Tofu Fried Rice

This vegan version of restaurant style Chinese fried rice is easy to make but full of flavour!

Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus a few hours for the rice to cool)Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients

  • 200g/7 oz/1 cup of long grain or basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine
  • 300g/10½ oz/1 box of silken tofu, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 1 onion
  • 150g/5 oz/1 cup of mixed vegetables (sweetcorn, peas, chopped peppers, carrots, chillis etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 spring onions, chopped

Special Equipment

  • A saucepan
  • A large wok
  • A spatula

Method

  1. Boil or steam the rice according to package instructions. Then drain the rice thoroughly and leave it to cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  2. Place a saucepan on the hob over a medium heat and add the margarine.
  3. When the margarine has melted add the undrained tofu to the pan and allow it to heat up for a few minutes. Then gently break it up into large chunks with a fork and mix in the salt, pepper, turmeric and nutritional yeast. Continue to cook for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally, before removing the pan from the heat.
  4. Pour the sesame oil into the wok and set it over a medium heat. Allow it to heat up for a minute or two before adding the vegetables and onion. Stir fry the vegetables for about five minutes, scraping them around the wok regularly with a spatula.
  5. Add the ginger and rice to the wok and mix them into the vegetables. Leave them to heat up for a minute or two, then use the spatula to roughly scrape them around the wok. Cook the rice and vegetables for a further five to ten minutes, scraping them regularly with the spatula as they cook so they don’t stick to the wok.
  6. Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the soy sauce and tofu.
  7. Pour the rice into bowls and sprinkle with the spring onions. Serve straight away.
  8. Chī hǎo hē hǎo! (吃好喝好)

Tips

  • Make sure you steam and drain the rice at least a few hours in advance, and that it’s cold when you add it to the wok- if it’s still warm when you add it the fried rice will be unpleasantly mushy.

Background

Home: China

Relatives: This recipe is based on Yangzhou fried rice. Other kinds of Chinese fried rice include Hokkien, Canton, Szechwan and Chāhan.

History

Fried rice has been eaten in parts of China for at least 1500 years, and is believed to have become widely popular during the Ming dynasty (500 years ago). The dish incorporates old rice, vegetables and meats, as well as popular condiments like soy sauce, so probably developed as a way of using up leftovers.

The most popular variety of Chinese fried rice is Yangzhou rice. This is named after the city of Yangzhou in eastern central China. It consists of rice, pork, crab, egg, vegetables and spring onions, and is the version of fried rice which is usually served in international Chinese restaurants. But there are many other regional varieties of Chinese fried rice. These include Hokkien rice (fried rice with thick sauce poured over it), Szechwan rice (rice with spicy chilli sauce), Canton rice (rice with gravy) and Yuanyang rice (rice with Béchamel and tomato sauce).

Yangzhou, China
Gisling, Si Qiao Yan Yu building on the Thin West Lake — 扬州瘦西湖四桥烟雨楼,, 2007, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Si_Qiao_Yan_Yu_Building.jpg [accessed 4th February 2021] (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/deed.en)

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