Rice with scallion sauce and stir fried tofu
Sometimes you don’t want a fussy meal. This is a simple combination of rice and tofu with tons of flavor. It is easy to put together and nutritionally enhanced by adding some edamame pods on the side. This is great both hot and at room temperature.
Make ahead infused oil:
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
- 1/4 cup szechwan peppercorn
Simmer the peppercorn gently for 20 minutes. Cool and strain. The oil can be stored for up to 6 month is refrigerator. Crush the peppers, add to equal amounts of your favorite salt and store in a tight jar. I use the peppercorn-salt mixture on edamame pods and salads. This infused oil is inspired by Barbara Tropp’s five flavor oil in China Moon Cookbook.
Ginger Scallion sauce (4 servings):
- 1/4 cup szechwan peppercorn flavored oil (or use combination of vegetable and sesame oil)
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (3-4 scallions, clean, trim off root)
- a dash of red wine vinegar
- a dash of soy sauce
- salt to taste
Rinse the green onions in cold water, strain and lightly dry on paper towels. Keep aside in a bowl. Fry the ginger in the oil until golden brown. Por hot oil and ginger on green onions. Stir, add vinegar, soy sauce and salt and let the flavors blend for an hour or two. The scallion sauce is inspired by David Chang‘s mother sauce at Momofuku.
Rice (4 servings):
- 1 cup small grain white rice.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
Soak the rice in water for 2 hours. Add salt and steam rice in a bamboo steamer (approx 20-25 minutes). If using brown rice, I usually cook in pressure cooker (25-30 min). Keep warm. I have tried some bamboo white rice also, which I think is combination of crushed bamboo leaves and white rice, from Whole Foods bulk isle. It had a mild flavor and a beautiful green color.
Edamame (4 servings):
- 1 frozen package of cooked edamame in shells
While the rice is cooking, heat edamame in a pot of boiling water for a minute. Strain, pat dry with paper towel and sprinkle with a pinch of the szechwan pepper-salt combination.
Tofu (4 servings):
- 1 block of firm tofu, pressed to release water and chopped in 1 cm cubes
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
In an iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil until very hot. Add half tofu cubes and let fry on one side before turning over. If the oil is hot and you don’t stir too soon, the tofu pieces will fry without sticking. Turn the pieces until all sides are golden brown. Add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and toss quickly to coat the pieces. On the hot pan, the liquid will sizzle away quickly and the balsamic vinegar will caramelize so you need to toss the now fried tofu pieces quickly to coat with the caramelized sauce. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining half.
To assemble, serve rice and tofu with a Tbsp of the scallion sauce. Serve edamame pods on the side. For some extra protein, you can cook an egg per serving, either half boiled or sunny side up or poached and break the yolk on the rice.