Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mar 16th - Asian Tofu Stir Fry

I had a work event tonight right after work so D was in charge of dinner. He has been awesome this week! He had to work from home because of some construction going on and on top of that he painted the spare room after finishing work. Then I got home later than I promised and he had all the veg chopped and ready to go.

I had a half block of Tofu from last week which is why we chose to do a stirfry today but apparently, as it was Organic, it had gone off. Tofu does not typically last too long so I would suggest you try to eat the whole open piece in a 3-5 day window. D went and bought new Tofu but I was surprised he did not just go with Shrimp. You need only heat it through. It is cooked. Otherwise, you might want to crisp it up and in that case, you could fry it until it is brown.

I want dispell any concerns about Oyster sauce that people averse to Oysters might have. It does not taste or look like Oysters. It is fish based like Worcestershire sauce or Thai Fish sauce but it is a flavour base for richness and not for fishiness. Unlike these two, Oyster sauce is quite thick, like ketchup. It is a common ingredient in most Chinese stirfry sauces and you would not even know it.

Start rice now.

Tofu Stir Fry in Soy Chili and Oyster Sauce.

1 Celery stalk, chopped
1/2 Onion, sliced
12 chopped Green Beans
1 skinny Carrot chopped
1 small Zucchini, chopped
200 g block Firm Tofu, cubed
2 cloves Garlic
1 inch fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced
2 chilies, Serranos, I think

1 T Hoisin Sauce
1 T Oyster Sauce
1 T Soy Chili Sauce
1/4 c Water
1/2 T Potato flour or Corn Starch
Soy Sauce, low Sodium, to taste, we did not use any.
1 Scallion, chopped
1 c fresh Cilantro, chopped, coarsely
2 t Sesame Seeds

Have everything chopped and ready to go. Stir fry should not stew or cook too long. That is the key. They are meant to be quick and fresh. And in a small bowl mix the Starch with the Water and have to hand.

Heat a large Wok on high high heat with 1 T Peanut oil or other neutral oil with a high smoking point, like Canola. Olive oil and Sesame oil impart too much flavour and have low smoking points.

Start with the Onions and Carrots. Keep them moving with your wide spatula for a couple of minutes. Add the Celery for another couple minutes. Add the Green Beans, Chilies, Ginger, and Garlic.

Add the tofu and stir GENTLY for 1 minutes. Add the Hoisin, Oyster and Soy Chili sauces and toss gently. Add the starch slurry slowly. This will thicken the sauce. Too much starch will turn the sauce into an unpleasant gelly like substance. You do not need much.

Garnish with the scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are pretty optional but I love the cilantro. I call this Asian because it is not strictly Chinese because there would be more oil in the Wok and would typically not use the chilies or cilantro in this way.

The chilies were SOOOOOO hot, even I could not eat them. That never happens. D insisted I take a photo as evidence. He only puts them in for me. So I was thankful to have this nice light wine, Vivacious V.

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