Vegan Burnt Garlic Fried Rice

Indo- Chinese, a fusion cuisine is immensely popular in India and some dishes and recipes are unique to India and are almost unheard of in China. This burnt garlic fried rice is one such dish. Its quite hard to find a good Indo-Chinese restaurant outside of India. Inchins Bamboo Garden located in Redmond comes close to what we get back in India and this burnt garlic fried rice is one of my favorites from their menu. I’m not sure why this is called burnt fried rice, because there’s nothing burnt or smoky about this rice. Fried garlic is the star in this recipe and if you are a garlic fan, this is the ultimate treat for you. This recipe is very close to what you get at Inchins in terms of flavor and taste. At Inchins, they use basmati rice and chili paste, while I have used jasmine rice and whole chilies. We paired our rice with semi-homemade Manchurian. This rice combined with ginger-scallion noodles makes a great vegan Indo-Chinese meal.

burnt garlic fried rice

Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice (preferably one day old)

8 cloves garlic, sliced

1 bunch green onions, green and while parts finely chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped

4 dried red chilies

1 tablespoon oil

freshly ground black pepper

salt

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add 4 cloves of sliced garlic and fry them till they turn golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.

2. In the same pan, add dried red chilies and cook for a minute.

3. Add remaining sliced garlic and onions, sauté for a minute.

4. Add cooked rice and mix well.

5. Add soy sauce, black pepper and salt and cook till the rice is thoroughly heated.

6. Garnish with fried garlic and cilantro and serve hot.

 

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Vegan Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Peanut Dipping Sauce

We have been having some good weather in Seattle for the past couple of days. I even stepped out without a coat yesterday. This kind of rare good weather day in Seattle calls for something laid-back, easy and at the same time healthy because i want to enjoy the weather and cook something elaborate. These vegan raw spring rolls are right up my alley because they are easy, healthy and guilt-free.

spring rolls 2

The first time i made these, i took them to a friend’s house for super bowl along with this no so healthy potato chip spirals. Since then i have been making these for lunch regularly. These are good by themselves, but when you pair it with a peanut dipping sauce or even Sriracha, they are even better.

spring rolls 4

The best thing about these rolls is you can add any veggies of your choice and tofu or any other protein. If you want to go the non-vegan route, shrimps are a good choice along with veggies in these rolls. I got my rice papers from Cost Plus World Market, you can find them in most grocery stores in the Asian food aisle. Working with rice papers may seem difficult initially, but within couple of rolls, you will totally get the hang of it.

spring rolls1

These rolls taste best when eaten immediately. If you plan to serve for a party or take it to a picnic, cover them with a damp paper towel, they will be as good as fresh.

dip

Ingredients for spring rolls

10 rice paper sheets

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

10 cilantro leaves, whole

10 mint leaves, whole

1 block extra firm organic tofu, drained and cut into thin strips

1 medium head lettuce

Other optional ingredients

cooked vermicelli rice noodles

red/orange/green pepper

cucumber

Ingredients for dipping sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes

Method

1. Combine all the vegetables and noodles (if using) in a large bowl. Place tofu, cilantro and mint in separate bowls.

2. To soften the rice papers, fill a pie plate or cake pan with warm water. Place a rice paper in water for 30 seconds. Remove and place on a work surface for 30 seconds.

3. On the bottom third of the sheet, place 1/4 cup of vegetable/noodle mixture. Place few strips of tofu and top with cilantro and mint.

4. Fold the bottom of the paper up and over the vegetable mixture, then fold each side toward the center, rolling gently and as tightly as possible from the bottom until completely rolled.

5. Place the roll on a plate and repeat steps 2-4 till all the ingredients are used up.

6. To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients listed under dipping sauce in a bowl. Season with red pepper flakes.

Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Have you guys been to P.F.Changs and tasted their ah-mazing lettuce wraps? I hope your answer is a yes. If you haven’t tasted them, your prayers have been answered. This recipe adapted from here is the closest you can get to the real deal. Even Yumjay, who doesn’t care much for tofu loves them. I love that they even have them on their happy hour menu. But with an impatient preschooler, a peaceful meal in a restaurant is almost next to impossible. So what does a girl do when she wants to eat these wraps on a whim? Make them at home, of course:) The list of ingredients may be long, but it wont take you more than 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s faster than driving, waiting and ordering at P.F.Changs.

vegan lettuce wraps

The water chestnuts add a nice crunch to the spicy, mildly sweet tofu scramble. Add more brown sugar or leave out the red chili powder if you cant handle spicy food. Pair this with any type of lettuce of your choice and enjoy the lunar New Year celebrations. This also doubles up as a healthy, tasty super bowl snack and can be made one day in advance. It frees up your game day to root for your favorite team..go hawks!:)

lettuce wraps

Ingredients for tofu stir fry

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 block, organic firm tofu, cut into small cubes

1 8oz can water chestnuts, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt

Ingredients for sauce

3 tablespoons organic soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red chili powder

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup warm water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

Other ingredients

Organic iceberg lettuce or any variety of lettuce

handful of rice noodles pan fried in oil (optional)

Method

1. Place warm water in a bowl and dissolve brown sugar. Add other ingredients listed under sauce and mix well. Set aside.

2. Heat olive and sesame oil in a wok. When oil is hot, add all the ingredients listed under tofu stir fry and cook for 7-10 minutes until all the ingredients are cooked through.

3. Add sauce and mix well, keep stirring constantly on medium heat, till all the moisture is absorbed and all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce.

