Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry
I remember the first time I tried tofu. It was raw in a whole grain wrap along with some mustard and veggies and I honestly couldn’t finish it. And when it comes to food I’m a trooper. I’ll finish just about anything as I hate wasting food. But, tofu did not strike my fancy from the start and it’s never really been my favorite, even in my hardcore vegetarian days.
But, that all changed recently during a trip to San Antonio when I ate the best tofu of my life. It was in a veggie stir fry over coconut brown rice at a restaurant called Green Vegetarian Cuisine. If you’re ever in the area you must stop by and try this dish. Your view of tofu will be forever changed – promise.
Two bites in and I was in heaven. I had to flag the waitress down and ask her how in the world they made the tofu taste so good! I thought it was fried, but it wasn’t. Haaaa-llelujah.
The best part? It wasn’t wet or soft or soggy or lacking in flavor at all like all of the tofu I’d tried prior. She rattled off a few instructions and I made a mental note. That same week I hopped in the kitchen and gave it a go myself.
It really worked you guys! I love tofu now. It might not be as delicious as Green Vegetarian Cuisine’s version, but it’s very close. And the more I practice the better I’ll get. I have a very good feeling about this.
The basic trick is first drying the tofu, then baking it at a high temperature to brown it and create a tougher texture, and then letting it set out to dry even more. This gives it a “meat-like” texture, if you will, that makes it much more porous to soak up delicious sauces and far more appetizing in the texture department. With this tofu I can’t help but finish it all – it’s too delicious not to!
For this recipe I made a quick and simple stir fry but once you have the basics down this tofu could be used in just about any recipe you already love. It works extremely well in stir fries because they tend to be very saucy, but I also imagine it would be delicious over salad, in faux-egg salads and even with BBQ sauce.
I hope to incorporate it into more of the meals we regularly prepare to see just how versatile it is. But from what I’ve tasted so far, I have very high hopes.
Because it was diced, baked, left out to dry and then stir-fried in the sauce, the tofu soaked up so much flavor, rendering it absolutely irresistible. Try this tofu and let me know what you think! I think even your tofu-hating friends will approve.
A tofu-veggie stir fry made tasty with a simple technique that gives the tofu perfect texture and flavor. Serve over rice or on its own for a healthy and delicious weeknight meal. Feeds 2-3.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Stir Fry
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
- 1 14-ounce (396 g) package firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 cups (200 g) roughly chopped green beans
- 1 cup (128 g) diced carrots or red pepper
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame oil for sautéing (or sub peanut or coconut)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten free if G-Free)
- 1 Tbsp (6 g) fresh grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp (27 g) organic brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) agave, maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 1 Tbsp (7 g) cornstarch
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