Friday, January 14, 2011

What's for Dinner? Tofu Stir Fry:*A Wok on the Wild Side*

What’s for Dinner?

Tofu Stir Fry

Recipe from Everyday Food 
Tofu Stir-Fry 
Courtesy of Everyday Food

Dinner at Sizzlin’ Wok

$- This meal cost our family of 5 under $25 to make 8 servings
*assuming the necessary sauces are already purchased*


Serves 4. (I doubled the below ingredeints and have plenty left over for lunch tomorrow, and maybe even dinner!  I love leftover night *winks*)
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 small onions, cut into wedges
  • 9 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 1/4 pounds bok choy, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, stem and green pieces separated
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
  • 5 paper-thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
  • Lime wedges, for serving


1.       Halve tofu block lengthwise; slice each half into 8 rectangles. Arrange on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; top with more paper towels and another baking sheet. Weight with canned goods or a skillet. Refrigerate overnight or at least 20 minutes.
2.       Transfer tofu to a shallow dish. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with 1 tablespoon water; pour over tofu. Marinate 5 minutes (reserve marinade).
3.       Heat canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook tofu until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set tofu aside. Be careful with the hot oil while stir frying
4.       Stirring constantly, cook onions in skillet over high heat until browned, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 2 minutes. Add red pepper and bok choy stems; cook 3 minutes. Add peas and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add marinade, cornstarch mixture, bok choy greens, and tofu. Cook until heated through. Season with soy sauce as desired. Serve with limes.

There’s just something that happens when I fire up my wok.  Slowly, like smoke weaving its way up and out of a fire, I begin to hear Chinese gongs.  While cooking, I began to drift back to Chinatown in San Francisco. The busy streets, fishy smelling markets, and junk shops conjure up many happy memories. Somtimes, woking makes me feel a little wild.  How about you?

In my earlier days, tofu was more of an acquired taste.  It was something that I really did not like.  However, my former husband was of Japanese decent and so tofu and sushi were often on our menu. That said, tofu just seemed like the normal thing to eat.  As I’ve gotten older, and more experienced with tofu, I no longer mind the bland taste and hard to get used to texture.  As with many vegetarians, tofu has become one of my favorite meat-like foods. 

Not only does this stir fry include seared tofu, but bok choy is another ingredient that is rather interesting. Bok Choy. I love this word.  Interesting, isn’t it? With its long celery-like stalks and lettuce-like flavor, to me it seems to be kind of like a cross of both vegetables.  Actually, it’s a member of the Brassica family, bok choy (or Chinese cabbage) is technically a relative of both cabbage and turnips. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, a pharmacologist by the name of Li Shizhen found that Bok Choy had some medicinal properties as well.  However, in high doses, it is toxic to humans and can cause of variety of unwanted physical symptoms.  Who would have thought?

Whether or not you have experimented with eating tofu, this recipe is one to try.  The Asian-style sauce that is mixed in is so good and you can’t help but feel proud of yourself for nourishing your body with plenty of fresh veggies.  Surprisingly, the prep was on the slightly more time consuming side, but once you fire up your wok (or frying pan) you’re ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.  So to all you moms out there (and other chefs as well), prep your veggies ahead of time and dinner will be served even faster.  Enjoy this recipe and be sure to check out our photos of us woking on the wild side, as usual of course!
Photo Gallery

 Cubed tofu getting ready to marinate

Tofu marinating in sauce
 Oh, what the heck, here's a picture of me
Frying tofu
Yummy veggies! Check out the straw mushrooms I added (if you squint). That was an interesting twist to the recipe. I subed straw mushrooms for the button.

 Mostly angel, Sarah has just plain had enough. She's ready to eat.
All diva, she's really more of a morning person anyway. Here she is the next morning all ready to go. Sarah picked out all of the accessories on her own.
Ok, back to the stir fry. Here it is ready to be plated for everyone to enjoy.

The tofu stir fry was great!


Jenny Cave said...

lovely presentation!!!

Of course, I always love all the photos in between.


Carl said...

Morgan, how can you keep batting 1000 like this!
Every single time you post a working recipe it rocks! Again, great photos, intriguing subjects...even Miss Diva Sarah as a bonus.

And being a stir-fry advocate, I like how you warned people to have everything ready BEFORE you start, as a stir-fry is completed so quickly, and at high heat or near it.

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