Dirty Rice with Brussels Sprouts and Tofu

Southern cuisine’s “dirty rice” gets its name from the offal pieces they add in their rice. Comfort food often contains more than its fair share of fried stuff as well as heavy starches and some people say “dirty” is also taken from that. I honestly fucked this dish up so I had to literally scramble and rename it “dirty”. I stir-fried the Brussels sprouts and carrots with the salted black beans and then browned the tofu. When it was time to turn the tofu over, they just fell apart. Fuck it, I thought, and I just mixed everything together.

Mark Bittman recently featured canned black beans and I immediately recognized them as the 89-cent cans I see in Chinatown. Filipinos call them tao-si because the black beans come from long string beans we call sitaw. Reverse that and you get taw-si. The spelling changed to make it sound more Chinese. Oh, those Filipinos! I knew they were salty–the beans, not the Filipinos–but not that salty, so I added rice to the dish to fix it up. Sometimes, the most wonderful dishes come out of mistakes made in the kitchen.

2 small buckets of Brussels sprouts, hard tips sliced off, quartered
a handful of baby carrots, julienned
1 package of extra firm tofu, sliced into strips
1 can of salted black beans, drained
2 cups of steamed white rice
juice from 1 lemon
1 onion, finely chopped

1. In a large skillet, heat some oil. Sauté onions until translucent. Add black beans and cook for 1 minute. Add Brussels sprouts and carrots and stir-fry until carrots are tender. Set vegetables to the side and make room to fry the tofu.
2. Add some more oil if necessary. Brown the tofu on one side. When turning tofu over to cook the other side, they may stick. That’s okay. You can mix them up with the vegetables and make a scramble. Add rice and continue to mix until fully combined. Add lemon juice to control the saltiness of the black beans.

Related post/s:
Part of my Mother Hen project: omakase bento #4
Stuff tomatoes with rice this summer

4 thoughts on “Dirty Rice with Brussels Sprouts and Tofu”

  • 1
    Gregor Samsa on April 22, 2008

    Hmmm. I thought Mark Bittman was talking about those cheap but wonderful smoky-salty black beans that come in a plastic bag and take a few years to use up? You get a huge amount for less than a dollar.

  • 2
    Gregor Samsa on April 22, 2008

    Some gobo would be great with this too. Pine nuts also?

  • 3
    cia on April 22, 2008

    Taosi or to English-speaking people: fermented black beans.

  • 4
    Gregor Samsa on April 23, 2008

    Essentially, you are making — because of the tofu and deliquesced onions and lemon juice which also breaks stuff down — a mushy version of Gomoku Takikomi Gohan. The Japanese variant is crunchier. On the other hand, bringing in the taosi (豆豉?) as a player is way cool.

Comments are closed.