I’d worked for hours at my computer this morning before I realized that it was time for a much deserved shower and lunch break. I had my eyes on the remains of some cooked wheat berries – plump chewy grains that I’d purchased from a Middle Eastern market. They look like barley but have less starchiness. Without the hulls the berries cook up relatively fast in about 30 minutes. My husband Rory got a portion of the wheat berries with leftover chicken for his lunch. The rest was for me!
Rory has been nursing a sensitive tummy for a few weeks so we’ve had to stay off super spicy and fermented food. I thought I should take my solo lunch break to treat myself to some kimchi. Why deprive myself?
Lunch is often the meatless part of my day and there was pressed tofu lingering in the fridge. Over the weekend, we scored on a favorite cool weather green – white Russian kale, so that figured into lunch as well. I love fried eggs at mid-day for a rich protein boost so I included one. Finally since fried eggs and Maggi seasoning sauce are such good friends, I opted to season things with it. It was all cooked in the wok and I sat down for lunch in less than 10 minutes. Deliciously light yet satisfying. A tangerine capped things off.
I’d never thought of treating the wheat berries like rice and turned out to be a nice swap in this fried rice-like dish. I’m keeping that in my back pocket. Here’s a recap of my lunch break, followed by a quick recipe.
Do you make fried rice-like dishes with grains other than rice?
Wheat Berries with Tofu, Kimchi, and Kale
Yield: 1 serving
- 3 ounces (90 g) pressed tofu or super-firm tofu, use 4 ounces (120 g) if you're not having the egg
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) napa cabbage kimchi
- 4 kale leaves
- 1 cup (240 ml) cooked, leftover wheat berries or rice
- Canola or other neutral oil
- Maggi Seasoning sauce
- 1 large egg, optional
- Cut the tofu into pieces the size of blueberries or large peas. Set aside. Smash the garlic and put on another spot of your cutting board. Chop half of the kimchi for cooking with the wheat berries. Save the rest for adding to your plate. Keep these things by the stove.
- Wash the kale then shake off excess water. Use your fingers to tear off the flesh parts of each kale leaf. Discard the firm mid-ribs. Tear the kale into bite size pieces and set near the stove.
- Heat the wok over medium heat. Add the tofu and drizzle in some Maggi – about 2 teaspoons, or to taste. Stir and let sizzle until the liquid has been absorbed. Raise the heat, add the garlic, greens and kimchi. Stir to wilt slightly. Bank the mixture to the side.
- Add a splash of oil, then add the wheat berries. Stir until heated through then combine with the tofu and vegetable mixture. Taste and add salt, if needed. Transfer to a plate.
- Quickly wash and reheat the wok over medium-high heat. Add a 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil, the fry the egg. Cover to set and cook the top. Serve the egg atop the rice with extra Maggi and reserved kimchi.