My friend’s Facebook status this evening: Pizza or Chinese…decisions decisions.
No decision for me. Chinese!! For sure. We don’t order Chinese food often here though, because while there is vegetarian stuff, it is limited to either noodles, or rice. Everywhere else we’ve lived, we have found at least one place with some decent (although unhealthy) tofu dishes. General Tso Tofu, Sesame Tofu, Orange Tofu, etc. Not traditional Chinese food, I’m not kidding myself there. But its at least yummy and worth ordering.
Not so lucky here. But Simon decided to take a nap right before dinner, so I got the chance to cook something unplanned, whilst clearing out the fridge a little, and we ended up with Vegan Fried Rice!
I know, fried rice, without egg = vegan. Not rocket science there. But what if you really want the egg? A little texture, a little color, it definitely adds a little something that fried rice without egg, is missing.
My solution to that was the 1/3 block of tofu leftover in the fridge. Mixed with tumeric and some black salt, you’d never no the difference. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, you will know the difference. But it’s still gives you that little something that egg-less fried rice is missing.
Vegan Fried Rice
1 cup dry brown rice
2 1/4 cups water + 1 Tbsp lite soy sauce
1/3 block firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 tsp tumeric (give or take, see instructions)
1/8 tsp black salt*
2 Tbsp light oil (I used canola)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
3 Tbsp lite soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (sub 1 tsp hot chile oil, or add 1/4 red pepper flakes with veggies, for heat)
*You can leave out the black salt, I know it is a specialty ingredient, but your fried rice won’t have any “eggy” taste, just an “eggy” look. Still good.
1. Bring the water + soy sauce and rice to a boil in a saucepan. When it reaches a boil, cover and reduce to a low simmer. Keep covered and let simmer for 45 minutes.
2. In the meantime, crumble the tofu in an oiled pan (nonstick spray is fine), and mix with tumeric until a bright “eggy” yellow. Just add enough until you get the color. Add the black salt, until you get a bit of an “eggy” taste. When satisfied with the seasoning, move to a plate and cover with a bowl to keep the “egginess” in.
3. In the same pan, heat the oil, add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until slightly softened. Add the cooked rice, frozen peas, and additional soy sauce. Stir until well combined.
4. Add the tofu, and stir until combined. You don’t want to overmix, or its just going to crumble to specks. Stir in 2 tsp sesame oil and let it cook on medium high heat, until the rice starts to get a little browned.
I love this. A lot. Not only is the tofu a good addition because it gives it that little “something”, it also adds some protein, so I got to just eat a big plate of fried rice.
And I’m glad I finally got the chance to blog about something savory, because then I can show you what Simon got to eat! I try not to give him a lot of salt, or a lot of sweet, but I do want him to try new things. So, he got a little bit of the rice along with his peppers.
He really really loved it. So if you are looking for the approval of a 10 month old as to how this tastes, you’ve got it.
Simon, when you read see this in a few years, I thoroughly apologize for how weird you look in this picture. It wasn’t evident on the tiny camera screen.
So there you go. Vegan fried rice that isn’t cutting any corners…a totally worthwhile way to spend naptime!
Speaking of Facebook, I started a new page for the blog, if you want to find us on there!