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the haas machine: Tofu Stir Fry

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tofu Stir Fry

Don't blow off tofu just because you were forced to eat it once & thought it was mushy & tasteless. I know it's not always prepared well & it does get mushy & tasteless, but really, in this stir fry, I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at how flavorful it really can be.

I had never really eaten tofu (on purpose) before I met John. I guess I just didn't know how to cook it & it wasn't very appealing (white, soggy, soaked in water). It always just seemed like something that all of the poor vegetarians had to eat because they couldn't eat steak. Now I know how wrong I was.

Before getting married I was also unaware how different Korean cooking is from other Asian cooking (my husband is 1/2 Korean). One of the noticeable differences is the roasty flavor of sesame oil & roasted sesame seeds. It's really quite exceptional. Korean cooking also uses a lot of green onions, which we didn't add to this particular meal, but they would be a nice touch.

Although you can use just any ol' soy sauce, we really, (REALLY) recommend that you buy this Korean brand of soy sauce (& sesame oil & roasted sesame seeds). We can get the sesame oil at our local Woodman's, but John's mom occasionally sends us a package with the soy sauce & sesame seeds because we don't have a Korean market in little La Crosse (I have links below so you can see these products, although I didn't shop around to see if these are the best prices). If you are fortunate to have a Korean market in town, go there. They should definitely carry everything you need to make amazing Korean food!

Tofu Stir Fry
Rice (we like to mix half brown, half white sushi rice)
Olive oil
Sesame oil (we like the Kadoya brand)
1 package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed with several paper towels, & cut into rectangular blocks
Soy sauce (we like the  Monggo Sun brand)
1 clove minced garlic
1 yellow onion, cut into petals
3 medium carrots, cut into sticks
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 stalk broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
2-3 cups fresh spinach
Roasted sesame seeds (we like the Assi brand)
Salt & pepper

Cook your rice. Warm up a large skillet to medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil & 1 tsp of sesame oil until heated. Add the blocks of tofu & cook (without flipping) until the underside is lightly browned & slightly crisp. Then flip the tofu & drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce. Continue to saute until both sides are browned & crisp.

Using a wok, heat up another tbsp of olive oil with a tsp of sesame oil. Once that is heated through, add  the minced garlic until just brown. Then add the "harder" vegetables (like onions, carrots, peppers, broccoli) & saute, covered, for 5 minutes. Add 1-2 tbsp soy sauce & then add "softer" vegetables (like spinach or mushrooms, if using). Toss & continue to cook until the vegetables are tender crisp or to your liking.

Uncover & toast with roasted sesame seeds, salt, & pepper to taste. Serve the vegetables & tofu with rice.



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