Monday, August 9, 2010

Veggie Fried Rice With Tofu

This excellent vegetable fried rice recipe comes from one of the many Moosewood cookbooks, I'm not sure which one though, because it is not one of the ones that I own. The recipe was passed to me from my friend John, who as I may have mentioned before, is no slouch in the kitchen, and is considered (by me) to be one of the most reliable recommenders of recipes (or practically anything else) around these here parts. Red peppers and snow peas provide crunch and color, while a sweet/salty/sour/spicy tofu marinade packs a flavorful punch. Relatively light on the prep, this recipe comes together extremely quickly once the cooking starts, and is substantial enough to stand on its own as a meal.

This recipe calls for 4 cups of cooked brown rice. When making fried rice, it is customary to use day-old or leftover rice, which has had time to shed excess moisture. If you try to make fried rice with fresh rice, you will almost certainly end up with too much moisture in the pan and a mushy result. With a little foresight, this should never be a problem. Cooked brown rice freezes exceptionally well, so next time you make a batch, double it and freeze the leftover in a 4 cup portion. You'll be good to go when the urge for fried rice hits you. Just don't forget to defrost it first. If you don't have any frozen rice, just make a batch the day before you plan on cooking. Check out some other great fried rice tips, and another great recipe, at Simply Recipes.

First, make the tofu marinade by blending minced ginger root, minced garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, dark sesame oil, and chili paste/chili oil/chili sauce in a small bowl. Chop the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and add it to the marinade, stirring gently. Prep the rest of the vegetables before you start cooking.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, then add the peppers and cook for a few minutes before adding the snow peas along with some water. This is allowed to cook for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the vegetables are tender, but still retain some crispness.

Remove the tofu from the marinade and add it to the skillet, stirring to combine with the vegetables. Add the rice and heat thoroughly. Last, stir in the leftover marinade along with the scallions and you're all done.


Veggie Fried Rice With Tofu (adapted from a Moosewood cookbook)
Serves 4 as a small main or 6 as a side - about 30-40 minutes

  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger root
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili sauce OR 1/2 tsp chili paste OR a splash of chili oil
  • 1 lb of extra-firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium red peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 6 ounces snow peas, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2/3 cup chopped scallions
  • chopped toasted almonds or pecans (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients and mix well
  2. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and add to marinade, stirring gently
  3. Prepare the remaining ingredients (slice peppers, trim peas, chop scallions, measure rice)
  4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, oil should be shimmering but not smoking
  5. Add the peppers and stir fry for 3 minutes
  6. Add the snow peas and water and continue to cook until water has evaporated, about 3 more minutes - the vegetables should be somewhat tender, but retain some crispness
  7. Remove the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon, and stir it into the skillet
  8. Add the rice and heat thoroughly, about 3 minutes
  9. Pour on the leftover marinade, add the scallions, and stir to combine
  10. Serve immediately garnished with the chopped nuts if you choose to use them

No comments: