Thursday, March 20, 2008

Eight-Treasure Fried Rice

I found this recipe as part of a feature on Chinese New Year meals. Totally forgot about it during Chinese New Year but oh well ;) Better late than never, right?!
The original recipe called for shrimp and sausage to be two of the eight treasures... I made mine vegetarian by subbing some marinated tofu and broccoli for those items. The eight treasures here are represented by: eggs, tofu, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, pineapple, cashews, and cilantro.
For next time, I'd make it more colorful by adding some red (a lucky colour in the Chinese culture) with some red bell pepper or even some cherry or grape tomatoes which I'd add after cooking. You could also easily make this vegan by omitting the egg and using agave nectar in place of the honey. Since tofu is a great egg substitute, you won't miss it! Just be sure to replace it with an ingredient to keep the eight treasure theme going!

This made quite a lot! Probably enough for 2 main-dish servings or 4 side-dish servings. The amounts are a bit weird since I divided the original recipe by 3...

White or brown rice, cooked and cooled (I used 1/4 cup rice and 1/2 cup water to cook it)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/12 cup chopped onion (probably works out to be 2-3 tbsp.)
3 white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup cashews (I chopped mine up a little)
1/6 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/6 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
Small amount of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup broccoli florets
1/4 block extra-firm tofu
1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1 tbsp. orange juice (you could also use pineapple juice or half orange/half pineapple if desired)
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
A quick shake of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. vinegar

1. Marinate tofu. Squeeze tofu between paper towels to remove the excess moisture. Cut into small cubes. Mix together the honey, orange juice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and vinegar in a zip-lock bag. Add the tofu and toss to coat. Let it marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes - it doesn't need long. Work on the rest of the recipe while the tofu marinates.

2. Heat 1/2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat until hot. Add the egg and scramble until set. Remove the eggs from the skillet and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook the onion 15 seconds or until shiny and fragrant. Add the tofu (discard the marinade); stir-fry until cooked through. Add the mushrooms, broccoli, and peas; cook one minute.

4. Add the rice and toss to combine. Add the egg, pineapple, cashews, green onions, and sweet-and-sour sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes until the rice is tender and all ingredients are heated through. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

This is based on an eight-treasure fried rice recipe I found in the February/March 2008 issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine. The tofu marinade is based on the Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (1996 edition).

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