Stir-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy and Scallions.
September 19, 2011 @ 11:49:am
About 5 months into my pregnancy with Ran, I started craving for tofu. Along with some problematic cravings for lox and medium rare burgers (medium well just didn’t cut it), and some positively healthy cravings for asparagus, broccoli and celery, I found myself staring at tofus at the supermarket. Being a carnivore myself and a mother and a wife to carnivores of various sizes, I had no idea what to do with tofu. My first tofu dishes were not impressive, but it didn’t matter because I was craving the tofu, and I might as well have eaten it raw, straight from the box.
Most recipes, tell you to drained your tofu and pat it dry with paper towels, but my previous attempts to make a stir dry resulted in slightly slimy tofu. Then I found out about the “dry-fry” method…
So here is the gist of it; After you cut your tofu (thinly),place it between two dish towels, press gently to get rid of any additional water. Then fry it in a Teflon pan, on medium-low heat, without using any oil, further pressing it with a spatula. Slow cooking is the key to keeping the tofu from sticking to the Teflon and insures that the water has time to evaporate out before the outside is browned.
Once it’s golden brown on both sides, you have leeched all of the moisture out of your tofu leaving it ready to suck up the flavors of a marinade like a sponge.
Yes, it prolongs the food making proccess, but it will improve your dish, I promise!
For the marinade, I’ve used whatever I found in my pantry: soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, honey and I’ve added grated fresh ginger. Also, given my husband’s Romanian genes, and that fact that I’m contractually obligated to add garlic to everything I make, I’ve added some fresh garlic. I left my tofu in the marinade for a few hours, but even after 20 min. I could see that the “dry frying” payed off. It was dark and smelled delicious.
By the way, if you don’t plan to “dry-fry” you tofu, you can make less marinade, since your tofu won’t absorb it as much. After soaking your tofu, save the marinade and add it to you pan when frying the vegetable.
Here are some more ideas for Chinese, Thai and Indian inspired marinades.
Chinese inspired Marinade:
1/2 cup shoyu (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup rice wine (or sherry)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or crushed
1 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
Thai inspired Marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons Thai curry paste
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp finely minced lemon grass (fresh or dried)
Indian inspired Marinade
3 Tablespoons Oil
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
A Pinch Turmeric Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt (As Per Your Taste)
Juice Of 1/2 Lemon Lemon Juice
Now that my tofu was seasoned, I chopped some cremini mushrooms, sugar snap peas, bok choy and scallions to go in my pan. (other veggie options may include broccoli florets, bell pepper, baby corn, bean sprouts and more).
I’ve made some Asian noodles to go with my stir-fry. When in doubt, make noodles! ‘Cause even if my toddler won’t touch the tofu or the “green stuff” (and he didn’t) he’ll love the noodles with the sauce!
Stir-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy and Scalions.
1 12-ounce package firm tofu, drained, cut into strips, patted dry with paper towels
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoon minced peeled fresh garlic
2 tablespoons mirin
* if you don’t plan to use the “dry-fry” method, make half the marinade.
** some recipes use cornstarch to thicken the sauce, but I prefer more juices.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
6 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
4 green onions, sliced on diagonal
1-2 “heads” baby bok choy (separate into individual leaves and chopped. If the white sections of these leaves are very wide or large, you can slice them in half lengthwise, or into thirds)
Prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick strips (I’ve cut mine thicker, but I think the thinner you cut, the better). Gently press between two dish towels, to remove excess moisture. Dry-fry in a Teflon pan over medium heat with NO OIL, pressing with spatula frequently. The tofu is done when firm and golden on both sides.
Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Set half aside.
Submerge the tofu after dry-frying for 20 min. or more.
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer tofu to plate. Add remaining 2 tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet.
Add mushrooms and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved marinade.
Add sugar snap peas; stir-fry 2 minutes.
Add the bock choy; stir-fry 5 minutes until just wilted
Add scallions and stir- fry for a 2 minutes.
Return tofu to skillet; drizzle reserved marinade mixture over. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.