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.