(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGAN RECIPES) For this week’s Meat Free Monday Challenge, try this delicious recipe: Heavenly Tofu, Broccoli and Peanut Stir-Fry! For those of you looking to try tofu for the first time, this is the recipe for you. Even our chef’s carnivorous brother has given his stamp of approval. So try whipping up a batch of your own, and as always, happy eating! — Global Animal
Heavenly Tofu, Broccoli and Peanut Stir-Fry
Yield: 2 Servings
- Crispy Fried Tofu
- For the marinade: low sodium soy sauce, minced garlic or garlic powder, tabasco sauce, and powdered ginger
- Canola oil for frying
- Lots of paper towels
- 2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 cup peanuts, crushed into chunky bits
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Rice or your grain of choice for serving (this reminds me a little of Pad See Ew minus the egg, so noodles could be fantastic, but our instant brown rice worked just fine)
Marinate the tofu overnight, or for at least a few hours, in the soy and seasonings. I prefer to do this by layers, lining up a layer of tofu, drizzling with soy, sprinkling with seasonings, and repeating for each tier of tofu stacked on top. Last summer, I found it really worked to marinate throughout the workday and come home to perfectly prepped tofu. After the marination, place the tofu pieces on a plate with a paper towel, cover with another paper towel, and press gently to release excess moisture. Repeat for each layer. Don’t be alarmed if some of them turn really brown in the marinade; this is a good thing. More brown = more flavor. Oh! Hold onto that marinade — we’ll be using it later!
This one was turned on its side, half in the most intense layer of the marinade, and half just drizzled… No culinary importance, I just thought it looked really cool – a tofu yin-yang!
Coat the bottom of your pan with a semi-thin layer of canola oil (about 3/4 of a centimeter- enough to submerge half of each tofu slice), and get it really nice and hot. Fried food actually isn’t terrible for you if it’s done properly; the excess, nasty grease shouldn’t even be there if the oil is hot enough… this was great news for me, because I love almost anything fried! My trick for perfect oil (without a thermometer) – I put a couple of tiny drops of water in the oil and know it’s time to fry when those water drops start to sputter. Make sure the excess moisture is all squeezed out (or else you’re going to have a scary, grease-flying splatter scenario) and gently place the tofu into the oil, in non-crowded batches, and fry on each side, until crispy brown. There should be lots of little bubbles in the oil as they’re frying.
These little nuggets of delicious are done when they are about this color. Place them on yet another plate covered with paper towels, and using another paper towel on top, gently press to soak up any excess oil. Let sit on the paper towels while you complete the rest of the dish.
Remember that marinade I told you to save? That’s one really cool thing about herbivorous cooking; with no worries about things like scary raw-meat bacteria, you can relax a little and do unspeakable things like reusing marinade! In a nice, big frying pan, lightly saute your broccoli in some oil until it begins to flush bright green. Add the peanuts and the rest of your marinade (if it’s too salty for your taste, you may want to dump some out and dilute with water), and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, letting the broccoli cook while the marinade reduces.
In the end, the marinade should reduce to virtually nothing but a spattering of sauce. Place the tofu in the hot pan so the components of the dish can warm up to each other (ha – sorry, I think the urchin venom has gone to my brain). Serve over a bed of rice, quinoa or noodles, and enjoy your time in stir-fry heaven!
Recipe Courtesy: Legally Blissful
More Legally Blissful: http://legallyblissful.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/sea-urchins-and-brother-approved-tofu/