I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I don’t want to be a fancy vegan, you know the kind. The ones with the coconut-agave, chicory and psyllium husk coffee substitutes–you see them at the overwhelming Saturday farmers markets, and in your bi-montly yoga class, and they live in either the Mission or Park Slope. These people are chic and ecological and I want to be like them down to their webbed-shoe toes. Only I can’t afford to be because those are some prohibitively expensive organic and local motherfucking strawberries at the overwhelming Saturday farmer’s market. So oh well I guess I’ll just order some Chinese food to soothe my milk-swilling, animal-welfare-hating ass. But wait, I can’t goddamn afford that, either.
You know what I can afford? Canola oil, semi-old rice, tofu, the mixed vegetables at the bottom of my food drawers, and ketchup. Then I sprang for some sriracha because I am determined to be somewhat fancy. I made this fake Chinese take out and it is delicious, so now we’re all vegans in our webbed toe shoes, effortlessly exhibiting a Warrior 3 pose in drapey pants. Except I have to say I don’t know how you people eat so much tofu. That shit is lethal.
Now We’re All Vegan Faked Chinese Take Out
For the rice:
1-1 1/2 cups cooked rice, any kind
1 onion, diced
1-inch cube ginger, diced
egg (optional, ok? the egg is optional. keep your freaking drapey pants on.)
For the tofu:
1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into small squares
5 tsp sugar
4 TB ketchup
3 TB sriracha
juice of 1/2 lemon
sesame seeds and green onion (optional)
For the vegetables:
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 zucchini, sliced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1-2 c. cabbage, shredded
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Green onion, chopped
Fresh basil (if you have it)
Note: I’m going to assume that you have 3 pans. If you only have 2, you can set aside the tofu, cook the rice and vegetables, then add the tofu back to one of those pans to quickly coat with the sauce before sitting down.
If you only have 1 pan, then you’re probably not making this, anyway.
1. Make the sauce for the tofu by mixing together the sugar, ketchup, sriracha, lemon juice, and sesame seeds if you’re using them. Set aside.
2. Fry the tofu. Add about 2 TB of canola oil to a frying pan, and add cubed tofu when the oil is hot. Fry until the tofu is golden brown on all sides–and make sure you adjust the heat so you don’t incinerate your block of $3.99 organic extra firm tofu because then you will be mad.
3. When tofu is good and fried, transfer tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
4. I used the oil I used to fry the tofu to fry the rice. I reheated the oil then added the chopped onion and ginger and stir-fried until the onion started to brown. If you want to use fresh oil, use about 2 TB if you want it nice and greasy, or 1 TB if you’re feeling virtuous.
5. When the onion and ginger have started to brown, add the rice and a splash of soy sauce (about 1 tsp), and stir fry until the rice begins to brown, as well. If you are using an egg, crack it in and continue to stir fry until egg is fully cooked.
5. Start the vegetables at the same time as the fried rice. Heat 1 TB canola oil in a separate pan. When hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry until golden brown, then add the broccoli, carrots, and celery. Stir-fry for about a minute, then add 1 TB water, the lemon or lime juice, and a splash of soy sauce, and cover.
6. After letting the stir-fry sit, covered, for about 2 min, take off lid. Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the cabbage and stir. Stir fry is done when the cabbage is barely-wilted.
7. To finish tofu, add fried tofu into a clean pan and heat. When the pan is hot, add the sauce. Cook until the sauce has fully covered all the tofu–it will thicken slightly, and reduce.
8. To serve rice: place in a bowl and top with chopped green onion
9. To serve vegetables: place in a bowl and top with basil if you have it
10. To serve tofu: place in a bowl and sprinkle more green onion on top. If you’re into that.
I had several beers with mine. It was like college only better cuz it was not.