Confetti Fried Rice with Baked Tofu

There's a Chinese restaurant across the street from our apartment called Tasteful Delight (does that sound dirty to you, or is it just me?). Their food is nothing spectacular, but for some reason on especially cold nights the whole street just smells so intensely of whatever it is they're cooking in there. Like, fried goodness and hoisin sauce and brothy noodles and pork.

Needless to say, the temptation to stop in on my way home is often great. But, unsurprisingly, their food is really unhealthy. So when the craving for a little Tasteful Delight strikes, I try to make some healthy Chinese food at home. This dish, adapted from (you guessed it) Appetite for Reduction, is so quick and easy, especially if you use leftover rice. (I made something with rice last night, so I just made a few extra cups and stuck them in the fridge for this very purpose.) And it's so pretty with the shredded veggies -- that's why I called it confetti rice. You might even say that this dish is a tasteful delight.

Confetti Fried Rice with Baked Tofu
  • One block of firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes to an hour
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 cup dry rice or about 3 cups leftover cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup minced shallot
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • Zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • Carrot (or 2 smallish carrots), grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • Scallions, chopped, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 375 F. If your rice isn't cooked yet, cook it according to package instructions and let cool spread out on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes. Slice the pressed block of tofu into 8 equal rectangles. Spray a baking sheet with some cooking spray and lay the tofu rectangles on it. Brush soy sauce onto both sides of the tofu. Bake for 20 minutes; spray the tofu with a little more cooking spray, flip, and bake 10 more minutes. For extra chewiness, put the tofu under the broiler for 3 minutes at the end.

Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium heat. Cook the shallot, garlic, and ginger about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and carrot and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and drizzle with about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix thoroughly and cook until heated through, about 2 more minutes. Serve with the baked tofu and garnished with the scallions.