One of the staples I usually keep in my fridge is a package of extra firm tofu. This practice has saved me on more than one occasion in which I may have forgotten to thaw a package of meat for dinner. Other times, the tofu has been there to back me up when I space out and say “wow, it’s Meatless Monday again?” Today is one of those days.
Fortunately I discovered the magic formula that my family enjoys on their tofu. Yes, sugar (brown sugar) and sodium (soy sauce/tamari) are involved, but hey- if my family is enjoying tofu, so be it!
I find fried rice to be better when fresh herbs are involved. As I am fresh out of fresh herbs until the spring, I’ll be compensating with CSA scallions from the freezer. I’m also adding the last of the carrots from me beloved DIY root cellar. These carrots have been stored since early November, and 6 months later, they still taste great! As an added bonus, the potting soil that housed my carrots (in lieu of the traditional sand) is ready to be used to plant my garden seedlings!
The carrots and tofu are making friends in the sauté pan at medium heat.
The carrots are starting to get tender and the tofu is starting to get golden… Time for the special sauce!
Just about ready to stir in the cashews, and after a minute or two, some rice and scallions.
…and there you have it! Easy-peasy and delicious.
You can of course alter the sauce to your liking, and work with whatever veggies you have on hand. This is great with fresh basil, it’s a recipe that may make a summer appearance on this blog sporting a completely different look.
- 3 tbsp coconut, canola, or other high heat oil
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu (depending on preference), cubed, and dried of most water
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1/3 cup of cashews of choice (I've done raw, roasted, salted, whatever is on-hand and preferred)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce, optional)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp chopped scallion
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (If you have it, wonderful! If not, the dish will hold up without it, but the basil makes it pop)
- Boil your rice according to the directions. While that is happening, heat your pan over medium-high heat (a wok is ideal, but a large sauté pan works fine, too), and add the oil.
- Add the garlic, tofu and carrots and cook, stirring constantly, until the tofu starts to get a little golden.
- Add the cashews and stir for another minute or two before adding the rice, sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce if using. Continue to stir things constantly until incorporated.
- As the liquid absorbs, add basil (if using) and scallions and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and serve!
- Measure out your sauces ahead of time so you don't have to stop stirring. This dish cooks fast and furious, especially in the wok.
- If you go with unsalted cashews, you may opt to add a tiny bit more soy sauce or tamari to compensate.
- On Meatless Monday you can leave out the fish sauce, but again you may be craving an additional dash or two of soy sauce/tamari. I sometimes do 1 tbsp lime juice instead.