For me this dish is less about the crunchy vegetables or the fact this was my very first experiment with tofu, but more for the delicious creamy rice which was more like a rice pudding than a side to a savoury main course. Cooked in coconut milk, a little water and a sprinkle of saffron this rich, fragrant rice would sit well with stir fried vegetables, a light vegetarian or meat curry, some shredded duck or pulled pulled pork….I could go on.
Ingredients (serves 2 adults and a child)
For the rice
- 150g brown basmati rice
- One 400g (net weight) can of coconut milk
- One cup of water
- A pinch of saffron
For the stir fry vegetables
- A clove of garlic, very finely sliced
- A 1cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- A tablespoon of cashews
- Half a red pepper, very thinly sliced
- A small piece of hot chilli, very thinly sliced
- A good handful of pak choi, finely sliced
- Teaspoon of soy sauce
For the tofu
- 150g of plain tofu
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
In a non-stick pan put the rice, coconut milk, water and saffron. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Allow the rice to simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.
About five minutes before the rice is done, heat about 1cm of oil (preferably an oil that can withstand high cooking temperatures such as coconut or avocado oil) in a wok. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the tofu, ensuring an even coating.
Add half the grated ginger and half the garlic to the oil, followed by the sesame coated tofu. Allow the tofu to become crispy before turning.
When the tofu is crispy all over, very carefully drain most of the oil from the wok into a heat proof dish. Set aside to dispose of when cool.
Add the pepper, chilli, pak choi, cashews and the rest of the garlic and ginger to the tofu tossing quickly to distribute the flavours.
Serve with the coconut rice.
When disposing of used cooking oil, check with your local authority to see if they have specific disposal methods. There may be a company who will collect larger amounts to turn in to alternative fuels. Don’t tip it down the sink as it can block drains.