Cooking for One: Tofu Fried Rice

by Elizabeth on August 16, 2011 · 6 comments

in cooking for one, main dishes, recipes

By request, I’m going to be featuring a recipe here and there that makes one (plus leftovers) serving.  If you are cooking for more than one, these recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.  

Don’t freak out!  Tofu is not squishy, tasteless, or disgusting!  Or, at least it’s not if you cook it correctly.  Tofu is actually really easy to work with and is an excellent source of protein.  The kind I buy (Organic Nasoya – Firm) isn’t very expensive and I found easily at my local Publix.  But…if you’re hesitant about tofu or really don’t like it, you can use chicken, pork, or even shrimp in this dish instead.

I found this recipe to be great because it’s one of those kitchen sink dishes and great when you have a little bit of this and a little bit of that left in the fridge and no ideas on how to use it.  I made it like this, but there are lots of things you could add or leave out, depending on your tastes and what you have on hand.  This recipe does have a lot of steps, but it goes really fast once you’ve got all your ingredients together and prepped.

Tofu Fried Rice
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Vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 – 1/2 block of firm tofu, cubed and patted dry
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup cooked brown or white rice*
1 garlic clove, minced
Grated fresh ginger or a 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 handfuls of some sort of green like bok choy or spinach, sliced thinly
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas

Heat a skillet (I used my cast iron, but you could use a wok if you have one or just a regular skillet) over medium heat and add a teaspoon or so of oil.  Scramble the eggs until just barely cooked, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Heat another teaspoon or so of oil and saute the onions for 3-4 minutes.  Add in the mushrooms and cook until most of their juices have been evaporated (5-8 minutes).  Stir in a teaspoon on rice wine vinegar and scrape up the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan.  Spoon out the mushrooms and onions into a separate bowl.

Increase the heat to medium high and add a little more oil.  Sear the tofu on all sides until it’s golden brown, 5 minutes or so.  Don’t stir the tofu too much or you’ll break it up.  Remove the tofu from the pan and put it aside with the eggs.

Add a teaspoon or so more oil the pan and pour in the cooked rice.  Spread it out to a thin layer.  Allow it to cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes, then stir it and spread it back out.  Repeat until the rice begins to toast and turn brown.

Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the rest of the rice wine vinegar, the ginger and the garlic.  Stir to combine.  Toss in the bok choy (or other greens) and cook, stirring often until the greens begin to wilt.  Add the corn and peas and cook until they are warmed through, then add the eggs, mushrooms, onions, and tofu.  Gently stir everything around to warm it up and get it coated.  Taste and add more soy sauce if needed.

*I think fried rice cooks best if the rice has been made in advance and cooled.  Usually, I’ll make some rice a few days before for another meal and just make extra and refrigerated it.

-Adapted from The Kitchn

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cate August 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

Ooh, yum!! I LOVE tofu. I discovered it in high school when I was vegan, and had to start ordering dishes with tofu instead of meat (usually at Asian places where they’re happy to accommodate your tofu preferences!) And I was amazed by how yummy tofu is when it’s cooked correctly and with the right sauces.

I also make my rice for fried rice a few days in advance. I actually have some in the fridge right now!


2 Elisa August 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

My mom buys tofu from one of the international/Korean supermarkets. (There’s several here in the Wash., DC area) She doesn’t always add rice and cooks with other vegetables. Or she’ll put it in soup.


3 Julie August 17, 2011 at 6:02 am

I love tofu! This looks so delicious. You’re so right, so many people turn their noses up to tofu. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.


4 Elizabeth August 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

You’re welcome. 🙂 I’m just getting into tofu thanks to a good friend who’s Japanese. She showed me some great ways to cook it and now I’m experimenting on my own.


5 Reese August 17, 2011 at 8:51 am

Oh! I have had a block of tofu in my fridge FOR FREAKING EVER. I’m going to make this tonight! Between Cate posting regular fried rice last week, and you posting this version this week…IM GOING TO MAKE SOME TOO. 😀


6 Elizabeth August 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

You should! It’s so easy and it tastes great!


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