Don’t panic at the word Tofu. I am not going to force you to eat it. But hear me out first.
Luckily for me both Sunshine and Bear love Tofu….Mr. Man? mmmm not so much. I mean he doesn’t complain much about food but I know that given a choice over chicken/steak stir-fry or Tofu, he would pick the animals first! Which is why I usually make Tofu when he’s at the Fire Station.
I have a couple “secrets” that make a world of difference in my opinion when it comes to Tofu. Most people complain that it’s mushy and/or flavorless. So I take a couple extra LITTLE steps to insure we have flavorful crispy tofu when I make is stir-fry. I promise it’s not brain surgery and it will make even the most skeptical person like (and possibly love) tofu!
Recipe adapted from Stir-Fried Section in: The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
Let’s get to it.
For the tofu:
1 14-ounce extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry (or Chinese rice cooking wine)
For the Orange Sauce:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup dry sherry (or Chinese rice cooking wine)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
For the stir-fried:
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 8-ounce container mushroom thinly sliced (white button or small/mini portabella)
1 onion thinly sliced
1 carrot peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
For the tofu: the first step is to drain your container, dice your tofu into 1-inch pieces. Spread your tofu out over a baking sheets lined with several pieces of paper towels. Cover your tofu with several more pieces of paper towels. Put another baking sheet over those and top with a large/heavy objects (I use a cast iron pan) to squeeze the water out of your tofu. Do not panic it won’t be dry. Leave this be for about 10-15 minutes.
While your tofu is being squeezed, make your tofu marinade. In a large bowl combine your 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, flour, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons dry sherry. After 10-15 minutes add your drained tofu and gently toss to cover everything. Set aside.
In a medium bowl make your orange sauce. Combine your orange juice, 1/4 cup dry sherry, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, Asian chili-garlic sauce, sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and grated orange zest. Mix everything well and set aside.
Note: I put all my sliced and diced vegetables in a large bowl together so they are ready to hit the pan. (except the garlic)
In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil. Working in batches brown your tofu on all sides. Remove browned tofu to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Do not wash your pan. Add all your vegetables at once. Cook on medium-high until soft and fragrant. Add your garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add your tofu, gently toss to combine. Add your orange sauce, bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Add your toasted sesame seeds and gently stir. Serve over white rice or rice noodles.
Delicious. I love the hint of spices from the Asian chili-garlic sauce. I love how the tofu takes on so much flavor in such a short period of time. Healthy, easy and full of delicious vegetables!
Note: you could substitute your tofu with chicken, but your chicken will need to marinate at least 1 hour prior to cooking. You would need about 2 whole chicken breasts.
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Peace and Give Tofu a Chance,