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Tofu Fried Rice

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February 22, 2013 by BettyCupcakes

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It’s a busy day here in the Cupcakes household- I’m prepping for the husband’s 30th birthday bash which will feature brisket, twice baked potato casserole, coleslaw, and birthday cake.   My wonderful mother in law is going to come watch the mini Cupcake while I finish shopping for ingredients.

Yesterday, I boiled the potatoes and baked the bacon for the casserole.  Have you ever baked bacon?  It’s changed my life!  No more greasy stovetops- just preheat your oven to 375, lay bacon on a wire rack set inside a jelly roll pan, and bake 20-30 minutes depending on how crispy you like it.  Tip- let the grease cool and solidify in the pan and scrape into the trash.  That way you don’t gunk up your drain.

My silly husband asked for a wedding cake style birthday cake.  Be careful what you wish for, Nicholas.  Recipes and fun shared next week!

In other news, I’ve discovered the secret to creating genuine Asian take out flavor at home- fish sauce.  You’re welcome.

Here’s the thing- it smells bad.  Real bad.  Lynne Rossetto Kasper from The Splendid Table likens it to dirty socks.  Gross, but true.  However, if you can get past the stench, you will be rewarded with that certain something that all your previous stir fries have been lacking.  Just a few drops transforms a lackluster dish into something wonderful.

One word of caution- try really hard not get any fish sauce on your hands.  It’s a lasting aroma.  Ew.

This would be a perfect meal to serve on a Friday night during Lent- fasting from meat doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor.

And hey, you lucky duck!  It’s Friday.  Ta dah!

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Fried Rice

1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste (optional, but highly recommended)

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 egg, scrambled

15 oz extra firm tofu or 1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined), cut into bite sized chunks

2 cups vegetables (I used asparagus and bell pepper)

2 cups cooked brown rice (You can bake brown rice, too.  Click the link for instructions)

olive oil or cooking spray

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, and sesame oil.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray or add a teaspoon of olive oil.  Add the egg and cook quickly until just done.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Return pan to heat and add another teaspoon of oil.  Add the tofu or shrimp and sauté 3-4 minutes until tofu is lightly browned or shrimp are completely pink.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add the vegetables and cook until tender crisp, 3-4 minutes for fresh vegetables and 7-8 minutes for frozen vegetables.  Remove from pan and set aside.  **Note: Do NOT add frozen vegetables to a pan full of hot oil unless getting splattered by burning grease is your thing.  Ouch!

Add the rice to the pan and sauté 1 minute.  Add in the rest of the ingredients- egg, tofu or shrimp, and vegetables.  Drizzle in sauce and stir to coat.

Serves 2 really hungry people.


  • Amber says:

    Is oyster sauce anything like fish sauce, substitution-wise?

  • BettyCupcakes says:

    My guess is that fish sauce is saltier than oyster sauce, after doing a little Wikipedia research. I would try it and see how it tastes!

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