coconut fried rice with tofu and eggplant
recipe under the cut!
- 3 cups (dry) jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 package extra firm tofu
- 6 cups eggplant (two medium or one large), cut into large cubes
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 6 tbsp coconut cream solids (from a can of coconut milk or coconut cream left to separate overnight in the fridge)
- about an inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp white pepper
- green onions to garnish
1. prepare rice according to package directions, making sure to rinse it several times with cool water to remove excess starch. for best results, soak the rice in cool water for about half an hour after rinsing and before cooking. after cooking, set the rice aside in the refrigerator.
slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu: place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weight it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave for about 30 minutes to remove moisture.
3. cut the tofu into even cubes of your preferred size. lay the cubes on a plate in a single layer and freeze for a few hours, until they darken and harden. toss the frozen tofu into boiling water and boil for at least 15-20 minutes, agitating occasionally.
4. meanwhlie, spread the cubed eggplant in a single layer over the bottom of a large dish, or a cutting board, laid with paper towels. coat evenly with 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp salt. cover with more paper towels and weight evenly (with a few cans of soup on top of a smaller cutting board, for example) to remove water. leave for about an hour.
5. remove cubes of tofu from boil and drain. pat them dry with a towel to get as much moisture out as possible. sprinkle 2 tbsp of cornstarch over them and coat evenly. heat coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and then add tofu. turn the cubes to a new side to cook every couple of minutes, until all sides are golden brown (this is tedious but I find that chopsticks help). set aside.
6. heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pan, or a wok (if you have a gas stove and a wok ring) until it’s spluttering. add ginger and cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
7. add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown. set aside, keeping the oil.
8. add the solids from a separated can of coconut milk or cream (this should work out to around 6 tbsp) and raise heat to high. bring to a boil.
9. add rice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt, white pepper, and more curry powder as desired. fry, adding more coconut oil as necessary, for 2-3 minutes.
10. add eggplant and tofu and continue to fry for another minute or two.
11. top with green onions as desired.