4. Season with salt.

5. Serve hot with lettuce and rice noodles on the side.

Vegan Ginger Scallion Noodles

Noodles are an integral part of Chinese cuisine. Noodles symbolize longevity, therefore a must eat on Chinese New Year’s day and birthdays. Asian stores even sell “longevity noodles” around this time of the year, they come coiled in a big bundle, it is considered unlucky to cut up a strand . Anyway, this ginger scallion noodles recipe adapted from here is made with ramen noodles, i bought the non deep-fried, vegan version from the Asian store. You can also use regular ramen noodles and discard the seasoning mix that comes along or any other noodles of your choice. These noodles burst with fresh flavors from ginger and scallions , don’t you just want to dive into the bowl in the picture? The good news is, it can be put together in a flash, make this on Friday and enjoy a long, happy life:)

noodles

Ingredients

10 oz noodles

1 tablespoon oil (i used vegetable oil)

1 large bunch green onions, white and green parts sliced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

salt

Method

1. Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large pan and when its hot, add green onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro. Stir the ingredients for a minute in oil and remove pan from heat.

3. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, red chili flakes, vinegar and salt to the pan. Mix well and let it sit for 10 minutes.

4. Toss with cooked noodles and serve hot.

Vegan Ginger Garlic Fried Rice

Fried rice is left over white rice’s best friend. Sometimes i make extra white rice intentionally so i can make fried rice the next day. That’s how much we like fried rice in this house. Throw in some veggies, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, you are sure to put any good Asian restaurant to shame. The inspiration for this recipe came from a ginger fried rice recipe in the New York Times, i made some changes and i love its simplicity. Ginger and garlic play a vital role in this recipe, and if you are a garlic lover, you are in for a real treat. Pair it with Thai tofu stir fry for a wholesome meal.

vegan ginger garlic fried rice

Ingredients

2 cups cooked day-old white rice (preferably jasmine rice, but any rice would work)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 bunch green onions/ spring onions, white and green parts finely chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced ginger

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

salt

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok and when oil is hot, add garlic and ginger. Fry till they turn golden brown. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add green onions and soy sauce, saute for couple of minutes on high heat.

3. Add rice and cook until heated through. Season with salt.

4. Sprinkle crispy ginger and garlic over rice before serving.

Omurice

Omurice is a Japanese dish consisting of a thin omelet filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup. Its a classic Japanese take on a western dish and is popular both at Japanese homes and western diners in Japan. While the idea of ketchup in rice didn’t seem very appealing to me, it actually tasted pretty good when eaten as a whole package.

omurice

It just takes 20 minutes to prepare this, so a good option for busy weeknight dinners or for those days when you want to clean up your vegetable tray in the refrigerator. One day old rice works best for this recipe. If you have fresh rice that you want to use, then refrigerate the rice for at least an hour before using.

omurice

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 lb tomato, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas

2 cups day old white or brown rice

4 eggs

2 teaspoons milk

Oil

salt

pepper

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add onions and garlic, saute till they turn soft.

2. Add mushrooms and green peppers, cook for a minute.

3. Add tomatoes, ketchup and bay leaf. Cook till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

4. Remove the bay leaf and add rice, green peas. Mix well until the rice is thoroughly heated.

5. Season with salt and pepper. Remove rice from pan and set aside.

6. Beat 2 eggs with a teaspoon of milk, salt and pepper.

7. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. When oil is hot, add the eggs and swirl the pan so the egg mixture spreads out into a thin layer.

8. Allow egg to almost cook through and slide the omelette on to a plate.

9. Fill the center with rice and fold the omelette, making sure all the edges are tucked in.

10. Drizzle top with ketchup and serve hot.

11. Repeat steps 6-10 with other 2 eggs.

Vegan Thai Fried Rice With Nam Prik Pao

Nam Prik Pao is nothing but Thai chili paste or jam. This paste is packed with flavors and you just need a teaspoon or two to get all the flavors you love about Thai food. Traditionally Nam Prik Pao is made with shrimp or shrimp paste but this recipe has veganized a 200 year old recipe from Thailand. Throw in some nutty, fibrous brown rice and few veggies along with nam prik pao and you have the most delicious Thai fried rice ready in minutes.

thai fried rice

Ingredients for Nam prik pao

10 large dried red chilies, seeds removed or 6 fresh red Thai chilies ( I used dried)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters

1 large shiitake mushroom

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons tamarind paste or distilled white vinegar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place garlic cloves, onions and fresh chilies on a baking sheet. If you are using dried chilies, just place onions and garlic on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Gently squeeze the garlic to extract roasted garlic and discard the peels.

3. Place garlic, chilies, onions and mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely and evenly chopped.

4. Place the chopped vegetables, sugar, water, and tamarind paste (or vinegar) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently. If the paste begins to boil, reduce the heat and continue simmering until the mixture becomes smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This recipe will yield about 1/2 cup of Nam prik pao.

Ingredients for fried rice

2 cups cold, cooked brown or white long grain rice

1 tablespoon oil

1.5 tablespoons nam prik pao

1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped ( I used a bunch of green onions)

1/4 cup grated or diced carrots

1/4 cup baby corn ( optional)

salt

handful of Thai basil leaves ( optional)

pan fried tofu (optional)

Method

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped onions and cook till they turn soft and translucent.

2. Add red peppers, mushrooms, carrots and baby corn. Stir fry for about 5-7minutes.

3. Add Nam prik pao and rice, stir till rice is hot and coated with seasoning. If you are using pan fried tofu, add at this stage and mix well. Season with salt.

4. Remove from heat, add chopped Thai basil, mix well and serve.