Today will be short and sweet so let’s start by jumping into a big bowl of fried rice. This dish is (almost) always a win in my book, but when we can load it with veggies and control the ingredients- even better! Every so often I make some version of this using what produce I can find in my crisper and this time it was a lonely bunch of asparagus. And an orange (??) bell pepper, some carrots and kale- a yummy combo which also make quite the enticing color palette.
I also used forbidden rice, which is a type of Chinese black rice that turns a lovely, deep purple when cooked. It’s a unique option when looking to deviate from your typical brown rice as it is an ancient grain full of flavor, but even better, loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. When topped with veggies and your favorite protein, you’ve got a complete and satisfying meal.
His & hers bowls, as usual. Mine with crispy tofu because I love the texture and his with shredded chicken because he loves meat. Different, but equally delicious!
asparagus fried rice
I find that cooking the rice in advance helps its texture when fried. If using freshly cooked rice, it may turn mushy- still edible and tasty but not quite the texture you’re looking for. There’s no heat in this dish, however it could certainly benefit from a dash of red pepper flakes while cooking or topped with a bit of Sriracha (or any hot sauce). Also, leaving out the egg will make it vegan- but to me, that’s the best part!
(serves 2 with leftovers, definitely enough for 4)
- avocado oil or another high-heat cooking oil
- sea salt + pepper
- 1 8oz package firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 2 cups kale, leaves removed from stems and chopped
- 2 large scallions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- toasted sesame oil
- low-sodium soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup cooked rice (I used forbidden rice, but any rice will do)
- handful of raw cashews, toasted, for topping
- sesame seeds, for topping
First off, I recommend having everything prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking. Since the ingredients cook relatively quickly, it’s too difficult to do it on the fly.
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add a generous splash of avocado oil to the pan and toss in the tofu pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cook until tofu is crisp and golden on both sides, stirring and flipping the pieces every so often. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add another splash of avocado oil to the pan and cook the veggies- asparagus, bell pepper, carrots, kale, scallions and garlic. Stir frequently to ensure the vegetables don’t burn. Add a splash of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Cook until vegetables are heated through and kale is wilted. You may need to add a few splashes of water to deglaze the pan during the cooking process to pick up the brown bits at the bottom of the wok. Remove from wok and set aside in a bowl.
Add another splash of avocado oil and add the rice to the pan. Stir a few times to coat, then make a small well in the middle of the rice and pour in the beaten eggs. Keep stirring the rice and egg together until the egg is cooked and incorporated into the rice. Remove from heat.
Divide rice between two bowls. Top with veggies and tofu. Add another splash of soy sauce, if desired. Sprinkle cashews and sesame seeds over top and enjoy!