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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thai Coconut Rice with Tofu

Some weeks are filled with dining out, happy hours, and quick dinners that make one long for home cooking. Not that I need anything fancy or overly involved, but just something tasty and satisfying.

This last week I’ve hit up Glacier’s Café, Fuddruckers, Manny’s Tortas, and Brasa. That is a lot of eating out if you ask me! Luckily though, on each of those visits, I was joined by friends, so that makes it all worth it.

When I’m not out running around or experimenting in the kitchen, I really like something simple like this Thai Coconut Rice with Tofu.

The coconut milk came as a gift from my sister and the lemongrass was picked up at a Kansas City farmers market and I was eager to use them both. It’s Fair Trade Month and it felt oh-so-appropriate to use Alter Eco Coral Red Jasmine Rice. I’m not a big fan of eggs in my fried rice, so we simply omitted them and because we’ve already cut down our Thai basil plant, regular basil had to suffice in this dish.

The recipe comes from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by our local cookbook author, Robin Asbell.

Thai Coconut Fried Rice with Tofu
(4 servings)

2 cups coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
½ cup water
½ tsp salt
1 cup black, red or brown rice
1 lb. firm tofu, pressed
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp peanut oil
4 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large eggs, whisked together
4 oz. snow peas, trimmed (about 2 cups)
3 large scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup fresh Thai basil, washed and dried
½ cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped

In a 4-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring the coconut milk, lemongrass, water and salt to a boil. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover tightly and cook for 30 minutes. When all the liquid is absorbed, remove the pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the lemongrass.

In a cup, mix the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar; reserve. Heat a large wok until hot, add the oil. Add the shallots and red pepper flakes and stir-fry over high heat until the shallots are golden, about 2 minutes. Crumble the tofu into the hot oil and stir-fry, scraping often, until golden and crisp. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds. Quickly add the eggs, and add the rice and soy sauce mixture. Let cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute to set the eggs, then start stirring and turning the mixture. Add snow peas and scallions ad keep stirring. Cook over high heat until egg is cooked and no longer looks shiny or wet. Add the basil and toss quickly, then scrape out into a serving bowl and top with peanuts. Serve hot.

This is a contribution to Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays.

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