Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Best Fried Rice

I am so obsessed with the blog Minimalist Baker, I cannot even tell you! I check it every week for inspiration and fabulous recipes. This gal has given me many many tips that have definitely enhanced my cooking skills!! For instance, the way she has me cooking brown rice has changed everything for me!!! Her tips are below - the rice turns out amazing every time!!! And oh boy, has she taught me how to make the most delicious crispy tofu!! Again, her tips are below!! Please check out her blog - she's coming out with a cookbook in early 2016 and I can't wait!!!

I made my fried rice with crispy tofu and made my husband's with chopped rotisserie chicken. Everyone wins!! Enjoy!

This recipe is verbatim from Minimalist Baker:

  • 1 cup (~250 g | 8 ounces) extra firm tofu**
  • 1 cup (185 g) long or short grain brown rice*, rinsed thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer
  • 4 cloves (12 g) garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100 g) chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup (72 g) peas
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) carrots, finely diced
**<I made my husband's fried rice with chopped rotisserie chicken instead of tofu- he loved it!>

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce, plus more for veggies + to taste
  • 1 Tbsp (16 g) peanut butter <I used almond butter>
  • 2 -3 Tbsp (27-41 g) organic brown sugar, muscovado sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 clove (3 g) garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (more or less depending on preferred spice)
  • optional: 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (or sub peanut or grape seed oil)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease with non-stick spray).
  • In the meantime wrap tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy on top (such as a cast iron skillet) to press out the liquid.
  • Once the oven is preheated, dice tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 26-30 minutes. You’re looking for golden brown edges and a texture that’s firm to the touch. The longer it bakes, the firmer and crispier it will become, so if you’re looking for softer tofu remove from the oven around the 26-28 minute mark. I prefer crispy tofu, so I bake mine the full 30 minutes. Set aside.
  • While the tofu bakes prepare your rice by bringing 12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add rinsed rice and stir. Boil on high uncovered for 30 minutes, then strain for 10 seconds and return to pot removed from the heat. Cover with a lid and let steam for 10 minutes*. <This is my own tip, if you have time, put the rice in the refrigerator to let it get cold. Fried rice is best when using cooked, cold rice - it keeps the rice from getting gummy and sticking together. If you don't have time for this step, that's fine, but if you do, you will notice a difference in texture>
  • While rice and tofu are cooking, prepare sauce by adding all ingredients to a medium-size mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari or soy for saltiness, peanut butter for creaminess, brown sugar for sweetness, or chili garlic sauce for heat.
  • Once the tofu is done baking, add directly to the sauce and marinate for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, use a slotted spoon to scoop the tofu <or chicken> into the pan leaving most of the sauce behind in the bowl. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown on all sides (see photo). Lower heat if browning too quickly. Remove from pan and set aside.
  <Here's a picture of my husband's chicken and my crispy tofu chillin'  side by side in the pan>
  • To the still hot pan add garlic, green onion, peas and carrots. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and season with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce.
  • Add cooked rice, tofu, and remaining sauce and stir. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Serve immediately with extra chili garlic sauce or sriracha for heat (optional). Crushed salted, roasted peanuts or cashews make a lovely additional garnish. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, or in the microwave.
*If you don't like tofu, you can sub 1 cup fresh or frozen edamame - add in with vegetables.
*Rice cooking method from Saveur! Literally, the perfect brown rice.
                                <This is a photo of the fried rice with chicken and cashews>

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