When we make brown rice, we make a lot. Then, the next day we make this tofu mushroom fried brown rice, or we make brown rice with spinach and mushrooms without the tofu, as a side dish.Jump to Recipe
With a pleasant, almost nutty texture, brown rice is comfort food for both of us. We’re not all Zen about eating, but it’s good to savor your food, and this tofu mushroom fried brown rice recipe can get you in that savor-your-meal place. The rice and tofu make this a main dish and the mushrooms add flavor and texture. Some nice fresh spinach adds color and leafy green goodness.
We like the flavor of brown rice in certain dishes (like this tofu mushroom fried brown rice), but it’s also good for you. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it still has the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain. It’s gluten-free and is also a good source of fiber.
For best results, use firm or extra firm tofu. For this kind of recipe, firm or extra firm tofu is easier to work with because the cubes stay together during browning. In the process section below, we talk about draining the tofu and patting the cubes with paper towels. This removes the excess water which reduces splattering when cooking.
Next month another mushroom might catch our fancy, but right now these baby portobello mushrooms are our favorites. You might see them called crimini mushrooms. Both names refer to the same mushroom. Their firm texture when browned makes them a good choice. Additionally, they brown a little better than white mushrooms and that nice color adds visual appeal to this mostly white-on-white dish.
We use bagged spinach from the produce section of the grocery store. It works fine and we’ve had good success with it in many recipes. Just be sure to use it up quickly once you have opened the bag. It gets limp and soggy pretty fast. Fresh spinach cooks down. That means you start with what looks like a whole lot of spinach and wind up with just the right amount when it’s been cooked.
Brown the tofu
Start by taking a pound of tofu, draining it, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces. Spread out some paper towels and put the tofu cubes on them. Gently press down on the tofu cubes with another paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Add avocado oil to a large skillet and brown the tofu. Don’t skimp on the skillet size; you want plenty of room to turn the tofu pieces. Remember, you don’t have to cook tofu, so you’re just getting it nice and brown. Let’s face it; tofu can look a little bland. Browning gives it some texture and makes it look like something you want to pop in your mouth. Tofu gets a bad rap from non-vegetarians, but we both like it. It’s a good source of protein, meaning you won’t be hungry again in an hour. For some good nutrition info on tofu, check out this link on The Spruce. Alone, tofu is sort of flavorless, but it takes on the flavors that it is combined with.
Sautée the mushrooms and garlic
After you have browned the tofu, set it aside. Slice the mushrooms and either mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press. Be sure to brush the mushrooms with a mushroom brush or wipe them with a paper towel or cloth. If you rinse them, they absorb moisture and get a little soggy. If you don’t have a mushroom brush, use a dry cloth. Mince three medium garlic cloves – or put them through a garlic press – and add them to the oil, cooking them a little bit before adding the mushrooms. Avocado oil is a good choice because it is a high-temperature oil which means it can get really hot without bursting into flames. Not to worry; you don’t need it super-hot, but the avocado oil browns the sliced mushrooms giving them a firm texture while keeping them moist and tender inside.
Easy Tip: Look in the produce section of your grocery store for tubes of garlic paste or jars of minced garlic. When we’re in a hurry or traveling in our RV, we use one of these alternatives to mincing garlic with a knife or putting it through the garlic press.
Put it all together
Now that you have sautéed the garlic and mushrooms, toss in the rice, tofu (already browned) and spinach. Stir this mixture until the rice and spinach are nice and warm; then grab your plate and pile some of this goodness on it. Because we don’t season this with salt during preparation, feel free to sprinkle on a little soy sauce or ponzu sauce. This tofu mushroom fried brown rice dish pairs well with a side salad made with a leafy lettuce like Romaine, some fresh tomatoes, colorful bell pepper slices, and whatever else you like. Olives? Cucumbers? Whatever makes you happy!Print
Tofu Mushroom Fried Brown Rice
This makes a great vegetarian/vegan main dish.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Fried Brown Rice with Tofu, Spinach, and Mushrooms
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 pound of extra firm tofu
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups of raw spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 T avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the brown rice according to package instructions.
- Drain the tofu and cut it into cubes.
- Press the cubes between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- Mince the garlic.
- Add the avocado oil to the skillet and set the heat to medium.
- Spoon in the tofu pieces and brown.
- Remove the tofu from the skillet and set it aside.
- Add the minced garlic to the oil and cook it until it is clear (less than a couple of minutes).
- Stir in the mushrooms and brown them.
- Put in the cooked brown rice, tofu (cooked earlier), and the spinach.
- Stir until warm throughout – about 3-5 minutes.