I can hardly contain my excitement- in just a matter of days, my best friend is moving across the country and we will be neighbors! To prepare I have been practicing my gluten-free baking skills (she recently discovered she is gluten intolerant). I am dying to share a super simple muffin recipe I made that the husband literally wrote me a love letter for, but I this fried rice has been nagging at me to be shared for awhile now so here we go…
I’m really more of a stir-fry girl than fried rice… Indeed, I’m not typically drawn to things with the word “fried” in the description. My husband, however, loves anything fried and orders fried rice almost every time we go to an Asian restaurant of any sort. So I tried making fried rice at home, using the method in which the eggs are cracked into the pan and scrambled/ cooked into the vegetables, but I could never learn to like that texture. Finally, I read about a different method of cooking the eggs separately on Heidi’s site, and it revolutionized my fried rice!
Once I learn a really good method of cooking something, it’s much easier to create recipe variations on the fly. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’ve ever made the same stir-fry or fried rice twice. Both of these can be made with almost whatever produce is on hand and can be made quickly- huge bonuses in this house! I have been making a lot of these types of dishes with our CSA goods. They also both rely on a method of cooking tofu that I adhere to for many dishes.
Forgiving as this recipe is, there are a few things that I think really make it stand out: Besides the method of cooking the tofu and eggs, I like to use brown basmati rice- I buy it in bulk at Costco and am absolutely in love with it. It has the flavor and aroma of basmati, with the nutrition of brown rice. It is nice and fluffy, not sticky like some brown rice can be. I also like a combination of coconut and sesame oil for cooking. Coconut oil and sesame oil both have strong flavors and a little goes a long way. You can use another oil instead, I frequently do, but it doesn’t pack quite the same punch. Lastly, I add a bit of liquid such as broth or juice mixed with soy sauce at the end. The addition of the liquid reduces the amount of oil you will need to “fry” the rice.
Miso-Ginger Fried Rice with Nori Strips:
*2 1/2 cups cooked and cooled rice or other grain such as quinoa or barley
*7 oz. (1/2 package) tofu, cubed and cooked (*see instructions below)
*2 large eggs, preferably free-range organic
*2 1/2 cups chopped vegetables (this batch included chopped red onion, julienned carrots, chopped broccoli, sliced cabbage, and shitake mushrooms. Last week we had snow peas- my favorite!)
*2 teaspoons sesame oil
*1- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
*1/4 cup orange juice
*4-6 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free version)
*1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
*1 tablespoon white miso
*1 small clove garlic, minced
*1/2 sheet nori, cut into strips (toasting gives an even better flavor, but careful not to burn it!)
1. Begin by making the sauce, combining orange juice, ginger, garlic, miso, 2-4 tablespoons soy sauce (depending on how salty you want it). You can use this sauce to braise the tofu as well, or you can use plain soy sauce.
2. Next, prepare the eggs: Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in your skillet or wok. Beat two eggs with a pinch of salt and pour into wok. Cook until almost set, then flip and cook a minute more. Cool and slice into strips.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in wok and add the onions, cooking a few minutes before adding the other vegetables. When the vegetables are tender-crisp, add the rice. Stir to mix evenly and cook until heated through. Add the tofu and egg, then pour the sauce in. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed.
4. Serve hot, garnished with nori strips.
*Ah tofu… It has such a bad rep among the general population, yet it really has such potential! I still remember my first time trying to cook tofu… I was in 8th grade. I bought some silken tofu and tried to cube and saute it in a pan. It crumbled all over and was flavorless and awful! I now use tofu in a variety of dishes, cooked in different manners, but when I make stir-fry or fried rice or sometimes even a curry, I use this method:
1. Begin with the right tofu. Buy the firmest regular tofu you can find. Extra Firm if you can find it. And don’t use silken tofu for this!
2. Press the tofu. Layer a few paper towels on a big plate, set the block of tofu on top, layer a few more paper towels, then another plate and finally something heavy like a text book to set on top of the plate. Leave for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge. This will help remove excess water so that the tofu can absorb more flavor. When the tofu has drained, cut it into 1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes.
3. Heat a little oil (2 teaspoons should be plenty) in a wok or large nonstick skillet. I really like to use coconut oil here for the flavor and the high heat properties , but you can use what you have on hand. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown on two or more sides, flipping the pieces after a few minutes to cook evenly. This should take about 8 minutes.
4. Now here is the important part: Prepare 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, with or without seasonings such as garlic, ginger, chile, or a hint of something sweet like agave or orange juice. Drizzle this into the pan with the crisped tofu, coating as evenly as possible and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
I’m going to be working a long stretch starting tomorrow… I like to have either super simple or make ahead meals when I work long days. Any ideas for a make ahead or quick dinner?