Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ginger-Soy Tofu with Forbidden Black Rice

I never let my husband go grocery shopping with me because he takes forever.  A 15 minute trip to the store can take up to an hour with him walking around the store and spending most of his time in the chip aisle.  If he calls me on his way home from work and asks if I need anything, I always tell him no (even if I do) because I know that it will be quicker for me to run out and get it myself.  So on Sunday we were coming back from Half Moon Bay and I needed to stop at Whole Foods to pick up some items and since he was with me, well...I couldn't make him wait in the car...:-).  Anyway, we were in the bulk foods section and he was checking out all the items and asked why I've never made anything using Forbidden Black Rice.  So I decided to purchase some and told him that I use it for dinner one night this week.

I had no idea how nutritious black rice is...touted as the new "Superfood", with even more anthocyanin antioxidants (pigments found in the skin/peel of fruits and vegetables) than blueberries, and containing less sugar and more fiber.  Also fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of anthocyanin show promise in fighting heart disease, cancer and other diseases.  Sounds really good to me!  Plus, it has a delicious nutty flavor, great texture and looks beautiful on the plate.  Since we've had really hot weather this week, I haven't felt like cooking much and so I just made a quick tofu stir fry, easy and delicious.  I actually prefer the texture of black rice more than brown and so I plan to use it more often the future.  And I have my husband to thank for that!

Black Rice:

1 cup black rice
1 3/4 cups filtered water
1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • In a small sauce pan add water, bring to a boil, add rice, stir, cover and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook for 35 minutes, remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, keep warm and set aside.
Tofu Marinade: 

8 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for an hour to remove excess moisture
1 1/2 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, bulb only
2 tbsp green onions, sliced thinly on a bias
2 tsp sriracha sauce
1 cup organic light soy sauce
1/3 hoisin sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp agave syrup

  • Dice tofu into 1" cubes and marinate for at 30 minutes.
Other Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

1 small bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup green beans, sliced on a bias 2" in length
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups baby bok choy leaves
2 tsp canola oil
2 tbsp green onions, sliced thinly on a bias for garnish
2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
Note:  To keep the beautiful bright green color of broccoli and green beans, I never stir fry them.  I blanch them separately and toss them in the dish just before serving to heat through.

  • While the rice is cooking blanch green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, place in an ice bath, remove and set aside.
  • Blanch broccoli for a couple seconds, place in an ice bath, remove and set aside.
  • Heat a large saute pan on medium heat, add canola oil, red pepper, tofu, marinade and baby bok choy leaves and cook until bok choy is wilted.
  • Just before serving stir in broccoli and green beans and heat through.
  • Serve over black rice, garnished with sunflower seeds, green onions and additional sauce. 


  1. I made this last night and while it was a very beautiful and nutritious dish, I was disappointed with the flavor (not sweet enough - seems to need sugar/agave, something), and level of sauciness. It needed more "juice" and sweetness.

  2. I'm sorry that the recipe didn't work out for you. I will remake the recipe next week incorporating your suggestions and re-post. I think that there is a typo in my recipe. I usually add Hoisin sauce to my Asian marinades and I don't see it in the recipe... This would explain the lack of sweetness. In terms of the level of sauciness this could be the result of the tofu absorbing most of the marinade, depending on how dry your tofu is to start with. Again, my apologies, but I'll definitely correct the recipe. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.