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Garlic fried rice bowl with baked marinated tofu and stir-fried vegetables

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4
Garlic fried rice bowl with baked marinated tofu and stir-fried vegetables
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Baked marinated tofu

1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2

Pat the tofu dry with paper towels. Cut the block into 4 equal pieces by cutting the block in half crosswise and lengthwise. Then cut the pieces in half laterally so that they are about 3/4 inch thick. You will have 8 pieces.

3

In a large, wide bowl, whisk together the tamari sauce, ginger, garlic, cumin, cayenne, honey, lime juice, sesame oil and grapeseed oil. Pat each piece of tofu with paper towels, then dip into the marinade, making sure to coat every side. Reserve the remaining marinade to use in the rest of the recipe.

4

Transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the edges are just beginning to color and the marinade sets on the surface of the tofu, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

1

Place the reserved marinade in a measuring cup, whisk briefly and divide into 2 portions. Stir the cornstarch into one of the portions and set aside.

2

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds, then add the rice. Stir-fry the rice, pressing the rice into the wok or pan until it begins to stick, then scooping it up with the spatula and stirring, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon into 4 large bowls or soup plates.

3

Return the wok over high heat and add the remaining oil. Add the broccoli and red pepper and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitakes and stir-fry or until moist and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste, and drizzle over the leftover marinade without cornstarch. Stir-fry for another minute or two to marry the flavors, then remove from heat. Spoon the vegetables over the rice.

4

Return the wok to the heat and add the tofu, placing it in a single layer. Heat the pieces until they begin to sizzle. Take the remaining marinade (stir to make sure the cornstarch hasn’t settled to the bottom), and drizzle it over the tofu, stirring gently until the tofu is glazed (be careful so the tofu doesn’t fall apart). Remove from heat.

5

Place two pieces of tofu in each bowl. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

Stickier rice varieties like Mindanao Black Rice from the Philippines, Alter Eco’s Kao Deng Ruby Red Rice or Thai Purple Sticky rice are all good candidates for stir-fries like this. Use garlic fried rice as a side dish or base with any stir-fry or as a foundation for a rice bowl. If desired, scramble 1 to 2 beaten eggs into the fried rice at the end of cooking.

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