Fried rice & tofu with coconut cream

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Inspired by my chef-blogger-extraordinaire colleague I’m taking my first venture into the world of food blogging with this recipe post.

It’s pretty simple and came about by accident; my husband and I came home four hours after lunchtime yesterday, having spent the afternoon shopping for travel supplies without a food break.

As you can imagine grub was high on the agenda. I was feeling rice and he fancied some tofu. We accordingly set up adjacent workstations and got cooking.

My getting first dibs on the soy sauce forced him to improvise so as not to give us sodium overload. I ended up winging it with what we had in since my original recipe was thwarted by our lack of most of the ingredients. Then, in a bid to use up half a tin of coconut milk left over from a recent cornbread adventure (a newfound favourite), I did some stealthy googling and adapted the spicy coconut and lemon sauce recipe linked below.

The result was a definite success in both our opinions. Granted, in our acutely hungry state we would have declared stale breadcrusts delicious, but nonetheless, this genuinely was a tasty turn of experiment. Definitely adding to the repertoire.

So. To the recipes…

Pan-fried tofu

I’m going to come clean. I don’t know what pan-fried actually means. What I mean by the term is fried in a pan. I hope it’s actually that simple, but you never know with food, so if not, you have my disclaimer!

We (he) used:

1. 1 pack Cauldron tofu, pressed for about 10 minutes. (I think a pack is somewhere around 400 grams)
2. Paprika
3. Chicken-style seasoning (this one was a home blend from a recipe book, but any blend of savoury seasoning should work)
4. Approx 2 tbs coconut oil
5. Salt to taste

What we (he) did:

1. Melt and heat the oil in a large frying pan
2. Meanwhile slice the tofu into 1/2 – 1cm slices (about 8-10 slices)
3. Lay half the slices in the pan (or as many as fit)
4. Sprinkle the paprika, seasoning and salt over the slices; allow to settle for a few seconds, then flip the tofu over with a spatula and season the other side in the same way
5. Keep turning the tofu every minute or two until golden brown on both sides
6. Remove and set aside the cooked slices, covering to keep warm, and repeat with the remaining slices

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Fried rice

If I’d had my way this would have used red onion instead of white and peas instead of cabbage. But we didn’t have red onion and we didn’t have peas. Tasted alright, though!

We used:

1. About a cup and a half (ish) of cooked rice – another half cup would have been better for two people; the rice had already been cooked in a rice cooker with a little salt, garlic powder and lemon juice added to the water
2. About 1.5 tbs coconut oil (despite arguments both ways, our conclusion from what we’ve heard and read is that coconut oil is the least susceptible to becoming harmful when heated.. so we tend to go for that one if frying or sautéing)
3. Roughly 3/4 cup sliced cabbage
4. 1 small onion, sliced thinly
5. 1 tbs ground flax seed
6. 3 tbs water
7. Soy sauce to taste

What we did:

1. Mix the flax seed with the water in a small bowl or container and leave to one side
2. Melt and heat the oil in a large frying pan
3. Sauté the onion until starting to soften
4. Add the rice and stir frequently with a wooden spoon until warmed through (about 4 minutes)
5. Add the soy sauce and stir until all the rice has picked up the brown colour
6. Make a well in the centre of the pan and pour in the flax seed mixture (“flax seed egg”); allow to settle for ten seconds or so and then mix into the rice
7. Add cabbage and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is starting to soften slightly and the dish is heated throughout

Coconut-lemon sauce

I’m going to be lazy here and list my adaptations to the recipe I found online 🙂

1. We don’t go for overly spicy food so neither have nor would have used the chile; to make sure it wasn’t totally devoid of flavour I added a generous helping of paprika (about a teaspoon); the lemon and garlic do give it a bit of a zing, anyway
2. I didn’t have shallots so I used about 1/4 to 1/3 of an onion
3. Didn’t have cilantro (aka coriander), so left it out
4. I was trying to use up half a tin of coconut milk, so that’s what I used…
5. …I therefore halved the lemon juice (albeit an estimate, anyway) so as not to make it too thin and lemony; I guess that means there was twice the concentration of garlic and salt as in the original recipe, but, as I said, it worked!

Enjoy 🙂

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