Vegan Tofu, Mushroom, and Broccoli Fried Rice
Tofu, mushroom, and broccoli fried rice is a favorite in my house. It is made every time the three main ingredients are available. In fact, it is one of the top ten cooked dishes—I only cook once a day—that gets repeated twice or more in a month.
The nearest market from our place is a 45-minute drive, and sometimes we need to go farther, about 15 kilometers more, to do our shopping when the first market has no fresh produce. While button mushrooms and broccoli are available in season from this same bazaar, tofu is not at all available here. It is a rare commodity that is only available in the nearest city, Dehradun, and that is around 100 kilometers away.
Fortunately, one my husband's hospital staff goes to the city every now and then, and he purchases tofu for us. Depending on the expiry date, we usually ask him to get us five packets of 200-gram tofu. One packet is always made into fried rice.
This time, I used a packet to make this tofu, mushroom, and broccoli fried rice. This recipe is quite quick and simple and tastes great—it's one that you shouldn't miss.
- 200 grams tofu, cubed
- 200 grams button mushrooms, sliced into small pieces
- 1 whole medium-sized broccoli, stem and florets sliced into small pieces
- 4 heads garlic, cut into small pieces
- 3 medium-sized onion, chopped into small pieces
- 1 small capsicum or green bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
- 2 to 3 inches of carrot, unpeeled and chopped into small pieces
- 4 to 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I used peanut, sunflower, and mustard)
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or as per your taste)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or usual vinegar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons black pepper powder
Step 1: Cook the Tofu and Mushrooms
- In a deep pan, heat oil and saute cubed tofu. Make sure that the pan is hot enough to avoid having the tofu stick to the bottom of the pan. When the tofu turns brown, sprinkle in a pinch or two of salt and a pinch of black pepper powder. Mix well so that the tofu gets coated with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Do the same with the mushrooms, but only add salt and pepper when the water has evaporated.
Step 2: Cook the Fried Rice
- In the same pan and on medium heat, heat oil and saute garlic until brown.
- Add onion and cook until translucent. Sprinkle in a little salt and a few drops of apple cider vinegar.
- Add broccoli stalk and mix for about a minute. Add carrot and capsicum and saute for another 2 minutes, mixing constantly to avoid scorching the vegetables. Then, sprinkle in a teaspoon of black pepper powder.
- Add the fried mushrooms and tofu. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes while mixing together carefully.
- Finally, add the broccoli florets and rice. Add a teaspoon or two of black pepper powder and salt. Mix thoroughly. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. This is the right time to check the taste. You can add more vinegar or/and salt according to your preference.
- Serve hot.
Tips and Suggestions
- Wash the mushrooms (especially those which are commercially cultivated) and expose them to sunlight for at least 15 minutes. Mushrooms contain a pro-vitamin called ergosterol that gets converted to vitamin D when exposed to the sun.
- As far as my experience is concerned, oyster mushrooms are more delicious in fried rice than button mushroom, but since button mushrooms are the most commonly available here, that's what we use. We make use of button mushrooms in different dishes such as fried rice, mushroom soup, and mushroom gravy.
- Use or cook garlic at least 10 minutes after it is chopped. Cutting or crushing garlic releases an enzyme called alliinase which, when heated without allowing it to get activated, loses its enzymatic abilities (cancer-suppressing abilities). However, if you cut or crush the garlic and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before heating, its cancer-suppressing abilities are only slightly reduced since eating garlic raw is the best way to reap its full healthful benefits.
- Cabbage can also be added, or you can leave the carrot out and just use broccoli and capsicum. (See picture above.)
- This recipe is good for 3 to 4 people, but for us, it is only for two.
A Note on Oil
This recipe is a little bit oily, but it is flexible enough to make it with a little less oil. Our justification is that we only make it once in a while (thrice a month at the most), so more oil is acceptable.