A few weeks ago when I was about to have a medical procedure, one of my yoga students brought me a thoughtful gift: a container of Thai-style peanut soup. The soup was very simple—peanut butter, scallions and tofu with a variety of spices. It hit the spot.
One of the evenings that I enjoyed her soup, I decided to beef up the meal—not literally, of course—by making a grain/veggie accompaniment. I went to a trusted resource for world veggie cuisine: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. At 736 pages, this cookbook features cuisine from countries as diverse as Scandinavia and Ethiopia. Everything I’ve made from this book has been fantastic.
The book comes from a longstanding Moosewood tradition. Every Sunday for many years, the restaurant has featured regional and world cuisine. The book that compiled many of their recipes was published in 1990 and continues to be a classic. Moosewood Restaurant contributes 1 percent of its profits from the sale of this book to the Eritrean Relief Fund, which provides food and humanitarian assistance to the Eritrean people.
In all my years of cooking meatless meals, I’d never made fried rice until recently. I’m not sure why. I really love it and it’s not at all difficult to make. Like most stir fries, fried rice goes together quickly, once you start the cooking process. As with any stir-fried concoction, I made sure all the ingredients were prepared and ready to add to the wok well before I started cooking.
The fun thing about fried rice is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. The recipe recommends certain veggies, but pretty much any will do. I like to include a variety of colors.
I basically cut this recipe in half because I was making it for two. I felt that leftovers wouldn’t do this meal justice. I did play with the proportions a bit though. For example, I used more ginger than it calls for. I also used the full 2-1/2 cups of veggies, while cutting most of the other ingredients in half. What follows is the full recipe from the book, with my comments. If you’d like extra protein, you can add cubed tofu or tempeh in the early stages of stir frying.
Meatless Monday: Thai Fried Rice
2-1/2 cups of chopped veggies. Choose from the following veggies recommended in the book:
- diced carrots
- green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
- green peas, fresh or frozen
- red or green bell pepper, cut into short strips
- blanched mung bean sprouts
Here are the veggies I used:
- broccolini (the last of it from my garden)
- diced carrots
- sliced shiitake mushrooms
- cauliflower, cut in small florets
Here’s the rest:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger (I used more)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 6 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons shoyu
- juice of 1/2 lime (I used the full amount)
- garnishes: sliced scallions and lime wedges
- It’s best to use leftover rice, but you can also make the rice ahead of time and let it cool, uncovered for a few hours.
- Heat the oil in a wok or heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the more substantial veggies—carrots, cauliflower, green beans—and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the medium veggies—broccoli, peas, red pepper strips—and stir-fry for a few more minutes.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms, if using, and stir-fry another minute or so.
- Add the tomatoes and stir for another minute.
- Make a well in the center of the veggies. Pour in the beaten egg and use a spatula to scramble it. Once it’s set, stir to distribute the egg throughout the veggies.
- Stir in the rice and mung bean sprouts.
- Add the sriracha, shoyu and lime juice. Stir to coat.
- Serve immediately. Top each bowl with sliced scallions and squeeze some extra lime juice onto each serving.