Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Express Bites: Fried Rice & Glazed Tofu

This is my entry for Mallugirl's Summer Express Cooking Event. The challenge is to make a complete meal in 30 minutes or less! Here is my express post for an express event...
The plan: Reincarnate 3 cups of left-over cooked brown rice (cooked to perfection in the oven, thanks Alanna!) as a fresh weeknight dinner in 30 minutes

The strategy:
1. Have some fresh vegetables on hand, in this case, carrots, mushrooms, onions, cilantro
2. Keep some convenient pantry items in stock, in this case, extra-firm tofu, canned coconut milk and canned Thai red curry paste

The menu: Saute the vegetables with cooked rice to make a quick "fried" rice. Serve with tofu glazed with a spicy coconut sauce. Idea for tofu: The Wednesday Chef's post, Deborah Madison's recipe.

Let the cooking begin!
0-5 mins:
* Pull out tofu, mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, cooked rice from the fridge
* Drain tofu, cut the block into 12 slices or so. Lay the tofu slices in layers of clean dishcloth/ paper towels to remove excess water
* Wash mushrooms and carrots

5-10 mins:
* Heat a wok/ pan with 1 t oil. Heat 1 T oil in a separate non-stick skillet.
* Slice onions, dice mushrooms and carrots
* Saute the onions in the wok for a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the veggies and let them cook.

10-15 mins:
* Lay the tofu slices in a single layer and let them brown on one side
* In a small bowl, mix 1/2 C coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 T soy sauce, 1 T lemon juice, 2 t Thai red curry paste (or to taste), 1 t sugar

15-20 minutes:
* Add brown rice and 2 T soy sauce to the veggies, stir well, cover and let the rice heat up (no need to add salt)
* Turn the tofu over and let it cook on the other side

20-25 mins:
* Turn off heat on the rice. Stir in lots of freshly ground pepper and a handful of minced cilantro
* Pour the sauce mix into the tofu. It will bubble up and start cooking down. Turn over the tofu once, to allow it to be glazed on both sides. Turn off the heat when the sauce has cooked down a bit.

25-30 mins:
* Set places at the dinner table. Serve the tofu on a bed of rice. Spoon extra sauce over the tofu.

This meal is being updated in the list of brown rice ideas on this post.

For dozens of fantastic ideas for express meals of every category, check out Shaheen's round-ups here and here.


  1. wow..I like the idea of glazing the tofu in thai curry!very nice and fast recipe.

  2. That glazed golden glow on tofu is so inviting! But I am allergic to anything soya :(
    Great express meal. :)

  3. Those tofu pieces do look tasty - but that's the magic of Thai curry paste and coconut milk.

    All of you have cooked rice lying around in the fridge! :-D And stir fries are better with stale rice!

  4. The whole dish is looking really tempting with those glazed tofu :)

  5. Hi Nupur,

    we REALLY do thik alike. I just posted my chili sauce and I ve mentioned it would be perfect as a glaze for e.g. Tofu...

  6. brown rice and tofu sound like a healthy meal in minutes. Great combination of veggies and the recipe is perfect!!

  7. What a healthy combo. I love Thai curries and the Tofu looks soo good.

  8. The rice and tofu must have tasted so amazing with the thai curry sauce.... but i will try it out with white rice first and then move onto brown rice:)

  9. Glazed Tofu looks great Nupur and how ell you timed it all

  10. This is being creative. Thx for an healthy and easy recipe.

  11. Love the look of the tofu! Yummy good!

  12. healthy and delicious! This is another great way to cook brown rice! :) will try it sometime.

