Monday, June 7, 2010

Thai Fried Rice with Green Mango & Tofu

There is an amazing family-owned Thai restaurant here in Minneapolis called Sen Yai Sen Lek where I had the best fried rice of all time. It had all the amazing flavors that Thai food is known for: sweet, salty, spicy...delicious. This particular fried rice dish stuck out because it incorporated two ingredients I hadn't had in this manner before: green, unripe mango and long beans cut into short lengths. Their version also incorporates fried, dried shrimp (so good!) and sweet caramelized pork.

My version took a few tries to get right and uses more conventional ingredients. I substituted standard green beans for the long beans and omitted the pork and dried shrimp using only tofu instead. The mango, because it isn't ripe, acts like an unusual vegetable, slightly sweet and fragrant.

I think the trick with this dish is to cut all the ingredients into uniform, small pieces so that every bite is a perfect bite. The crispiness of the shallots and the tart lime are perfect, and necessary, final touches. I find this fried rice to be totally addicting and without question, I could eat this often without ever tiring of it.

For 2-3 servings:
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into half-inch cubes and blotted with paper towels
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice (preferably day old, cold)
  • 1-2 serrano or thai bird chiles, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 unripe mango, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 lime, quartered

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Set aside.

In a large non-skillet or well-seasoned wok, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden on all sides. While the tofu is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a smaller skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot until deep golden brown, stirring often, being cautious to not let them burn.

When the tofu is done, remove it with a slotted spatula into a bowl and set aside. When the shallots are done, lay them out on a paper towel to drain and set aside. They will crisp up as they cool.

Add the egg to the large skillet or wok and scramble, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Push it to one side and add the chiles and green beans, stir-frying until the beans are bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir the ingredients together, cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the tofu back to the wok and stir everything together again. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the rice and stir, cooking for a couple minutes more. Taste, and add a bit more fish sauce if desired.

To serve, spoon the rice onto 2-3 plates, add the mango and limes on the side, sprinkle the shallots over the top and serve immediately.

2 comments:

highplainsthrifter.net said...

Great photo! Sounds super tasty!

Hilde said...

Mm, looks good :)