Mushroom brown rice is another excellent food-memory from my childhood that I strongly associate with Summer (the ultra-herbaceous French potato salad is on tonight’s menu as well). My mom would make this quick dish with white rice and beef stock (together, making “brown” rice) as a way to use up mushroom stems leftover from kebabs. Today, I use actual brown rice and veggie stock, but this recipe is still a great way to use up mushroom stems from another recipe. I’ve also added in some seared tofu, making this side dish hearty enough to stand on its own, but if you’re not amidst tofu-friendly company, feel free to leave it out.
As soon as these scattered showers clear, I’ll be grilling up some marinated veggie kebabs, but for now, I’m enjoying this dish for lunch with some homemade hummus and crunchy veg. Oh, and one more thing: you can use Evoo or another oil instead of vegan butter if you’re not a fan of substitutes.
Mushroom Brown Rice with Tofu:
- Large saucepan with lid, medium saute pan, two plates and a weight (like a jar of almond butter or a can of beans), paper towels or cheesecloth, knife, cutting board, stove-top
- 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, stems diced and tops sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter + 1-2 Tbsp more (as needed)
- 1 block extra firm Tofu, cubed
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 4 cups veggie stock
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Add stock and brown rice to the saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 30 mins.
- Open and drain the tofu. Wrap the tofu block in paper towels or a clean cloth, set on a plate, cover with another plate, and place your weight on top to press the excess liquid from the tofu. Let sit about 15 mins.
- Prep the veggies. Dice the tofu into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup of vegan butter over medium heat in the saute pan. Add the diced onion to the pan. Stir and saute 2-3 mins, or until it starts to soften. Stir in the chopped garlic, and let the two cook together until the onion is translucent, or about 2-4 more minutes.
- Stir in the mushroom bits, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 mins, or until all veggies are cooked through. Spoon the veggies onto one of the plates, trying to keep as much of the juices and butter in the pan as is possible. Return the saute pan to the stove, and increase the heat to med-high. Add the tofu cubes, a generous pinch or two of thyme, and another hit of salt and pepper to the saute pan. Fry the tofu in the oniony-garlicky butter and thyme until the tofu is golden brown and crispy (or to your personal preferences), about 7-10 mins. Add a Tbsp more butter to the frying tofu as needed to prevent scorching.
- When the tofu has reached perfection, stir the mushroom and onions back in and let everybody mingle. When the rice is done cooking, stir the veg into the rice.