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Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice

Garlicky Tofu fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice by SeasonWithSpice.com

We moved.  New home, new shop, new city.  It’s exciting to move everything to our new, quaint town of Buffalo, MN, but I don’t think I’ll feel it until my fingers and toes thaw out in spring, and our shop opens, and I start teaching my first cooking class. 

Have you ever heard that saying?  The one about, to keep warm, keep moving?  Well, I’ve been moving – first from Malaysia to Minnesota, and then from one Minnesota city to another in the middle of February, and I’m thinking that saying must have been heard wrong.  It had to be, to keep cold, keep moving.

I’m trying my best to keep warm.  Busy packing orders, and rushing off to the post office.  Doing jumping jacks in the shop and dancing to my favorite Zee Avi songs.  But in this cold, I need warming food.  Comforting food.  A hot bowl of fried rice that steams my face and delights my nose.

Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice recipe with Shichimi Togarashi by SeasonWithSpice.com

Like this Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice.

Pan frying tofu for fried rice
Japanese fried rice with shichimi togarashi

The variations of fried rice dishes are only limited by what’s in your kitchen and how much leftover rice you have on hand.  Day-old rice is key to making delicious fried rice dishes since it’s a bit harder and drier, which prevents it from turning mushy when fried. 

Fried rice is also best cooked in a wok with small servings, preferably one to two portions at a time. This is to make sure every grain of the rice is evenly fried, so it remains fluffy.

Garlicky tofu Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

For this Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice, first pan-fry the tofu with fresh garlic chunks to create an incredibly fragrant aroma. Set the tofu aside, and then cook the rice with broccoli and some sweet corn. 

To add a bright flavor to kick the winter-blues, season generously with our Japanese Seven Spice (Shichimi Togarashi). The blend adds the refreshing spiciness of Korean chili pepper, a dash of cayenne; the citrusy notes from orange peel powder, ginger, and Sichuan pepper; the nutty crunch from toasted white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds; and that distinctly Japanese flavor from nori seaweed. 

As a side to this bowl of Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice, try a simple miso soup. Then sit down and relax at your table, enjoy the dishes, and don’t be like me.  Don’t move until spring!

shop japanese seven spice, korean chili flakes, spicy korean chili seasoning at season with spice shop

Garlicky Tofu Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice
by Season with Spice
Serves 2

2 bowls of already cooked brown rice, Japanese rice or Thai jasmine rice (day-old leftover rice is best)
Vegetable oil
Toasted sesame oil 

1 block extra firm tofu – cut into small cubes
4-5 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 stalk broccoli – chopped into small florets

1/4 cup sweet corn kernels – fresh or frozen (thawed)

1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp Japanese rice wine (optional)
1 tbsp or more of Season with Spice’s Japanese Seven Spice
2-3 scallions – chopped

1 tbsp Season with Spice’s black sesame seeds

1. Heat a wok or frying skillet over medium-high heat, then swirl in one or two teaspoons of vegetable oil to coat. Add in the tofu and pan-fry on one side until firm and crisp. Then turn to cook the other side. At this time, quickly add in garlic chunks, and splashes of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Continue to fry until tofu turns golden on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Wipe the wok/skillet with a paper towel to lightly clean. Reheat over medium-high fire, and add in two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then add broccoli and cook until tender. Add in the rice and stir-fry. You want to really break up any rice chunks that had clumped together in the fridge overnight. When the rice is all evenly heated up (about a minute), add in sweet corn and cooked tofu with garlic, and give it a few quick tosses. When all the ingredients are well mixed, add in the tablespoon of soy sauce and the two teaspoons of Japanese rice wine (if using). Toss again to coat well. Turn heat off.
3. Generously sprinkle in the Japanese Seven Spice. Garnish with scallions and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.


SeasonWithSpice said...

I am craving for tofu right now, that looks delicious.

SeasonWithSpice said...

I just put a container of rice in the fridge that was leftover from some takeout Thai food. Perfect timing! I love making fried rice for lunch because it's so fast and easy and always good! I'm sure this one is no exception. Great recipe! Jumping jacks in the office? Girl, you are cold! Wish I could send you some spicy chile soup to help warm you up!

SeasonWithSpice said...

I like this shichimi togarashi recipe.
If you're looking for a shichimi togarashi source- I just received RawSpiceBar's freshly ground shichimi togarashi in a small batch and it was fantastic. Highly recommend

SeasonWithSpice said...

Made this tonight. I used thinly sliced chicken breast instead of tofu. My son loved it. I don't really like chicken breast-aside from that I loved the flavor of this. Next time I will use tofu. Another option would be ground chicken. The meat was just to dry. I thought the corn was an odd ingredient, but it provided a nice contrast to the spiciness. I would use Japanese Seven Spice in the Ramen Noodle recipe if I were out of Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning.

SeasonWithSpice said...

You can marinade the chicken pieces with some toasted sesame oil/ rice wine/ salt & pepper to prevent it from drying. Cook it first then set aside before you add it into the fried rice. Another way to do it is to use leftover cooked chicken (whether it's slow-cooked, oven-baked or poached). Thinly shred the chicken pieces and add them in later for the fried rice. Fried rice is all about leftover anyway. Good point on the addition of corn. You will find sweet corn being used in many classic fried rice recipes. It works well to lend sweetness especially for a veggie-based fried rice. Yeah, you can definitely use the Japanese Seven Spice as a dressing for ramen noodles. i just had that for dinner last night!

SeasonWithSpice said...

The chicken marinade is a great idea! I made this again last night, but cubed the chicken very small. I used different vegetables - keeping the corn and broccoli -adding sweet onion and mushrooms. Instead of the Japanese Seven Spice, I used Sweet and Spicy Curry Powder. I have one serving of that left for tonight - I'll stir fry baby bok choy and scallions to add to it. Really putting my Le Creuset wok to use now!

SeasonWithSpice said...

Fantastic! Now you have a happy wok! Good idea on using the Curry Powder on fried rice. In Malaysia, we use curry powder in Pineapple fried rice. The flavors just work beautifully. I have a recipe here if you like to give this combo a try too: http://blog.seasonwithspice.com/2012/02/malaysian-thai-fried-rice-recipe.html

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