Just kidding. We have so much snow these past few weeks that I would dire for anything green to pop out from our backyard. Oh well, at least make do with this beautiful vegetarian fried rice that reminded me of a nice picnic or days scouting.
I got to this recipe when playing around with natural color, from fruit and all the like. You’ll see, for green, I always use pandan extract, since it not only gives the color but also the scent as well. However, in the harmony of fried rice, I found that spinach (and cilantro) do wonder.
To have the deep dark green, I would just grind spinach along with about 2-3 Tbsp of water. Add in things like cilantro stem to enhance the overall scent would be attractive. This color would transfer to rice best when it is hot. Thus either mix this paste with hot cooked rice or warm/stir fry your leftover rice till hot then mix this with.
Normally I would use fish or soy sauce to season my fried rice, but since this is the vegetarian version, just skip and replace them with salt. This is to be safe with the color too since most sauces tend to caramelize the color.
To complement the overall greenish, I decided on a red-orange accent from carrots. But veggies like corn, purple cabbage, bell peppers…work too. Just dice them evenly.
Since this is the vegan version, scrambled tofu is used instead of egg. This is to make sure of the protein and calcium content within. Just note that tofu will contain more liquid in them, so pat dry, light damping beforehand is recommended. Also, wait until the rice is quite dried and absorb most of the green color from veggies before adding tofu. This is to ensure or the overall green doesn’t fade.
So yeah, enjoy your eco-friendly dish, after all, green is the new black !!
Spring green Vegetarian Fried Rice
- 2 cups leftover rice
- 2 cups spinach
- 5 sticks small asparagus
- 1 small carrot
- 0.5 onion
- 1 sprig cilantro
- 0.25 silken tofu – soft
- 0.5 cup pea or edaname bean
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- Wash and clean all vegetables
- Prepare cooked rice for frying, best if using leftover rice or long grain rice.
- With your food processor or blender, puree spinach, cilantro stems and some salt. Add a couple tablespoons of water if needed to work easier.
- Dice onion, carrot and finely chop asparagus. Pat tofu with paper towel, then smash it with a fork or similar.
- Finely mince cilantro leaves.
- Turn heat element to medium-high. Place a wok or large saucepan over top.
- Wait a couple seconds till pan is hot, now twirl in oil to cover the pan surface.
- When oil is hot, add diced onion. Stir well to saute till soften/translucent.
- Add prepared rice to pan, stir and turn well. When rice is hot enough and a little bit dry, spoon in the green puree. Mix well.
- Keep stirring and folding with a spatula to evaporate extra moisture.
- When the rice is dry enough (isn't sticky as much), now stir in tofu. Fold, pat and mix well.
- When tofu is scrambled and dried, add diced carrot and pea.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and ground pepper.
- Finally, stir in the remaining chopped cilantro leaves. Stir a couple more times till cilantro is wilting.
- Serve hot as is or with some side seasoning (soy sauce/chili/vinegar).