Vegan Fried Rice with Gilroy Garlic
I can’t decide whether the Gilroy Garlic braid makes us look like the “rustic décor” types, or like I have a genuine fear of vampires.
But aside from the aesthetics of a garlic braid hanging in your house, it has been very handy on our three month+ trip through the United States and Canada. Garlic’s one of those ingredients that can make most savoury dishes a lot tastier, and is the base of many of my Asian and Mexican inspired dishes.
And did you know that a well-cared for garlic braid can last for a year?
If you hang your garlic braid in a cool, dry area, allowing air circulating all around it, the life expectancy for eating is one year.
As long as you don’t smash it, bump it or press it, you won’t even get an odour from it – you just cut each bulb of garlic from the braid when you’re ready to use it. You can keep it in your kitchen — just don’t keep it near an oven or window (direct heat damages it) or near the fridge or washing machine (humidity also limits its life!).
Our garlic braid was bought at the Gilroy Garlic Festival from Joe and Pam Lane at Lane Enterprises Garlic Braids. But you can get them at good fruit and vegetable grocers, and many supermarkets (even Walmarts in California).
On weekend I was stuck with a few ingredients on our roadtrip, and no way to get to the grocery store. I had onions, silken tofu, our garlic braid, and rice. The perfect combination for vegan tofu fried rice!
- 1.5 cups of uncooked brown rice – you can use any you like, but we only had brown rice in our cupboard on this occasion
- 1 packet of organic, non-GMO silken tofu – I’ve made this with cubed firm tofu on several occasions, and found the silken tofu gives a more “eggy” consistency
- Vegetables – use whatever you have in your cupboard, and don’t feel guilty about using frozen mixed veggies if you need to
- ½ an onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- ½ tbsp of rice wine vinegar
- Splash of tamari or soy sauce
- Lemon or lime wedges
- Make your rice the night before and refrigerate, for best results. If you’re in a pinch, you can make it a few hours earlier and stick it in the freezer. To cook your rice, measure out your 1.5 cups and rinse out with cold water. Bring 2.5 cups of water to the boil. Add your rice, and reduce to low heat. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, or as long as you need to. Drain the water from your rice and stick it in the fridge or freezer.
- If using fresh veggies, chop, slice and dice them, ready to throw in your rice.
- In a wok or large fry-pan, heat your sesame oil. Add your onion, cooking on low heat for about five minutes or until it’s translucent. Add your garlic, and cook for another minute.
- If your veggies are a frozen mix, add them now and cook on medium heat until they’re hot. If you’re using fresh veggies, throw your rice in first, flipping/stirring with the onion and garlic, cooking until the rice is hot.
- Now add either your veggies or rice, which ever you didn’t add in the previous step.
- Add in your block of silken tofu. I add it whole, and chop it through when I’m flipping the veggie and rice mixture, to get the consistency I want.
- Add your rice wine vinegar and tamari or soy sauce. Toss through, flipping if you have a wok. Cook for another half a minute.
- Service with lemon and lime wedges.
Prep time: With pre-cooked rice, 10 minutes. Incl rice cooking time 50 minutes.
Serves: 4 people.