Two weeks ago I had my wisdom teeth extracted. It was the first really surgery I’ve ever had (if you don’t count all of the incredibly serious and painful splinter removals of my youth). Since I knew I’d be on a deliciously satisfying “mush” diet for a week or so, I wanted my last few meals before my surgery to go out with a bang.
I was very sentimental before the extraction. I wanted to celebrate all that my wisdom teeth had given me up to that point: pain, grief, and annoyance (I’ll spare you the details).
So, I made a stir fry to celebrate the sacredness of this dish.
Yeah, actually that’s a lie.
I made a stir fry because I had a block of tofu that was begging to be eaten. That seems to happen with a lot of the food that I make.
I knew that I wanted my tofu to be like the kind you find in restaurants: firm and not soggy. After doing “research” I came across the pressing method, which gives tofu a firm, more meat-like texture. Poifect!
The trick to the pressing is to put a lot of weight on the tofu. I used a cast iron skillet and then put a crock pot on top of that. A really thick towel also helps in absorbing all of the liquid from the tofu.
I cut each of the eight slices into tiny pieces and then broiled them to achieve that delicious restaurant texture.
I found a great sweet and sour sauce that I adapted to what I had in the kitchen. It was the perfect blend of flavors for the dish.
I added vegetables that seemed “stir fry like”. You can definitely get creative here and use so many different kinds of veggies. I especially loved adding the broccoli to the stir fry because it soaked up all the sauce.
The sauce works wonderfully with the veggies. It thickens as it cooks and the veggies absorb all of its goodness.
The finished product = Amazing. It was filling, healthy, and quick with a little bit of prep (the tofu could be made in advance).
Veggie Tofu Stir Fry
For the tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 cup veggie broth
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the stir fry
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped small
- 1 cup white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 cup carrot, diced bite size
- 1/2 cup green onion
- 1 cup white rice (I used 20 minute jasmine rice)
1. Pressing the tofu: Slice tofu block into 8 slices (along the width, not the length). Place a thick towel on a cutting board and place tofu slices on the towel. Fold the towel over the tofu and then place lots of heavy objects on top. I used a cast iron skillet topped with a crockpot which had sweet potatoes in it. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to broil. Remove tofu from towel. Cut each pressed slice into 8 pieces (or 16 if you want small tofu). Toss the tofu pieces in olive oil until covered. Place tofu on a sheet pan and put in oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Flip pieces and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix corn starch and broth until combined. Add rice vinegar, sugar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, and, cayenne pepper. Mix until completely combined. Set aside.
4. Prepare white rice according to package directions.
5. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add peas and mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add sauce and cook for 5-7 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken. Add tofu and cook for an 5 minutes until tofu is cooked through. Serve immediately with rice.