  13. 30-60 minutes:
    Relish every single bite of a super wonderful meal! (Yeah, I am a slow eater!) :)

  14. Hi Nupur!
    Tofu looks lovely with the rice! good entry for the event!

  15. Amazing! Rachael Ray has nothing on you!!!

  16. Thats quick easy and delicious...especially the glazed tofu pieces

  17. That was easy and so nutritious too. loved th eaddition of the glazed tofu. thanks!!!1

  18. Yes Nupur, it is more of these quick meals that we want so that we can eat more healthy.

  19. This looks too delicious and beautiful to be so quick! Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  20. Wow that looks wonderful and nutritious too with glazed tofu..thanks for sharing

  21. Great combo and lovely entry too. Beautiful pics too.

  22. Looking very nice...


  23. looks yummy and healthy :)

  24. Beautiful Rice and Tofu Combo Nupur. Did not enjoy Tofu so much the first time I tried it but this has motivated me to try it again.

  25. I will definitely try this. And if you don't happen to have leftover rice, just put 1 cup short grain brown rice in the pressure cooker with a scant tsp. of salt and 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to pressure, and cook 10-15 minutes.Reduce pressure, and your rice will be ready AND hot in less than 30 minutes.

  26. Oh, how I love the words "pan glazed tofu." Your dish looks fabulous, Nupur! I'll be making it for sure. Excellent entry!

  27. HI Nupur,

    The Tofu looks beautiful!! maybe i'd substitute paneer instead of tofu, else my husband wouldn't at it:)


  28. healthy and quick and looks super delicious. great dish nupur.

  29. Hey Nupur,
    Love your tofu idea, but I'm not sure I'd use the oven baking idea for rice...using one hour of electricity for the oven is too much of a waste when 10 minutes of LPG will do the work in a pressure cooker...just my saving mentality I guess :)

  30. Hi Everyone, sorry I could not reply to your comments...had a busy first week at work. I'm glad you like this, and the tofu is extremely tasty and a must-try! To respond to some specific things...

    Coffee, really? You are allergic to soy? Have you always been allergic to it? Recently, I seem to have developed a mild allergy to soymilk :( Don't know if I am headed your way...

    Anita, I often make extra rice so I can have extra on hand for fried rice in the next day or two :)

    Zlamushka, I'll be trying your amazing chili sauce soon...

    Roopa, really? Me, I *inhale* my food, I finish dinner in 5-7 minutes :D You, on the other hand, really savour your food! That is good!

    Anon, thanks for the tip, but actually, cold rice works best for stir-fry (does not clump up, all the grains stay separate). Maybe we could use your method for fresh rice and save some in the fridge for fried rice later :)! Best of both worlds.

    Susan, me too! Pan-glazed just sounds so delicious :)

    Nandita, I cooked the rice in the oven as I was roasting veggies for dinner the previous night. I do try and cook multiple things in the oven at one time. You're not the only one with a "saving mentality" ;)

  31. Marvelous. My husband just asked for the tofu in curry I make (woo hoo for tofu - it can taste like anything!),but I think I'll try him on this, instead. After all, variety is the spice of life. As is Thai!


  32. And I can't find my comment to this one here... it did get lost in the crowd :-)

    Nice recipe.

  33. I thought as much, the only way to do that is while multitasking. SInce my oven can do only one thing at a time 'chota wala OTG' -that's why I felt what I felt

  34. Tried out the oven cooked brown rice recipe and loved it! My initial attempts at cooking brown rice were a disaster, but this is one technique that is fool proof. Thanks!

  35. hi,

    this dish looks simply awesome ..I have been thinking of trying tofu and this is a perfect way to start :-)I will try it out and leave a comment on how it turned out

    BTW ...I am also Nupur :-)

  36. Almost Veggie, try it, you will love it!

    Raaga, glad you like it, and sorry your comment got lost in cyberspace :( that does happen sometimes for some strange reason.

    Nandita, yes, Indian ovens are compact. Here, my kitchen has an enormous one designed to hold whole carcasses of farm animals!

    Tee, glad it worked!! Cook's Illustrated folks sure are clever.

    Spice of Life, nice to meet you, and to know that you are a fellow Nupur :)


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