Make-Ahead Coconut Forbidden Rice with Tofu and Summer Fruit Recipe

Make-Ahead Coconut Forbidden Rice with Tofu and Summer Fruit Recipe

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Note: Black forbidden rice can be found in most Asian grocery stores. If unavailable, substitute with Jasmine rice. Use a thin metal spatula to flip the tofu—tongs can end up breaking it.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at and on twitter @the_suzchef.

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  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:35 minutes


  • 1/2 cup black forbidden rice (see note)
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 ounces extra-firm tofu (about 1/2 block), cut into 1/2-inch planks
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon, black seeds discarded
  • 2 medium plums, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest (from 1 lime)
  • 1/2 cup picked cilantro leaves


  1. 1.

    Cook rice according to package instructions, with coconut milk in place of water. Season with salt while simmering. Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the tofu with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil on each side and season with salt and pepper. Cook tofu until browned and crisp all over, about 4 minutes per side.

  2. 2.

    Mix together watermelon and plums in bowl. Stir together remaining teaspoon sesame oil, lime juice, and zest. Add rice to bowl and toss gently. Add sesame lime dressing and stir gently to coat. Fold in cilantro. Taste and add 1/8 teaspoon more salt if needed. Top with tofu. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to eat.