Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Extra Firm is not Firm Enough . . . .

TOFU y'all ... get your minds out of the gutter!!!

Seriously though. John and I have been eating red meat for four days, not intentionally, but because I made stew that lasted two days, we had amazing lamb and goat at the Clay Pit and then we had Lebanese food at my friend Joan's house. That left me wanting protein without the meat:)))

So tonight I thought I'd make a quick tofu and veggie stir fry. I did. And while it tasted good, I am bummed about texture. I have tried tofu a few ways and have only ever loved it in blended or mixed up form (see my posts on tofu in lasagna and tofu based sun dried tomato spread). I have also tried some tofu tricks like draining and freezing it first to make it more firm, but frankly none of these methods have ever yielded the tasty, firm tofu that I get at professional establishments. I am not quite sure what to do and I appeal to you, my readers and friends, to share any and all tips that you might have.

So while today's recipe was super simple and follows below, I cannot claim it among my best.

Ginger Scented Tofu Veggie Stir-Fry

Put the quinoa and water on to boil. Reduce to a simmer and then turn off with the lid on. Let sit for 20-25 minutes until all water is absorbed and the quinoa is can be fluffed with a fork.

While the quinoa cooks, dice the tofu and pour the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar over it in a plastic container. Heat 1/2 of the oil in a Teflon coated pan and saute the onion for 2-3 minutes, add the tofu gingerly so it doesn't crumble. Use a spatula and tongs to turn the tofu and brown it on all sides, again gingerly so you limit the crumbling (this is my issue). Place the onions and tofu in a dish and reserve.

Put the remaining oil in the pan. While this heats, mix the remaining soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and herbs together in a small dish. Once the oil is hot, add the bell peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the pre-cooked carrots and snap peas, sauteing for another 1-2 minutes. Add 2/3 of the sauce mixture, mixing and letting this cook for about 2 minutes. Add back the tofu/onion mixture and the remaining sauce, combining all ingredients and bringing up to temperature.

Serve in bowls with 2/3 cup quinoa and half of the tofu stir fry on top with crushed cashews as a garnish. This is a very quick, light and satisfying meal, even if the tofu is pretty weak:(

1 comment:

Priya said...

i struggled with a similar problem, and learned from a friend the perfect solution. now i love tofu.

when you buy tofu, buy whatever brand or firmness. get it home in the package and cut it up into about 1 inch square cubes with about 1/4 inch thickness.

using a flat pan, just fry the tofu till its brown on either side and firm.

once that's done, you can store it and add it into any stir fry dish. add it towards the end of the stir fry so that it doesn't lose its shape.