I tried to make Singapore noodles one night, only to realize, I had no rice noodles in the house. And, yes, I could have ventured out to get some; but I at times can be lazy. So out went the noodles, and in came rice! The substitution worked perfectly.
Stir-frying is easy, if you head to the stove with everything prepped. It's what chefs call "mise en place." Since the cooking happens really fast, there isn't enough time to prep as you stir-fry. It's all about timing and layering ingredients into the pan to get the right colors, textures and flavors.
When making fried rice, it's always better to use leftover rice. But if you don't have it in your fridge, don't let that stop you from making this recipe. Just make a pot of rice while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Cooked White Rice
Makes 3 cups
1 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups water
1. In a small pot over high heat, bring rice, water and pinch of salt to a boil, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 12-15 minutes.
Serves 2 to 3
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced sweet red pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 package (1/2 pound) extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups cooked white rice
1 green onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup minced cilantro (optional)
1. Heat oil in large frying over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often until the onion starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Add tofu cubes and curry powder; cook and stir until everything is coated in curry powder, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add water, stirring up any flavors that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let it bubble away until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in soy sauce, sugar and cooked rice. Cook and stir until rice is warmed through and everything is evenly coated in the curry mixture, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Finish with a pinch of salt, green onion and cilantro.
--The main flavor of this dish comes from the curry powder, but sometimes curry powder can add a chalky grittiness to a final dish. To get rid of this, the curry powder is simmered in a bit of water.
--I've added no heat to this recipe, but feel free to add some chili flakes, paste or fresh chilies to give it a bit of a kick.
--Only a half package of tofu is used for this recipe, the remaining tofu can be kept in water, in the fridge for a few days, or it can be wrapped and frozen for a later use.
--I always keep ginger in my freezer, that way I always have it on hand when I want it. It freezes well and defrosts fairly quickly.
(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show "Best Recipes Ever." Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at www.karyosmond.com.)