My homemade version of Wagamama’s Yasai Cha Han.
I’ll come out of the closet and tell you right now that I’m a Wagamama addict. If I was a millionaire, I’m pretty sure I’d be content eating there every single day. No joke!
It seems I’ve got my kids hooked on Wagamama too because it is the only restaurant they ever want to eat at. My daughter is quite happy to eat their samla coconut curry and rice, but my son is forever wanting their Yasai Cha Han. Very recently, my daughter jumped on the Cha Han bandwagon and I totally understand why. It is just so GOOD!
If you’ve never been to Wagamama (um why?), the cha han is a stir-fried rice dish cooked with carrots, mangetout, sweet corn, and peas. It usually contains eggs, but you can ask for it to be removed. The Yasai version contains tofu instead of chicken or meat.
Wagamama usually uses short grain rice in all of their rice dishes, and I’ve come to love it just because of them. I must admit that they inspired my decision to buy short grain rice in my last whole grain haul. See how much I love them?
I chose to use short grain rice in this recipe to keep it as authentic as possible. As I’ve never seen short grain rice in supermarkets, I’m afraid I can’t tell you which supermarket to buy it from. I ordered mine from BuyWholeFoodsOnline.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I now buy my grains and legumes in bulk from there.
If you read my recipes, you know that I generally don’t cook with oil. That’s not necessarily because there’s anything wrong with oil per se, it’s just that I prefer to get my fats in their whole form. So, I eat avocados instead of cooking with avocado oil, coconuts instead of coconut oil, olives instead of olive oil and so forth…
In saying that, I have used oil in this recipe for two reasons.
Firstly, my kids don’t get enough whole fats. They’re not really into nuts and seeds or their butter. One of them just about eats avocado, and the other won’t touch it with a pole. They won’t even try olives! I can’t get mad at that one because I hate olives too. As growing children, it is important that they get some fat in their diet so I do cook their food with oil.
Secondly, I was trying to keep this recipe as close as possible to the original Wagamama version so oil was very much needed. When I cook this for myself, I don’t bother stir-frying the vegetables in oil, I just steam them. But, I add a drop (literally) of sesame oil at the end for the flavour and fragrance.
Let’s get into this recipe, shall we?
Yasai Cha Han
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (or any other flavourless oil)
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 100g mangetout, sliced lengthways
- 400g pack tofu, drained
- 80g frozen peas
- 80g frozen sweetcorn
- 400g cooked short grain rice
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Pinch of white pepper, to taste
Start by chopping your tofu into cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl with a lid then add a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the bowl and gently shake it evenly coat the tofu pieces. Then put them on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
Heat a wok or a large saucepan over a high heat then add the spring onions, peas, corn, and carrots. Stir fry for 2 minutes then add the garlic and mangetout. Stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes then add the rice and mix well until the rice is completely combined with the vegetables.
Put the tofu into the wok with the rice and season with the soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper. Mix thoroughly then take the pan off the heat.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the rice and enjoy!
- Category: Lunch/Dinner
Keywords: Wagamama, Chahan