Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetables

If you’re looking to make an Asian-inspired entree that everyone, guaranteed, will like, this is what you should go with.  It has three parts: rice, tofu, and vegetable stir fry.  Fairly simple prep and ingredients, my only suggestion would be to get started on the rice, tofu marinade, and vegetable chopping very early on (a couple of hours before meal time), so things will run much smoother.

Rice:

  • 1.5 c brown rice
  • 3 c water
Tofu:
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 container extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-in dice
  • 1/2 head broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 in dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into half-moons
  • 5 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water

 

As I said, get started early on the rice (I just use the rice cooker on the brown rice setting).  It should take at least an hour and a half before the rice is ready.

After that, you can get started making the subtle spicy/sweet marinade for the tofu.  Find a casserole dish or shallow pan, and whisk together the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt to blend.  Add the tofu cubes and toss gently to coat.  Don’t toss too vigorously or the tofu will break apart – if necessary, turn over some pieces so that they are covered with the sauce.  Allow it to marinate for at least a half-hour before stir-frying.  I covered mine and put it in the fridge for a while.

This is where I got started chopping vegetables, and also had a dance party in the kitchen with my nine-year-old sister (she’s a much better dancer than I am).  She reintroduced me to a favorite song at that age:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-u5WLJ9Yk4

Once the rice is almost done, you can get started stir-frying.  This works awesomely if you have a wok, like my family randomly has, but I know that most people don’t.  You can use a heavy saute pan instead.  Over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil, onion, broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, and snap peas and stir-fry until the veggies are crisp and tender.  That should take about 2 minutes.  Stir in the tofu, its marinade, and the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the sauce thickens slightly and the tofu is heated through, which should take about 3 minutes.

You’re done! Doesn’t it look great?

Enjoy with rice and mango/peach juice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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