This hearty Brussels sprout fried rice has crispy fried rice and shaved Brussels sprouts with spicy chunks of baked sriracha marinated tofu.
Belgian-Asian fusion at it's best! Up next: lo mein waffles. I'm being silly. I have no idea if Brussels sprouts are actually even a Belgian thing. Maybe Brussels sprouts in Chinese food have been done before.
Whatever the case though, my addition of Brussels sprouts into this dish was a bit random. I purchased them with the intent of using them in an entirely different dish. But when I got to my little neighborhood produce mart I found that all of the Brussels sprouts they had in stock were huge. Like, as in, the biggest Brussles sprouts I'd ever seen. I wondered if they could even be called "sprouts" at their size. (Does anyone know what Brussels sprouts mature into? Belgian cities, perhaps? With the size of these things, I'd buy that.)
So the initial dish I planned on using these in wouldn't work, because it would've called for whole, or at least halved, Brussels sprouts, and these would have looked more like whole or half heads of cabbage in the photos.
I was at least pleased to find that my giant veggies retained the texture and flavor of the normal-sized versions. If I sliced them really thin, perhaps nobody'd know they started out giant (had I not just announced it publicly on the internet).
I'm kind of thankful for the interference with my initial plan, because while I can make that dish anytime, I might have never come up with this one under different conditions, and it turned out awesome.
Fried rice is great. Brussels sprout fried rice with spicy tofu is better. This dish has all the flavors and textures. A little crunch and bitterness from the sprouts, a little sweet from maple (because I had to add maple to any Brussels sprout-centric dish), a little salty and savory from soy sauce, and then some spicy in the baked tofu, which rounds everything off beautifully.
Brussels Sprout Fried Rice with Spicy Baked Tofu
For the Spicy Baked Tofu
- 7 ounces extra firm tofu (half of a 14 ounce package), drained and pressed at least 20 minutes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
For the Brussels Sprout Fried Rice
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 3 cups very thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
- 3 cups cooked rice, preferably a day or so old and chilled
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Make the Spicy Baked Tofu
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes.
Stir the soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, maple syrup and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Add the tofu cubes and toss to coat.
Arrange the tofu cubes in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, reserving any excess marinade. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently turn and spoon or brush reserved marinade over cubes. Bake another 15 minutes, until crispy in spots.
Make the Brussels Sprout Fried Rice
Stir the soy sauce and maple syrup together in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oils in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the white parts of scallions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the Brussels sprouts. Stir-fry 2 minutes more.
Add the rice and soy sauce-maple syrup mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the Brussels sprouts are tender-crisp and bright green, and rice has dry, crispy spots, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the spicy baked tofu.
Divide onto plates and top with green parts of scallions and sesame seeds.
Tofu can optionally be marinated for up to one day.
Leftover rice works best here, as it's already a bit dried out, so it crisps up better.