Sweet and savory pineapple fried rice is dotted with carrots, bell pepper, and fresh cilantro. It’s finished with eggy tofu for a vegan take on the classic.
The recipe I’m sharing today hearkens to when my husband and I were first dating. Neither of us were vegan or vegetarian at the time. And we’d often spend whole weekends engaged in Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons.
We’d order Thai food from a favorite place that was only a couple of blocks away and plan on not leaving the apartment until it was time for brunch on Sunday.
One of my standing orders was a vat of pineapple fried rice. I’d tuck into a paper container, taking in the combination of sweet and salty flavors while Buffy fought the Big Bad, and we both fell in love.
Fried rice is something I never order anymore. Since fried rice often is light in vegetables and includes scrambled egg in the mixture, my order these days tends to be for a vegetable-heavy rice noodle dish instead.
But the other day I remembered that old fried rice of yore… I thought about how, like a chopped salad, you get a little bit of all of the flavors with each individual bite.
I’ve been regularly tucking into eggy tofu for breakfast, which gets its eggy quality by way of kala namak, also known as black salt.
(A little goes a long way with this sulfury salt. In fact, just one whiff out of the bag is an olfactory overload of egginess. Get more information on my spices and herbs list.)
To say this dish took me back is an understatement. The combination of sugary pineapple and savory soy sauce, chewy rice, and chunks of tofu “eggs” was the perfect match. Just like I remembered, each bite had balance – drawing from all of its contrasting elements.
To complete the take-out vibe, serve with easy vegan crab rangoon.
The only thing missing was our old blocky TV set, no obligations until Sunday, and a generous helping of vampires.
Pineapple fried rice with eggy tofu
- 1 Tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (I use Healthy Boy brand)
- 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil divided
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper chopped small (about one cup)
- 1 carrot diced (about one cup)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups cooked long grain brown rice cold
- 1 cup pineapple chopped
- Handful Cilantro chopped (garnish)
For the pineapple fried rice
- In a small bowl, combine the tamari and sweet soy sauce with a fork until blended. Set aside for later use.
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat and put ½ teaspoon refined coconut oil into the pan and let it melt.Add onion to the skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the bell pepper and carrot to the pan and sauté for 5 to ten minutes more, until the carrot has softened but still has some bite.
- Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan in a corner of the pan and sauté the garlic in that small area for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the cold cooked rice to the pan and lower heat if necessary, so that the rice doesn’t stick. Combine the rice with the vegetables until it is spread evenly across the pan.Add the tamari/sweet soy sauce mixture to the skillet, using a spatula to make sure it’s evenly coated throughout the rice.
- Add the pineapple to the rice and continue cooking on a low heat until pineapple is warmed through, stirring occasionally.Spoon the fried rice onto plates and top with the cilantro garnish and a helping of eggy tofu.
For the eggy tofu
- In a medium-sized non-stick skillet, add organic canola oil to the pan. Bring the skillet to a medium-high heat.Add the diced tofu to the skillet and brown for five minutes, flipping the tofu occasionally, so that all of the sides and pieces brown evenly.
- Once all sides are brown, add black salt to the tofu and toss, so that it salts all sides. Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste. (If you like a very eggy fried rice, feel free to add a sprinkling of black salt to the fried rice itself just before serving.)