August 20, 2009

Recipe: Hoisin Tofu

Posted in Asian Inspired at 11:46 pm by jenniec00ks

hoisintofuAnother tofu and veggie recipe.  I wasn’t going to post it because it was an experiment and I wasn’t counting on it being so delicious.  It’s also sort of college-y because I’m getting back into the quick and cheap school routine.  Here’s the unrefined recipe (makes 2 servings):

7 oz. extra-firm tofu (half a typical package)
Handful of pre-shredded carrots (1/3 cup)
Half head of broccoli florets (1/2 cup)
1 heaping tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp water, canola oil (each!)
1 tsp soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch (each!)
Pinch of sugar
3 packages of ramen noodles (or rice noodles or egg noodles, whatever you’ve got) – JUST the noodles, not the seasoning.

1. Heat the canola oil (or other high-heat tasteless oil, e.g. vegetable) in a wok on medium high heat.

2. Add the broccoli, tofu, and carrots to the wok.  Keep everything moving around so nothing burns.  Stir-fry for ~5 minutes.  **Note: if you’ve got onions & garlic, which I normally have around, toss about 1/2 an onion (diced) and 4 cloves of garlic (minced) in here too!

3. Add salt & pepper to taste.

4. Combine the hoisin sauce, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a little bowl.  Mix and add to the wok.

5. Cover for about 1 minute to help the veggies soften.

6. Uncover, add the pinch of sugar.

7. Stir for a minute or two more or until the sauce thickens to your liking.  Cornstarch works pretty quickly, so if it’s not tightening up well, mix a little more cornstarch + water and add it to the wok.

Enjoy!  I’ll update this post later when I do it neatly.


May 26, 2009

Tofu & Broccoli in Photos

Posted in Asian Inspired tagged , , at 10:20 pm by jenniec00ks

Tofu is what's for dinner!

Tofu is what's for dinner!

So lately, I became very interested in tofu recently since it had a lot of protein for not a lot of money.  It also makes for a quick weeknight recipe because you can buy the tofu in advance (a few days) and it doesn’t take any time to thaw (since you keep it in the fridge).

Here’s what you’ll need for two dinner helpings:

1/2 white or yellow onion
1 small broccoli crown
1/2 package of tofu (~6oz?)
~1 cup of white long grain rice (I use a bit less)
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
Water & canola (or vegetable) oil (but I assume you always have these)

So if you’ve got a rice cooker, rinse/wash the rice with water (twice should do it), toss the rice and 2x the amount of water in the pot, and let her rip until it’s done.  My rice cooker broke a little while back and I haven’t bothered to replace it.  So I wash the rice, put the rice and 2x the amount of water in a pot, cover it and let it come to a boil on high heat.  As soon as it comes to a boil it’ll make starchy bubbles up to the lid; then I know it’s time to turn the heat down to low and let it simmer (covered) until the water is pretty much gone – I find it’s about 10-13 minutes after it comes to a boil.  It’s kind of like putting pasta on to boil, I start it before the meat/veggie part of the dish and hopefully it’s ready when I’m done.  Also, I use a nonstick pot for easily cleanup.

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First, we’re going to marinate the tofu in little pieces (~1/2″ cubes) in the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce in a shallow bowl. I am using extra-firm tofu so that it holds it’s shape in the frying pan; but the extra-firm tofu is still easy enough to cut with a butter knife. I make a few slices in each direction (think x, y, and z planes) to wind up with 1/2″ cubes (see below).

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Toss the tofu around in the soy sauce.  I used a mixture of a light soy sauce and a dark mushroom soy sauce.  Let it marinate on the side for a few minutes while you chop and cook the broccoli and onions.  When cutting up a broccoli crown, I like to cut where the florets naturally stem off.  I rotate the crown and just cut where ever I see an opening – it goes something like this:

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As you can see, the earliest cut florets cut are the largest, so I trim them up a bit to match the smaller cuts of broccoli (like the ones on the bottom of the cutting board).  Then I chopped up the onion in rather rough, large dice (cut it however you like, really).

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Time to toss everything together in a hot wok/frying pan – medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil.  Really any oil that can take high heat will do, even an extra light olive oil.

tofubroccoli 031Onions and broccoli need to go in first after the oil is heated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Keep them moving around the hot pan (so nothing burns) until the broccoli is fork tender, about 10 minutes.  Then it’s time to add the tofu.  After the tofu’s been tossed around for about 3 minutes, I like to add some extra flavor by pouring in a tbsp of oyster sauce and a splash of water (1/4 cup?).  I stir that in for the next 3-4 minutes, then pull everything off the heat.  I like to transfer the food into a bowl so that it doesn’t keep cooking too much in the hot pan.

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Getting the tofu in

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1 tbsp oyster sauce + splash of water