Yasai Cha Han

Ok, ok – I admit that I’ve been very rude about Tofu before, yet once again here I am posting a recipe that uses it. I don’t really know why I keep coming back – but I am determined to have at least one meat-free meal each week and find that Asian-inspired food is a very easy and enjoyable way of achieving that. As soon as you head East, in the culinary sense, it doesn’t take long for bean curd to rear its head and as I am yet to succeed in thinking of an adequate substitute it soon finds its way back into my kitchen.

If tofu is something you already enjoy then you’re certainly onto a winner with this recipe, as it succeeds on the back of the mixture of hearty rice, crisp vegetables and savoury soy sauce. If you’re not a fan and tofu remains a bit of an alien ingredient in your kitchen then do give this a go as it very much plays a supporting role here, carried along in the overall mix.

I’d also suggest trying a range of different tofu brands until you find one you like. The version in the recipe below was made by “The Tofoo Co.” and to my taste it’s better than the other two or three brands I’ve tried in the past. Shopping around certainly seems to be worthwhile…

Oh and in the spirit of giving credit for the inspiration wherever I can… I’m British, so my only real experience of fried rice has either been as a side dish from the local Chinese take away or from the pan Asian menu served at Wagamama. I guess this is most like the Wagamama version, though it’s made from my memory assisted a variety of online sources. Either way I suspect you could tweak it to suit your own tastes by swapping out vegetables for those that you prefer – that’s half the fun sometimes, isn’t it?

Yasai Cha Han
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

It’s not hard to love a bowl of Japanese-style fried rice – the deeply savoury, umami flavours coming from the mushrooms and soy sauce alongside the fresh, crispy taste from the other vegetables combine perfectly in every mouthful. It even manages to make tofu edible! As a bonus this is a really easy dish to make it vegan if you miss out the beaten egg towards the end.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 300 g Basmati or Jasmine Rice
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 280 g Firm Tofu drained and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 Red Pepper deseeded and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 100 g Chestnut Mushrooms quartered
  • 100 g Soya Beans (Edamame)
  • 50 g Mange Tout halved
  • 50 g Baby Sweetcorn cut into thick discs
  • 100 g Broccoli cut into florets
  • 3 Spring Onions cut into 2cm lengths
  • 4 tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs beaten
  • Small Handful of Coriander to garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the rice as per the packet instructions, though cut short the time by a minute or two as you will be cooking the rice again and don’t want it overcooked at this stage. Drain when cooked and keep warm.

  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium heat until almost smoking. Add in the oil, followed by the tofu and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until it’s slightly golden all over.

  3. Add in the mushrooms and red pepper and stir fry for a further 2 minutes, before adding in the remaining vegetables and stir frying for a few more minutes until warmed through and starting to soften. Don’t overcook them though – you want them to retain some bite.

  4. Add in the cooked rice, followed by the sesame oil, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce (if using it). Stir fry for a further 2 minutes ensuring everything is well coated with the sauce and hot through.

  5. Add the beaten eggs and stir fry until they’re cooked through. Serve immediately, garnished with the coriander.

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