Fried rice is a great way to convert refrigerated odds and ends into a warm and flavorful meal. Leftover dry and crumbly rice works fabulous for making fried rice. It easily absorbs the juice from leftover vegetables that makes it tender and tasty. Today, when I saw the last bit of kimchi sitting on my refrigerator shelf, I knew using the bold flavor from kimchi to accompany the plain rice is going to be good.
When I was a kid, my brother and I enjoyed my dad’s scrambled egg fried rice. It was always his first choice when he had to deal with two hungry kids pestering him for a quick meal. He likes to drizzle a little bit of soy sauce to add some color and flavor to the white rice, then combined it with scrambled egg and some green onion. When I was in graduate school and cooking by myself, I had a lot of fun exploring different ingredients in fried rice recipes. That is far beyond the typical Chinese fried rice using just scramble eggs.
When I cook, I always try to include carbohydrates, protein, and fiber in every meal. This fried tofu with kimchi fried rice does just that. The salty, tangy, and spicy taste from the kimchi added a zap of extra flavor to the plain fried rice. I also added some leafy greens and sliced mushroom to give additional color, texture, and flavor to this dish. Arrange several pieces of fried tofu and serve with peanut butter sauce. This dinner is good to go.
It takes a little bit of time to fry tofu in a pan or roast in the oven. Sometimes I prepare fried tofu in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. When I need to quickly make a complete meal, it becomes very handy and saves me a lot of time in preparation. For anyone who likes a quick but flavorful meal, this fried tofu with kimchi fried rice with a complex spiciness will not disappoint you.
- 5 cups cooked rice, white or brown
- ¾ cup chopped kimchi (store bought or homemade)
- 4 oz sliced bella mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped leafy greens
- 1 lb firm or extra firm tofu
- 3 tbs canola oil
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- (Optional) ½ tsp hot sauce
- (Optional) green onion for garnishing
- Cut the tofu along its side into half inch thick slices. Then cut the tofu slices diagonally to make triangles. Place tofu on a cutting board and cover with a paper towel. Gently press down with your hand to drain excess water from tofu.
- Whisk peanut butter, water, soy sauce, and hot sauce in a bowl. Refrigerate before serving.
- Heat 1½ tbs oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Test by frying one piece of tofu; it should sizzle. Fry a few tofu triangles at a time so they are not crowded. Turn from one side to the other occasionally, until golden brown on both sides. Set the fried tofu aside.
- Heat ½ tbs oil in the frying pan over high heat. Fry sliced mushroom and leafy greens until soft. Set aside.
- Heat the 1 tbs oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Stir-fry kimchi for 1 minute. Add rice and stir-fry for another minute. Remove from heat, stir in mushroom and leafy greens.
- Serve the fried rice with fried tofu and garnish with green onion. Drizzle peanut sauce on tofu for extra flavor.