Friday, February 3, 2012

Veggie Fried Rice with Tofu

Tonight Rachel and I made a delicious and nutritious dinner of Veggie Fried Rice with Tofu.  While I hate to give away my thoughts on this recipe before the comments section below, I must say that this was one of my favorite dinners in recent memory.  Yum!     

Sticky fried rice and lightly browned tofu -- delicious!
Recipe:
Veggie Fried Rice with Tofu
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 - 1 pound block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced finely (use both the white and green parts--just cut off the end)
  • 15 ounces frozen corn (let it thaw while you prepare everything) 
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shelled, cooked edamame
  • 5 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Before you begin, make sure to prepare the rice and edamame ahead of time.  You can prepare these well in advance and refrigerate until ready to use, or prepare just before you start cooking and cover to keep warm. 

Then, brown the tofu.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a very large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat.  Carefully add the tofu to the hot oil and cook until browned on most sides.  Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the ginger, garlic, and scallions (save some scallions for garnish).  Cook until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.  Then add the corn, bell pepper, and edamame and cook until the peppers become slightly tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil and stir well to combine.  Cook until heated through, or an additional 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the sesame seeds and stir to combine.

Top the rice with tofu, garnish with extra green onions, and serve hot.  Yields about 5 servings.  

Comments:

Taste:     
I loved this fried rice.  It's colorful, fragrant, full of protein, and really tasty.  The rice is a little sticky and holds everything together well.  Rachel liked "the interplay between the density of the rice and the airiness of the tofu."  I'm definitely looking forward to eating leftovers!
Accessibility:         
We were able to find all of these ingredients at our regular grocery store, but there certainly are a lot of them.  Also, as I mentioned last night, sesame oil isn't cheap, and neither are sesame seeds.  
Ease of Preparation:   
This dish is made up of numerous components that require separate attention before they come together.  Between the rice, the tofu, the edamame, and all of the chopping, a fair amount of work goes into this recipe.  Make sure you allot time to make the rice and prepare the edamame (including popping the beans out of the pods) -- or do these things in advance.      
Non-vegan friendliness:   
While we were cooking, Rachel commented on how much more appetizing and appealing the browned tofu in this recipe is than the tofu we had in our college dining hall.  Did you hear that, tofu skeptics?  Tofu can be good. 

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