Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Bacon" Fried Rice

My partner's all-time favorite meal is a childhood memory of bacon fried rice, and since I like a challenge - or am a masochist, who can really tell? - I decided to make a vegetarian version of it. It was definitely an involved meal, but it also yielded a large amount (4-5 heaping servings) and was delicious. I used recipes from SimpleVeganBlog and Pinch of Yum to guide me.

Prep Time: 45 minutes at a minimum
Cook Time: 15 minutes (for prep) + 20 minutes

For bacon
Five (5) ounces of unseasoned tempeh, sliced thinly
One (1) tablespoon of soy sauce
One (1) tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce -- I think for a general tempeh bacon recipe, this is the way to go. For fried rice, I'd suggest a chili garlic sauce or sriracha instead.
Two (2) teaspoons of smoke flavoring -- this is the most important flavoring of the bacon recipe, so do not skip or substitute it
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
For fried rice
Two (2) cups of brown rice, uncooked
Two (2) cups of veggies, steamed -- I use broccoli, peas, and chopped carrots
1/2 red onion, diced
Two (2) tablespoons of sesame oil
Two (2) tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Three (3) cloves of garlic, minced
One (1) teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
Two (2) tablespoons of soy sauce
1 - 2 eggs, beaten - optional

For bacon, mix all of the ingredients (except tempeh) together in a bowl.
Marinate tempeh in the liquid mixture for at least 45 minutes, up to 4 hours.

At least one hour before you'd like to begin cooking fried rice, cook brown rice as directed on container.
Put cooked brown rice in the fridge to cool. I've read from multiple sources that hours-old rice is ideal for frying, and it worked well for me.
When you are ready to begin the fried rice, add one tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onion to a large frying pan or wok.
At this time, preheat the oven to 425F degrees and bake the tempeh on a non-stick surface (bake for 10-15 minutes, or until completely crispy).

Once the garlic mixture becomes aromatic, add the egg to the frying pan and scramble.
When the eggs are still slightly undercooked, add the rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and final tablespoon of olive oil.
Stir until the egg begins to stick to the rice and becomes incorporated into it.
Add the steamed vegetables to the frying pan.
Remove the tempeh bacon from the oven and crumble it. Add to frying pan.
Once everything has been properly mixed together, spoon onto a plate or into a bowl.
Eat immediately, and/or keep for leftovers because I can vouch that this meal is amazing as a leftover meal.