choice. Alternatively, enjoy as is, or as a side with whatever meal you’re eating! It’s an amazing, much more flavourful substitute for regular rice.
  • To make this dish grain free, you can substitute the rice with quinoa.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes