Easy Eats

A Simple Stir Fry

I guess it is about time that I reveal a secret to all of you: I enjoy tofu. I find that it is pretty flexible and takes on flavors nicely so it works in a lot of dishes. But let me tell you when I don’t like tofu: A) When it acts like a meat. Tofurky. Tofusausage. Etc. If I want those things I will just eat them. B) When it is bland and cooked poorly.

I would venture that most of the tofu people encounter fall into one of those two categories which is why most people don’t like it. But if you cook it correctly and season it nicely, it can be one of my favorite stir fry ingredients.

I made this dish with Jeff (my new roommate for the summer) the day after I got back from Amsterdam. My mind felt like a puddle and my gut felt like it was going to explode from cheese overload so I asked him to send me one of his healthier and faster dishes and we would cook it up that night. This definitely fit the bill.

Marinated Tofu Stir Fry

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Ingredients

2-3 crowns of broccoli
1 pound extra firm tofu, cubed
1 red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3 scallions, sliced thin
4-6 cloves garlic
1.5 inches ginger root
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons honey
Red pepper flakes (optional and use as much as you like)
Vegetable oil for cooking. Canola or sunflower works well.
1 cup dry brown rice (long grain or short grain are both okay; I like long grain) If you are really in a hurry obviously you can use a rice that cooks faster.
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Directions

1) Marinate tofu in a sealed container. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and red pepper flakes and whisk together. Then add the cubed tofu to that mix and shake it up well. Ideally, you would let this sit for a few hours, but even a few minutes helps.

2) Chop all the vegetables into pretty large slices and chunks except the scallions which will be used as a garnish basically near the end and the garlic and ginger which you want to be minced very fine. Also, feel free to use other veggies. Some other good options would be eggplant, peas, other peppers, water chestnuts, or maybe bamboo shoots.

3) Cook the tofu first in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. The fact that it has been marinated makes it cook perfectly and sear nicely on each side.

4) Don’t throw away the leftover marinade! That will be the sauce later!

5) Get a large skillet or stir fry pan over high heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the tofu and cook for 7-10 minutes to cook. When each cube is nicely browned, remove it to a plate.

6) Immediately throw in the minced garlic and ginger. Stir for just a few seconds to combine well and then add all the veggies at once. If you let the garlic and ginger cook too long by itself it will burn very quickly.

7) If you are cooking on a high heat (you should be), then the veggies will need probably 5 minutes to cook. I like mine to have a bit of a bite still.

8) Once the veggies are almost cooked, throw the tofu back in and pour all the leftover marinade in the pan. Finally, top the whole mess with the chopped scallions.

9) Give that a few shakes or stirs and serve it piping hot over the rice.

First thing first, get your tofu marinating in a sealed container. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and red pepper flakes and whisk together. Then add your cubed tofu to that mix and shake it up well. Ideally, you would let this sit for a few hours. We let it sit for about 10 minutes and it was still delicious.
You could substitute tofu for a meat product obv.

You could substitute tofu for a meat product obv.

Chop all your vegetables into pretty large slices and chunks except the scallions which will be used as a garnish basically near the end and the garlic and ginger which you want to be minced very fine. Also, feel free to use other veggies obviously. Some other good options would be eggplant, peas, other peppers, water chestnuts, or maybe bamboo shoots. Go crazy.

Double the garlic and ginger? Why not.

Double the garlic and ginger? Why not.

Like the caption says, Jeff and I actually almost doubled the garlic and ginger because I really like those. The recipe as is works just fine though unless you are a garliholic like myself.

Now, I don’t have an official wok (I wish I did), so I just use my best large pan to stir-fry everything together. Cook the tofu first in a few Tablespoons of vegetable oil. The fact that it has been marinated makes it cook perfectly and sear nicely on each side. If you don’t use a marinade like this, tofu has a tendency to stick to the pan which makes it a pain to cook.

Don’t throw away the leftover marinade! That will be the sauce later!

Like magic!

Like magic!

The tofu will probably take 7-10 minutes to cook. When each cube is nicely browned, remove it to a plate. Immediately throw in your minced garlic and ginger. It will sizzle! Stir for just a few seconds to combine well and then add all your veggies at once. If you let the garlic and ginger cook too long by itself it will burn very quickly.

If you are cooking on a high heat (you should be), then the veggies will need probably 5 minutes to cook. I like mine to have a bit of a bite still. Kind of al dente, if you will.

Once the veggies are almost cooked, throw your tofu back in and pour all your leftover marinade in the pan. Finally, top the whole mess with the chopped scallions.

Healthy.

Healthy.

Give that a few shakes or stirs and serve it piping hot over your rice. This will make 4 large platefuls so if you are just feeding two, like me, then you will have plenty of leftovers!

Anyone have any good stir-fry ideas for the summertime? Leave a comment!

6 comments on “A Simple Stir Fry

  1. this looks great! I was weirded out by tofu trying to be meat for a long time, and then had a nasty piece that my mom made with no seasoning at all! I’m glad I gave it another try though becuse it really is tasty! My favorite is to use it in pineapple fried rice with curry and cashews. Yum.

  2. Good for you! Tofu is completely under appreciated in America.

    Recently I bought some sweet chili jam from one of my favorite farmers market vendors (Tierra Vegetables) and threw a heaping tablespoon of it into my last stir fry. It was friggin delicious and added something more than the individual ingredients combined (chili, sugar).

  3. I made this last weekend and it came out great. Though I did burn some of the tofu it did not stick at all. This will deffinitly be a staple.

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