Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tofu fried rice, AKA the Manchester Melee

Breakfast: Rice and spicy beans with spinach

Lunch: A quinoa and bean salad

Dinner: Tofu fried rice, AKA the Manchester Melee

This recipe has origins in the far-too-nice-for-us flat I shared with my great friends Elly (who taught me how not to use Angel Delight) and Phil (who taught me how to make sushi) in my final year of uni at Manchester. We decided one day to make something kind of like a Pad Thai, but with rice instead; sort of a Rice Thai. We loved it so much that we probably had it once a week from then on, if not more.

The original recipe had shrimp it in and egg, so when I remembered this recipe this week I had to make a couple of replacements. I replaced oyster sauce with miso paste and used the tofu instead of egg, giving a scrambled tofu-fried-rice sort of effect which was as good as the real thing!

You'll need:
(Feeds 4)
2 cups white rice
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small bunch spring onions, chopped
2 red chilis, deseeded and sliced
1/4 cup fresh coriander
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp water
3 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 3 limes
1 1/2 cups firm tofu
chopped peanuts to serve
Place the rice in a pan with 4 cups water and bring to the boil
Bring down to a simmer and place the lid on the pan
After 15 minutes, or when the rice is almost cooked, heat a little oil in a wok and fry the onion, garlic and chili
When the onion is starting to brown, add in the cooked rice, stirring continuously
Add in the lime juice and soy sauce, and mix the miso paste with the water then add that in too*
Place the tofu in a bowl and mash it with a fork until it resembles scrambled eggs
Make a well in the middle of the rice and place the tofu in this well
Allow the tofu to brown a little on the bottom of the pan, then stir into the rice
After 5 minutes, stir in the springs onions, coriander and mint
Stir well to combine
Serve with chopped peanuts on top, if you like
*Add more or less of each to your taste

This is quite a quick and easy meal, and it brings back a lot of memories for me. I had lots of culinary adventures with Elly and Phil, and one sobering morning in which I ended up in a dog cage pouring imaginary tea. None of these adventures tasted quite as good as this one though.

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