Chef Ed Harris is one of those high-energy chefs with a passion for healthy eating. You might have seen him on some of the most competitive and challenging TV cooking shows—24-Hour Restaurant Battle (where his team won), and as the winner of Chopped “Turbot Powered” Season Four and Iron Chef International. His vegan dishes are squarely focused on healthy ingredients infused with both super flavor and color, so we thought he would be the ideal person to get some immune-boosting advice for us at-home cooks. (see a recipe below)
The Report: Since lockdown he’s been getting creative with beans, mixing them with a variety of vegetables: leafy greens, asparagus, chard, kale, and leeks. As for adding flavor, he’s always got these ingredients on hand: turmeric, green chilli, oranges, and lemons. Harris shares, “I like to juice lemons, oranges and carrots for a boost in the mornings with some turmeric.” He also suggests, no matter what, cooking with onion, chilis, garlic and ginger will assist with boosting your immune system.” In addition, he recommends limiting intake of highly-processed foods, and opting for fresh ingredients instead.
Mushroom Pot Stickers, left. Chef Ed Harris donning one of his aprons for sale on the website. He sourced fabrics from exotic places while traveling the world, so each apron is unique.
Chef Harris is so enamored with spices, he has created an entire line which he has dedicated to his mom. And being Caribbean natives, they know how to make things flavorful! Faye’s Flavor Enhancers includes the basics as the ultimate starter set, including onion powder, whole cumin, madras curry, garlic powder, whole coriander, and bay leaf. “Spices are one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, with that in mind, we have sourced the best-of-the-best from around the world. (Order at the website, set is $35.)
Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps
This is a classic Thai dish that typically uses ground meat as its base. Chef Ed Harris has shared a vegan version where he has switched out the meat with tofu. Harris spent a good portion of his career at Buddakan in NYC as Executive Sous Chef and Dim Sum Chef, where Asian-fusion dishes reign.
MAKE THE DRESSING
1 lime, juiced
2 TB vegan fish sauce
2 TB brown sugar
Stir all ingredients in a small bowl.
START THE TOFU
1 LB extra firm tofu, with liquid pressed out
3 TB peanut oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 small red Thai chile, thinly sliced
1/2 CUP coarsely chopped shallots
1/4 CUP each: cilantro, basil and mint, cut into strips
1 tsp kosher salt
Put tofu in a food processor or chop. Heat oil in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet over medium–high heat. Add tofu and sauté, breaking up into small pieces with the back of a spoon, until tofu is starting to turn golden brown and is cooked through, about 6 min.
Add garlic, chili and shallots and cook for 2-3 min more. Move to a bowl. Fold in cilantro, basil and mint leaves and salt.
CREATE THE LETTUCE WRAPS
small lettuce leaves
Place 2 lettuce leaves on each plate. Top leaves with tofu mixture, dividing evenly. Spoon dressing over.
Above, a vegan stir fry with rainbow carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower mix with rings of peppers and cilantro. If you are a flavor craver, check out his spice blends on the website—Afro Beats, Bollywood, Caribbean Heat—which bring all the flavors together in one easy shake. chefedharris.com