Better than takeout, this Ginger Tofu Fried Rice gives you a fairly quick and easy option for a great-tasting and satisfying vegetarian meal.
For a long time I was not a big fan of tofu. Many negative words came to mind when someone mentioned tofu. I’ve always been ok with little bits of it in Pad Thai, but that was really about it. Then a few months ago, that all changed. At my office, we get lunch brought in every day (yes, tragic, I know….!)
Once a week a local restaurant called Bountiful Eatery brings in a healthy lunch option. One day, a co-worker was eating something that looked and smelled delicious. When I asked what it was he said they were seasoned tofu skewers. While my initial reaction was to make a face and pick something else for lunch, what I actually did was promptly head downstairs to get some for myself.
That day I learned that good tofu was all about the seasonings and the way it is cook. Ever since I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate tofu into different recipes. One of my favorites has become this tofu fried rice, which is now pretty much a weekly staple in my house.
While the cooking time on this recipe sounds a bit long, most of that is the time it takes for the rice to cook and the tofu to bake. Baking the tofu is important as it helps to get all the moisture out of it before you sauté. When you add the tofu to the hot oil, you may hear a hissing sound, like when you flick water into a pan to see if the oil is hot. Don’t panic – it just means there was still some water in the tofu; you might end up with a little bit of splatter but it won’t impact the dish.
Extra Firm Tofu: I typically buy shelf stable tofu so I always have some on hand ut you can also use the refrigerator version.
Brown Rice: I generally use long-grain brown rice. You can substitute short grain or even white rice if you prefer, however, be sure to cook according to the package directions as they may differ from what’s listed in the recipe.
Eggs: I use large eggs in all of my recipes.
Veggies: garlic, yellow onion, carrot, green onion, frozen peas. You can use a mixture of frozen peas and carrots and leave out the fresh carrot if you prefer.
Pantry staples: soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, avocado oil, ground ginger
Notes from the Kitchen
- I use a mandolin to slice the carrots for this dish so I get nice thin slices. If you don’t have one, you can either just slice them as thin as you can with a knife, or use a peeler to create long thin strips.
- You don’t need to defrost the peas before adding them to the stir fry. Just measure and toss them in the pan.
Ginger Tofu Fried Rice
- 1 12- ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1" cubes
- ¾ cup brown rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ cup vertically sliced onion
- ⅔ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup thinly sliced carrot, about 1 large carrot
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
- Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook the rice. Add the rice and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 35-40 minutes until rice is tender (check package directions for the ultimate cooking time as I've found it varies depending on the type of brown rice I'm using).
- Bake the tofu. While the rice is cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper; place tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
- Make the sauce. Combine soy, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and garlic in a small bowl; whisk together. Set aside.
- Make the stir fry. When both tofu and rice are done, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook for 4-5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add peas, onion and carrots, cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and egg, cook for 1 minute, stirring continually. Add tamari mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve. Top each serving with 1 tbsp of green onion. Serve immediately.