May 21, 2010

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

The secret to tofu that you actually want to eat as an entree is....

Placing the cubes (drained and pressed, of course) in a medium hot, lightly oiled pan and then leaving to do something else. Don't move the tofu! Don't stir them, shake the pan, hover over the stove... just forget about them for a good five minutes. Then return and turn the pieces over to reveal a perfectly browned crust. Repeat on all sides, or as many sides as desired before you become impatient and want to eat dinner already.

Giving the tofu (use firm or extra firm) time to simply sit on the heat and form that perfectly browned crust will change your tofu-eating experience from what were perhaps soggy, uninteresting cubes of soy to fragrant, nutty squares whose crispy outer shell give way to a warm, soft center.

Toss in loads of mixed vegetables... Snow peas, sliced white onions, carrots, green beans, edamame, water chestnuts. I especially love the way broccoli soaks up the sauce I eventually pour over my stir fries, so I usually put tons of it! Crank up the heat and stir until just cooked through but the vegetables are still lightly crispy.

Add cooked rice and stir again to heat through.

In this case, I topped the stir fry with a generous serving of peanut chile sauce, but that was only to use up the rest of the leftover sauce I'd had from when I made it earlier this week. Other favorite stir fry sauces include soy-peanut sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and curry sauce. Those sauce recipes will be on their way soon, but for now, I'm ready to eat this!

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