Crispy Tofu with Vegetable Fried Rice

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Crispy Tofu: What I've Learned So Far

Tofu is a simple food, also known as bean curd, that’s made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds – much like making cheese. Tofu can be soft, firm, or extra firm. Soft is best for blending, and extra firm is best for frying, baking, or using in place of meat.

Some people avoid tofu because it’s made with soy beans. There are generally two concerns people have about eating soy products. The first is that soy is a highly genetically modified food (GMO), so when you buy your tofu look for 100% certified organic. (Foods that are 100% certified organic are always non-GMO, but non-GMO certified food might not be organic.)

The other issue is that tofu contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones that may mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in your body. For some people that’s a legitimate concern, but for most of us, like everything else, soy is fine in moderation.

Tofu is an excellent source of protein, and while it’s not particularly tasty on its own, that blandness makes it great for picking up flavors in recipes and stir fry dishes. Try it out and see what you think.

Crispy Tofu with Vegetable Fried Rice ingredients from recipe by Vegetarian Atlas.

The Ingredients and Recipe

You'll Need:

• ¼ C vegetable oil

• Salt and pepper

• 1 C sushi rice

• 2 green onion

• 6 oz. broccoli florets (can use fresh or frozen)

• 1 red bell pepper

• 1 Tbsp mirin

• 2 Tbsp tamari

• 1 tsp sesame oil

• 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

• 2 Tbsp nori flakes, crushed up

• 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

• 1 package sprouted, organic tofu, extra firm

• ¼ C cornstarch

• ½ C panko breadcrumbs

• Pickled ginger

Do This:

1. Cook the sushi rice according to package directions.

2. Thinly slice the green onion, broccoli, and bell pepper. (If you’re using frozen broccoli, cook it for about a minute in the microwave with some water, drain and chop).

3. Mix the nori flakes and sesame seeds.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the mirin, tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar 1 Tbsp water, and 2 tsp of the nori flake mixture. Set aside.

5. Drain the tofu and cut it into chunks. Wrap the chunks in paper towels to remove excess water.

6. Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl and add 1/4C water. Whisk well.

7. Put the panko breadcrumbs on a plate and mix in 1 Tbsp of the nori mixture.

8. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the tofu in the cornstarch mixture and then press into the breadcrumbs.

9. Cook the tofu in the oil about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Put on a plate, sprinkle with salt, and cover loosely with foil.

10. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the green onions, broccoli and pepper, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for about 3 to 4 minutes.

11. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until it’s hot – about 2 to 3 minutes.

12. Top the fried rice with the tofu, and sprinkle with the remaining nori mixture. Eat with the pickled ginger and sauce.

Crispy Tofu with Vegetable Fried Rice Notes

• This recipe is vegan and gluten free.

• While the sauce can be used for dipping, I generally just pour it on the dish – since I can’t eat well with chop sticks I can’t really dip the food.

• When cooking recipes like stir fry, where the food is cooking very quickly at fairly high heat, I make sure to have everything ready to go. I premeasure all the ingredients, pre-chop, etc. you won’t have enough time to be measuring things out once you’ve got food in the hot oil.

Crispy Tofu with Vegetable Fried Rice recipe by Vegetarian Atlas.

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