Asian Walnuts & Rice, Two Ways

This recipe holds a special place in my heart. It is a variation of a dish my grandmother used to make. She was a military wife and spent four years in Japan from 1953 to 1957 (my dad was also born there!). This was a recipe she learned while taking authentic Chinese cooking lessons (yes Chinese cooking lessons in Japan).

The original recipe was quite dated and even called for lard (um, no thank you)! My dad’s wife Maura simplified and updated the recipe to be a bit lighter, but it is still the same taste I remember. This dish has by far been the easiest of the Two Ways series. The only difference in our two meals was the protein component.

First we’ll start with the marinade:

  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white cooking wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp sugar
Whisk all ingredients together. Prepare your protein of choice (I used tofu, Steven had chicken) and place in ziploc bag. Pour marinade over protein, close bag, and refrigerate at least 4 hours (I marinated overnight).

General prep

  • Press tofu. Cut tofu and chicken up (separately!) into even sized chunks
  • mix marinade and marinate tofu and chicken in separate bags for 4 hours to overnight
  • cook rice (we used brown)
  • brown walnuts
  • cook Asian veggie mix (used frozen mix)
Shelley’s Dinner
  • Serving of brown rice
  • serving of veggies
  • saute tofu and marinade until crispy, stir in walnuts at the end of cooking (to reheat)
Steven’s Dinner
  • Serving of brown rice with soy sauce
  • serving of veggies
  • saute chicken until cooked through, stir in walnuts at end of cooking (to reheat)
This meal got the “nod of approval” from my husband, which is a pretty big deal! Some things to note with this recipe: you could certainly use butter/non-dairy spread to brown your walnuts, I just toasted them in a non-stick skillet. Toasting the walnuts is vital to this recipe!!! Also, don’t be afraid when your tofu/chicken mixture gets some chunky bits as you cook, this is just the cornstarch thickening up the marinade. This would be an easy dish to entertain with as you can do most of the prep/cooking ahead of time.
I’m looking forward to next week’s post: French Bread Pizza, Two Ways!!

5 thoughts on “Asian Walnuts & Rice, Two Ways

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