The cooking process:
Cooking the rice – In a small pot I combined the black rice, coconut milk, and ½ cup water. I brought this to a boil, reduced to a simmer, then covered and cooked until the rice was tender and the liquid had been absorbed which took approximately 45 minutes. While the rice was cooking I worked on the preparation for the rest of the meal.
Preparing the mushrooms – In another small pot I combined the shiitake mushrooms with enough water to cover them. I brought the pot to a boil, removed from the heat, and let stand until the mushrooms were soft, for about 10 minutes.
Preparing the stir-fry ingredients – I diced the tofu into 1-inch cubes and then peeled and thinly sliced the yellow onion. I then removed the mushrooms, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid and thinly sliced the mushrooms. Lastly, I coarsely chopped the cilantro.
Cooking the tofu – In a large frying pan over a medium-high heat I warmed 1 tablespoon oil. I then added the organic tofu, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked while turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp. When it was ready, I transferred to a paper-towel-lined plate. I did not clean the pan as it is used next to finish the stir-fry. As mentioned above, I usually prefer the soft tofu.
Finishing the stir-fry – In the same pan that I used for the tofu I added the onion, seasoned with salt and cooked over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion started to soften and become a golden color. I then added the lemongrass paste, stirred and cooked until fragrant. In the next step I added the tofu, the stir-fry blend and mushrooms, and poured in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid.
Lastly, I added the sprouts and cilantro and cooked, tossing frequently to combine, until the sprouts were wilted and the liquid had thickened, which took about 1 minute. I love the idea of sprouts in this blend – it made it even more healthy and added a lovely texture
Serving – When all was ready, I transferred the rice to individual bowls, topped with the tofu and sauce and served. The smell of the cooked cilantro and lemongrass was delicious and very tempting.
On a personal Note:
You can always rely on Sun Basket as the quality of the products they provide is excellent. Everything is organic and very fresh.
The result was enjoyable, the shitake mushrooms and sprouts gave it a lovely flavor, but I felt it was missing a certain degree of spiciness. If the dish would have that extra spice I think it would have been taken to a different level for me. An important thing to note with this recipe is that the black rice, which I love, takes more than 30 minutes to cook, which is stated in the recipe, so the preparation time of this dish seems a little long. Also, on a personal note, I prefer cooking with softer tofu.