More Tofu

My hiatus on my own blog is not much affecting my desire to write here. I made another delicious 101 Cookbooks concoction last night, and as I’m eating the leftovers for lunch today, I can’t let this one go by without sharing it. It was super-delicious and another great gateway tofu dish.

Asparagus Stir-Fry

My notes:

  • I used pre-cubed tofu here (don’t forget to prep!), because although she says “cut into slices thick as a pencil”, I just don’t see slices working in a stir-fry.
  • The fact that tofu is so flavorless actually works extremely well here, because the recipe has so much flavor that a mouthful of bland is a welcome respite.
  • I used whole almonds which I blanched and toasted and chopped a little, and if I didn’t know that Heidi gets a zillion emails from minds more culinarily talented than mine, I might write her to suggest that she make this change as well. Almonds are more nutritious than cashews and the more intense crunch was great. I also used more than a handful, probably more like 1/2 cup or almost that much.
  • Use fresh mint and fresh basil here. Also, use a nonstick pan and a decent amount of oil to cook the tofu. Trust me.
  • I mixed some sesame oil with some olive oil for the tofu-fry, because in my area sesame oil is somewhat expensive.
  • For those of you who don’t do Asian food at home very often and may not know this, you CANNOT use ground ginger in place of fresh ginger! Ground ginger is a baking spice and doesn’t work in savory dishes. To solve the fresh-ginger problem, I buy jarred chopped ginger in water and drain it a tbsp-full at a time to use in stir-fries. I had to get my last batch at a Chinese grocery, but that was months ago and I’m only halfway through the jar. (Fresh whole ginger is, IMHO, a lot of trouble to keep on hand and even more trouble to mince yourself.)
  • I did not use any hoisin, because I don’t like hoisin. I also used a tablespoon or two of bottled lime juice instead of squeezing the hell out of the lime I zested, and I’m not a bit sorry I did.
  • If you don’t often stir-fry, know that you have to get the pan, as Alton Brown puts it, “rocket-hot” before you can add ingredients.
  • This recipe is vegan, and really puts to rest any complaint about vegan recipes sucking.

The only other thing I would add is that the batch made with this recipe is not really much food compared to most stir-fries. This will feed two hearty appetites and that’s about all. You can serve it over brown rice to up the degree to which it fills you up, or you can just double all the quantities and have enough for lunch tomorrow. I ate my dinner portion with some leftover miso soup and it was just right. As always, enjoy!

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