Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veggie and Tofu Stir-fry

Mmmmmm. Stir-fry. It's definitely a regular around here. When I recently made a strong effort to abandon processed foods as much as possible, I had to learn to make my own sauces. So I needed to come up with a good one for my stir-fry. Here's what I came up with: A decent sized handful of brown sugar (not packed!), a few (several?) TBS of Shoyu or soy sauce, a smidge of Thai chili paste, a few drops of sesame oil, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and a few good shakes of Chinese Five-Spice Powder. Mix all that up and add a little water to thin it out. It's actually an excellent sauce. I have no idea how I came up with that, but like many other random things, it just entered my head.

I almost always add tofu to my veggie stir-fries. You know, the whole protein thing? As many of you know, I very much prefer Spring Creek tofu. It's made here in WV. Spencer, to be exact. (Hi, Rebecca!) It's vastly superior to any other tofu I've had. I know, y'all think I'm crazy. Tofu is tofu. Right? WRONG!

So, I like my tofu to be chewy as opposed to mushy, so I start by pressing it. I place it between some paper towels and put a cast-iron griddle and skillet on top of it. I let it sit for about an hour. Then I slice it in thin slices and crisp it up in a non-stick skillet sprayed with PAM, or some such spray.

After I've got the whole block crispy, I cut it into bite-sized strips:

Then I heat a bit (1-2 TBS) of oil in my pan. First I add a sliced onion, a few good-sized cloves of minced garlic, and two large carrots (cut however you like them). After that has softened just a bit, I add a head of broccoli florets, a sliced red pepper and the tofu. I stir-fry that for a while until it's looking close to done. Then I crank up the heat, and add the sauce. The high heat helps the sauce thicken a bit. I let it cook for a few minutes, and then it's ready. Easy, huh? I like it served over brown rice.

Today I listened to an album that I hadn't listened to for a long time, Neko Case's Blacklisted. I had forgotten how much I like it. Totally reminds me of Mazzy Star with more of a country twang. After that, I just couldn't help myself and played Coldplay's X&Y for the billionth time this month. That's good stuff.


carrie said...

Your stir-fry looks awesome, and the sauce sounds fantastic. I'm going to be trying this one soon. I often make up my own sauces for stir-fry, because I'm too cheap to buy store bought ones, but I never make the same thing twice. Your sauce may become a regular!!

Do you like guitar? If so, you should check out Sanjay Mishra. He's an Indian guitarist. I love to do yoga to his music. His album Blue Incantation is the best (maybe because it features Jerry Garcia, I don't know, just guessing)

The Dalai Mama said...

Hmmm. Sanjay Mishra sounds familiar. I'll definitely be checking him out.

Rebecca Burch said...

Awesome. I have no clue what to do with tofu, so it's cool that you showed how to use it. I like it when I get it at the local chinese place, but the two times I've tried to cook with it have been disastrous!

The Dalai Mama said...

rebecca: Honestly, I think the trick is to definitely get the outside crispy before you do anything with it. After you do that, it's good almost any way.

Rebecca Burch said...

Must be, because when I made it, it was just this gummy, flavorless mess. LOL!!!

Although I do like the tofu crumbles that you can put in chili. I made veg chili with it and never told my family it wasn't beef. They were clueless. :) It was soooooo good, too!