One of the first meals you will ever learn how to cook as a vegetarian, or as an adult, is a stir fry. It’s probably one of the easiest, and quickest things to make in the world. No stir fry is treated equally, nor do they all have to look and taste the same.
I scoff at by-the-book folks who scowl and burp out ignorant comments like “This is not how you make this”, or “It’s supposed to have chili paste.” Oh really, every version of every single dish is SUPPOSED to be the same? According to whom? The Holy Book of Cooking? Just because your mom used only snow peas and sprouts in her stir fry doesn’t mean that’s the right way to make it. If that was the case, I would go on a hunger strike and vow not to eat anything. What a boring life that would be.
Here at Ottawa Green Cuisine rules are made to be broken, honey! Squash them all like a bug!
You can basically do whatever you want when cooking this classic week night wonder, as you combine your own ingredients and establish your own rules. It’s also an excellent dish to train yourself on as you learn how to cook. I whipped up thousands of stir fries on a hot plate in my dorm room back in the day as the rest of the student population with meal plans bloated themselves with processed carbs and fats.
I mixed things up with the sauce, like I always do, and added peanut butter in the absence of cornstarch and brown sugar and it sure was a hit. I may not please most Asian food purists but I really don’t care, I know how to make a mean stir fry based on the style that works for me. And damn girl, do they ever taste good! Just ask the tall, hungry man that lives with me.
* 1 package Organic Firm Tofu, sliced into 1 inch cubes
* 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 head of Broccoli, chopped into florets
* 2 Carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise and diced
*1/2 cup green beans
* 1 Red bell pepper, diced
* 1 yellow onion, diced
You can also add any of the following:
Snow peas, bean sprouts, bok choy, mushrooms, green onions or shredded carrots.
*1-2 tbsp Soy sauce
* 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
* 1 tbsp Creamy Peanut butter
*Pinch of red pepper flakes
About an hour before cooking time, prepare the tofu in a marinade. Pat and dry with a paper towel and slice the block into strips and the strips into 1 inch cubes. Toss the cubes into some soy sauce and sesame oil in a tupperware container. Shake the container lightly to make sure the sauce covers the tofu. Keep in refrigerator for one hour.
Once tofu is marinated and all your veggies are chopped and ready to go, get your stir fry sauce ready. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Set aside.
Now it’s time to get that tofu into the oven to bake. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until nice and crispy. This baking step is optional, I just happen to like my tofu extra crispy.
Once the tofu is out of the oven, heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook until translucent. Stir fry broccoli, carrots, and peppers until they are softened. Add the tofu and stir in the sauce ,coating the vegetables and tofu for about 5 minutes or so. Add the green beans towards the end.
Finito. You’re done. Serve in bowls with a scoop or two of brown rice.
Enjoy, my friends. That’s all for today. See ya next time!