Friday, May 6, 2011

Stir-fried tofu in a sichuan sauce

My family loves tofu and we tend to eat it very often. There are a lot of ways to cook tofu - my favorite way is in Asian cuisine. It is a great source of protein and fairly easy to digest. I like to use the Lite Firm tofu made by Nasoya. It has great texture and does not have so much fat as the normal firm tofu. With vegetables and a sauce it makes a nutritious and tasty one dish meal. 

While watching a show called Chinese Made Easy by Ching-He Huang on the new cooking channel, I liked  the look of the Chili chicken Sichuan style. Sichuan food is typically very spicy, but this chef managed to make a great flavored dish without the use of very spicy chilies. And I thought the tangy, spicy and sweet sauce  would work well with tofu.

Stir fried tofu in Sichuan sauce
14 oz organic firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoon canola oil
1 large zucchini, cut into 1 ½ inch batons
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into ¼ inch wide strips
2 small heads of broccoli, florets only, separated
A handful of snow peas, trimmed
4 stalks of thick asparagus cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
1 vine ripened tomato and 1 plum tomato – seeds discarded
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and finely chopped
1 small fresh green chili, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a food processor, puree the garlic, tomatoes, ginger, chopped chili, red pepper, water, ketchup, and brown sugar. This will form the sauce for the dish.

Blot any excess moisture remaining on tofu with paper towels. It is important that the tofu is dry so that it gets a nice brown color while stir frying.

Blanch  the broccoli and asparagus in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes and shock them in cold water. When cool, drain and keep aside.

Heat a wok over high heat, and add the oil. Add the tofu to the hot wok, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it starts to turn brown. Add the zucchini, snow peas and red pepper and stir-fry together for another 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and the asparagus and mix well. Pour in the sauce, and bring everything to a boil. Add the soy sauce and cook till the vegetables are cooked but still crisp.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice or short grain brown rice or basmati rice.

Serves 3

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