SCHEZWAN TOFU FRIED RICE
I am starting a new School Lunch Series for my blog, where I will showcase school lunches that are popular with my kids, and that they enjoy taking to school. The first recipe I will be sharing is Schezwan Tofu Fried Rice. This dish is vegan(if you do not add the egg), healthy, nutritious and filling, and makes for a very tasty lunch!
Schezwan Paneer Fried Rice was a popular dish that I grew up eating in Mumbai. A dish that I loved and still love to date.
Indo-Chinese cuisine originated in India towards the end of the 19th century, going into the 20th century, when Chinese Hakka immigrants immigrated to India, namely the city of Kolkata, in the eastern part of India, for work.
It was the amalgamation of Chinese ingredients like soya sauce, and rice vinegar, with Indian aromatics like ginger, garlic and green chillies that created this cuisine, popularly known as Indo-Chinese cuisine, that is beloved all over India for years now.
Schezwan sauce, typically an Indo-Chinese concoction, made typically with dried red chile peppers, schezwan peppers, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, a bit of sugar, soya sauce and rice vinegar, is a common ingredient in Indo-Chinese cuisine.
Growing up, we would love the Schezwan dishes in the Indo-Chinese restaurants, because they were spicy, tasty and hit the right notes on the palate. When my mother wanted to prepare Indo-Chinese cuisine at home, she would typically get the Schezwan sauce from a nearby restaurant that served the sauces, to-go.
In the United States, in 2022, we are lucky that we have access to these ingredients in the Indian grocery stores. I get the Schezwan sauce from the Indian grocery store to prepare this Schezwan Tofu Fried Rice that my kids are so fond of. The Schezwan sauce is linked here as well. The Schezwan sauce can be made at home, but this is of utmost convenience when you have limited time to make meals for your family.
I use extra firm tofu from the brand House Foods Organic Tofu, that is readily available in any grocery store. The extra firm tofu holds its shape well and stays well in the lunch box too.
My kids LOVE taking this fried rice to school. My son loves a boiled egg with his fried rice that is generously covered with salt and black pepper. This fried rice has been on repeat for a few weeks now.
I cook rice a day in advance, and keep it in the fridge to take out all the moisture from the rice. I use basmati rice, or long grained rice for making this dish, as it gives the best results. Once you prepare the day-old rice, the dish comes together within 30 minutes. I pack their lunches the day before, making it super easy for us in the morning to simply pack it in their lunch bags. They warm it up at school in the microwave and it makes for a healthy and fulfilling lunch.
The main ingredients of the sauce that I prepare are:
- Soy sauce, I use the low sodium tamari sauce because that is what I like. It is just the right amount of saltiness.
- Rice vinegar, I use Mirin from the grocery store.
- Sesame oil
- Schezwan sauce or chutney that I get from the Indian grocery store.
You can scramble an egg in the fried rice, and add peanuts as well. I vary depending upon the mood of the kids.
I hope you like this recipe and if you do try it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram, and/or leave a comment on this blog post.
I will post a lunch recipe every week, so I hope you enjoy this series!