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Fare With A Flair: Mark Chinese New Year with tasty stir fries

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Chinese New Year is this weekend.

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I have many fond memories of celebrating this annual event with family and friends over a special meal.

While many intricate dishes are being prepared this weekend, I’m doing a simple stir-fry with tofu.

Tofu is an inexpensive source of protein made from soy. You can fry or bake it and it lends itself to many marinade ingredients.

This recipe is full of colorful veggies, and the key to quick last-minute assembly is to prep your veggies ahead of time.

Buy extra firm tofu for this recipe.

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Vegetable Stir Fry With Fried Tofu

(for 4-6 people)

1 block of extra firm tofu (about 14-16 oz./400-500 g)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce

2 tablespoons (25 ml) of vegetable oil

1 thin Asian eggplant, cut into 1-inch rounds

2 cups (500 ml) sliced ​​assorted mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, oyster)

1 sweet yellow or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 sweet red pepper, deseeded, deseeded and thinly sliced

2 cups (500 ml) chopped bok choy

2 tablespoons (25 ml) of water

2 tbsp (25 ml) soy sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh ginger

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame seeds

accompaniments:

• Steamed rice

• Chili sauce or chili crisp

Other optional vegetables:

• Thinly sliced ​​green beans

• Asparagus

• Thinly sliced ​​carrots

• Chinese cabbage

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Travel directions:

1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and place on a small baking tray lined with two paper towels. Place another paper towel on top and cover with another baking sheet. Place two large cans of tomatoes (or a cast iron pan) on top. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

2. Cut tofu into about eight pieces.

3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

4. Place tofu pieces in mixture and toss gently to coat.

5. Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Cover baking tray with baking paper. Place the pieces of tofu on the baking sheet.

6. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through the baking time.

7. While tofu is baking, prepare other vegetables. In a small bowl, combine water, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Put aside.

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8. When tofu is almost ready, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil in a wok over high heat.

9. Add eggplant and stir-fry until they start to turn golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

10. Add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil and mushrooms. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

11. Add peppers and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

12. Add the cornflour/soy mixture and continue to stir-fry until the mixture begins to thicken.

13. Add bok choy and ginger and stir-fry for another minute.

14. Gently add tofu and mix gently.

15. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

16. Serve with steamed rice and your favorite spicy Asian condiment.