Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry

Found this recipe over at Trader Joe's.  It is SO very good!!


½ (19 oz) container regular tofu
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
¼ cup apple juice
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 clove garlic, crushed, or 1 cube frozen Crushed Garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 tsp cornstarch or flour


1.)    Cut tofu into large pieces (such as triangle shapes, about a dozen pieces).
2.)    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, juice, vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Stir, bring sauce to a simmer, and reduce heat. Add cornstarch (dissolved in 1 Tbsp water) and stir until sauce thickens, about one minute.  Set aside.
3.)    Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat.  Add tofu and pan-fry until all sides are golden brown.  Transfer tofu to a plate and set aside.
4.)    In the same wok or skillet, over high heat, stir fry thicker white pieces of boy choy, bell pepper, and broccoli, adding 1-2 Tbsp of water to help vegetables cook easily.   After 2 minutes, add leafy pieces of bok choy and green onion, stir frying for less than a minute.    Add tofu and sauce.  Stir to distribute sauce throughout evenly.  Serve over white or brown rice.

Prep and cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 3-4


This tasty sauce is flavored with layers of honey, soy, and garlic.  People have compared it to the “bourbon” sauce popular at some Chinese restaurants.  The quick pan frying of the tofu triangles makes the outside crispy and preserves the soft texture inside, a wonderful contrast against the crisp-tender vegetables. 

For this recipe, I like to have larger chunks of tofu to preserve more of the contrast between the crisp outside and tender inside.  First, I cut the brick parallel to the face.  Then I cut one of the halves into 6 equal square.  Cut each of those squares across the diagonal and you'll have 12 triangular pieces.

Some people complain that tofu doesn't have enough flavor.  One way to increase the flavor of tofu is to soak it in vegetable (or chicken) broth for 15 minutes before using.  Tofu will soak up some of the broth and you will taste the added level of flavor with every bite.  After you soak them, just make sure to drain and give a quick pat to dry before tossing them into the pan.

If I still haven't convinced you to give tofu a try, chicken is equally yummy in this recipe.  Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks, stir fry till cooked, and follow the rest of the recipe as instructed.

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