Throw away your carry-out menus and make this easy homemade fried rice bowl instead! It’s so much healthier than restaurant versions, but just as satisfying.

Fried Rice Bowls with Baked Tofu [Vegan]

Serves

6

Cooking Time

90

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Ingredients

For the Fried Rice

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup (63 g) hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • A few shakes of sriracha (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) peanut oil
  • 1 cup (90 g) chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup (63 g) snow peas, halved
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) sweet green peas
  • 4 cups (780 g) leftover cooked brown rice
  • 1–2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
  • 2–3 tablespoons (16–24 g) white sesame seeds

For the Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu:

  • 1 package (14 ounces, or 390 g) extra-firm or super-firm tofu (not silken), drained
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) peanut oil or other high-heat oil (such as coconut or avocado), divided
  • Salt and black pepper

For the Chewy Oven-Baked Tofu:

  • 1 package (14 ounces, or 390 g) extra-firm or super-firm tofu (not silken), drained
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (20 g) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper
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Preparation

For the Fried Rice:

  1. Whisk together the tamari, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sriracha (if using) in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the cabbage, bell pepper and snow peas. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until just starting to soften. You want the veggies to retain their fresh flavor and still give a nice crunch, so don’t overcook!
  3. Add the scallions and sweet peas and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the sauce to the veggies and stir to coat. Add the rice and stir until evenly coated in the sauce. Continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes to heat through.
  4. To serve, divide the fried rice among 6 bowls. Top with Addictive Tofu and a few more dashes of sriracha if you like the heat. Drizzle with sesame oil, if using, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

For the Crispy Tofu:

  1. Optional: Press the tofu for 20 minutes. Pressing extra-firm or super- firm tofu doesn’t make much of a difference unless it seems very wet when it comes out of the package. If you choose to press your tofu, wrap the block of tofu in several paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and place on a plate.
  2. Place another plate on top of the tofu and weigh down the top plate. Cans or bags of beans or rice work well for this or a heavy skillet. This tower may start to topple as the tofu loses liquid, so don’t use anything breakable, like glass jars, as a weight
  3. Cut the tofu block into bite-size cubes. You can do this however you want, but I like to stand it on end and cut it vertically in half. Lay it down and cut into fourths, turn it 90 degrees, and then cut again into fourths again.
  4. Line a large plate with a clean paper towel and set to the side.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cast-iron works best, but nonstick works, too. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of peanut oil and let it heat up. Add half of the tofu cubes, spreading them out so they aren’t touching; if your pan is on the smaller side, you may need to do this in three batches instead of two. If you have a splatter screen for your pan, this would be a great time to use it. If not, just be careful that you don’t get splattered by the oil as it starts to pop.
  6. Cook the tofu 4 to 5 minutes on one side; do NOT move it during this time. It should flip easily when it’s ready. If it’s sticking when you try to flip it, let it cook another minute. You can use kitchen tongs, but a thin flat spatula may help if you find they are sticking. Flip all the pieces over carefully and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat as you go; if your pan starts to get too hot, turn it down to medium.
  7. Flip the cubes one more time and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the tofu cubes out onto the paper towel–lined plate in one even layer to drain any excess oil.
  8. Immediately sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of peanut oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining tofu cubes.*
  10. You can also just shake the pan each time instead of meticulously turning each one, but just know that some sides may get more done than others.

For the Chewy Oven-Baked Tofu:

  1. Place the tofu cubes into a shallow container or bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss well to ensure all tofu cubes are covered. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing again after 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Remove the tofu cubes from the marinade. Place it in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes until golden brown, crispy on the edges, and chewy in the center.
  4. Immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper while they’re still hot.
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Notes

*3 crispy sides is perfect, but you can certainly do all sides if you have the patience. Hoisin sauce is an Asian barbecue sauce. It’s thick and savory with a hint of sweet and spicy. It brings so much flavor with very little effort. You can usually find hoisin sauce near the Asian noodles and soy sauces in your grocery store.

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