Cooking for Two: Crispy tofu and teriyaki vegetables (recipe)
September 1, 2016
In a previous week's Dear Quandary column in the Summit Daily News, a reader asked where to find tasty vegetarian meals in Summit County. I've got your answer right here: Me and you in your kitchen!
In the summertime, I want gorgeous fresh vegetables and lighter meals. This dish ticks both boxes. Best of all, it's so easy — you'll only need one pan.
What makes this recipe appeal to everyone — vegetarians and meat-eaters alike — is that the dreaded slimy tofu has been marinated and then given a light coating of cornstarch to give it that crispy crunch that everyone loves. The vegetables are given a quick stir fry in a teriyaki sauce and you're all set in less than 30 minutes.
I promise, this dish will inspire you to head to the farmers market for the freshest produce and then home to make your new favorite vegetarian dishes yourself.
Crispy tofu and
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1 block extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons of a neutral oil such as sunflower, canola, etc.
teriyaki marinade / sauce
Your choice of stir fry vegetables, for instance, thin slices of bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, shredded carrots, zucchini rounds, bite-sized chunks of eggplant, napa or red cabbage
For the tofu:
Slice the block of tofu into horizontal slices and then again into bite-size pieces.
Place the pieces of tofu on a clean cutting board, put another cutting board on top of the slices and a 28-ounce can to weigh down the board. Let stand for 10 minutes, this will drain the excess liquid from the tofu.
Place the tofu into a shallow baking dish and season with a tablespoon of teriyaki sauce, let stand for 10 minutes.
Using a small sieve, sprinkle each side of the tofu with cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all side are coated. The cornstarch will create a gummy coating on the tofu.
Heat the oil in a flat frying pan until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add the tofu and let each side brown before turning.
Remove the tofu from the pan, to a plate. Then go to the next step to stir fry your vegetables
For the vegetable stir fry:
Chop your variety of vegetables into bite-size pieces. While you do this, heat a tablespoon of oil in the same pan you fried the tofu.
Add your chopped vegetables to the pan and cook until tender, string frequently. At the end of the cooking process, add 1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce and 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce to vegetables to season. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you'd like a kick.
"Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen" by Jennifer McGruther
I love this cookbook. Bone broth is the latest foodie craze and if you want to learn how to create your own bone broth this book is an excellent place to start.
What to do next?
Use those wonderful broths to create soups — lots of wonderful recipes here to try: quick pho; beef stew with winter vegetables; thai-style chicken soup with lemongrass and coconut milk; seafood stew with lemony parsley pesto; and New England clam chowder.
And then move to main-course meals: springtime risotto with asparagus, green garlic and chive blossoms; beef shank with garlic and basil; chicken in wine with mushrooms; pork pot roast with sweet potato, ancho chili and lime; and spicy chickpea and lamb stew.
I could eat for a month from this wonderful cookbook.
Join Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of 10 books, including the cookbook "Comfort Me: Easy Meals to Bring Your Family Back to the Table."
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