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Vegan Planet: Busy Day, Easy Dinner

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Busy Day, Easy Dinner

Whenever I cook rice, I always make extra so I have some leftover for another meal, especially on a busy weeknight. This time, I used the extra rice to make Hunan Fried Rice from Vegan Fire & Spice. The recipe is below. I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, except I doubled the cayenne (we like a little extra heat) and I added an extra “oops” of sherry, too, just because.

Hunan Fried Rice
This is a flavorful version of fried rice with a touch of heat. Omit the cayenne for a mild version or double it if you want it hotter. Instead of cayenne, you could add a minced hot chile, if you have one on hand. This recipe is from Vegan Fire & Spice.

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, or a natural sweetener
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups shredded napa cabbage or bok choy
1/4 cup minced scallions
3 cups cold cooked rice

In a shallow bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Add the tofu and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Drain the tofu, reserving the marinade. Blend the reserved marinade with the cornstarch and add to the tofu, tossing to coat.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, cabbage, and scallions and stir fry 2 minutes. Add the tofu and marinade and stir-fry until the liquid is nearly absorbed. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through and well combined.
Serves 4

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This recipe is wonderful. I've made it several times in the few weeks since I bought Vegan Fire and Spice. Even my non-tofu-loving DH loves it.
Thanks, Dawn. I agree that it's a great way to serve tofu to someone who isn't a big fan of it -- there's so many textures and flavors going on. I also like to add extra veggies -- whatever is on hand, even just some frozen peas are a good addition.
Hmm... We haven't tried that yet, but we love rice and we love spices!
This sounds delicious. I haven't got the new book yet but it is on my list. Did you specify cold-pressed canola oil because it will affect the flavor, or is it for health reasons?
I've wanted to make this ever since I got the book... but somehow rice never survives long in my house...
Robin, I'm a big recipe modifier. Several times I made this I added some chopped mushrooms and probably quadrupled the scallions (I'm a bit of a green onion freak).

How great to talk to you personally! I have many of your cookbooks and am using them even more now since I'm transitioning to veganism. Thanks for all the great ideas!
I had just woken up before checking all of my fav blogs. My eyes weren't quite focused as the page loaded and I desperately tried re-read again and again... "Human Fried Rice, what?!"

Now that my eyes are working correctly, it looks delicious!! :D
Andrea: it sounds like you'd enjoy this recipe - be sure to "taste as you go" and add extra seasonings to suit your own taste.

Troy: as I explain in the book, I specify cold-pressed canola oil (as opposed to the non-organic kind), but you can use any light, flavorless oil you want. I usually use organic canola or grapeseed for recipes where I don't want the flavor of olive oil to intrude. But for everything else, I use olive oil.

Pavotrouge: that's why I always make way more rice than I need for a meal -- some of my favorite rice recipes are best made with cold cooked rice.
Dawn: I'm with you about modifying recipes. I think that's the hallmark of a creative cook! This fried rice recipe is especially good for adding whatever is on hand -- steamed brocolli, a grated carrot, etc. and of course extra scallions, ginger, soy sauce, etc.

Jaxin: glad your eyes came into focus for that -- you probably thought for a second that you weren't on a vegan recipe site after all!
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