Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Kung Pao Tofu
I'm actually surprised by how much we both love tofu. I know it's good for us and it's a great substitute for meat, but I didn't think we would both be head over heels for it. So far I've made 4 different tofu dishes and we've loved them all. This is shocking to me since my husband had always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy. If I served him a meatless meal the first thing he'd ask is, "where's the meat?" quickly followed by, "you know, some bacon would make this better."
This Kung Pao Tofu is another take-out fake-out (to quote Rachael Ray) that is actually better than anything we could get at a local Chinese restaurant. The flavors were outstanding and the fresh veggies and crispy tofu rounded out the meal. I made a few modifications to the original recipe, adding some chicken broth (or you could use vegetable to keep it vegetarian) and a few splashed of fish sauce to bump up the amount of sauce. We like our stir-fries saucy, what can I say. I don't have coconut oil so I cooked everything in canola oil and it worked just fine.
Between the 30 minutes to bake the tofu and the actual cooking time of the dish, this is not exactly a weeknight-friendly meal unless you get home from work early. Unfortunately we think Baby Girl might have a mild peanut allergy so she didn't get to sample this meal. I took these pictures before I remembered the green onion garnish, which I added before we ate and definitely helped brighten up the dish.
Kung Pao Tofu
Modified from Prevention RD
2 blocks extra firm tofu, pressed and drained, then cubed
2/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into strips
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 green onions, sliced and divided
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
A couple shakes of fish sauce, optional
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray well with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet and lightly mist with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cubes after 15 minutes.
Heat canola oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu and stir. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 1 -2 minutes.
Add half of the green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chicken/vegetable broth and fish sauce. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes. Serve over cooked rice topped with remaining green onions.