For a long time, I thought that good fried rice was available only in Asian restaurants. But my problem with restaurant fried rice is that it’s loaded with added fat, salt, prepared with white rice and I can’t really feel sure that it’s vegan. So if I want fried rice, it has to come out of my own kitchen. Enter Mark Bittman. I modify his recipe for fried rice from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I omit the oil (and egg) and use baked tofu and the veggies I have on hand. That’s the beauty of a dish like fried rice. Not only can you tweak it to your own tastes, but also to what you have in the refrigerator and cupboard.
Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu
3-4 cups cooked brown basmati, brown jasmine or regular brown rice (~1 1/2 cups dried)
vegetable broth or water as needed
1 onion, chopped
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cups baked tofu, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced or microplaned
1/4-1/3 cup dry sherry
4 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
salt & pepper to taste
roasted peanuts, chopped
Have all of your veggies and liquids ready to go before you fire up your skillet or wok.
Heat skillet/wok over high heat. Splash in a little vegetable broth and add the onion and bell pepper. Lower heat a little bit and stir, adding more broth as needed. Cook for about 5 minutes – letting the broth cook off so that you get a little browning on the vegetables. Remove veggies to a bowl or plate.
Add more broth to the pan, then add the asparagus, cooking just until they get bright green. Add to the onion and bell pepper.
Another splash of broth to the pan and now add the garlic and ginger, stirring just for about half a minute or so. Start adding the rice a bit at a time, breaking up any clumps. Stir and add broth as needed. Once you have all of the rice in the pan, stir until it starts sticking a bit. Now add the tofu and the cooked veggies to the pan along with the sherry. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the scallions.
Divide rice between four big bowls and top with cilantro, peanuts and limes. (Kel suggests also adding fresh chopped tomatoes and sliced cucumbers. Too bad he suggested this after we’d finished eating!)