Friday Night Stir Fry, Or, What I’ve Learned About Tofu

Here’s what I’ve learned about tofu: you just have to cook the hell out of it. Bake, broil, fry, whatever — just cook the hell out of it.

(NB — this maxim does not apply to silken tofu, the highest and best purpose of which is this Mexican chocolate pudding.)

Tonight’s stir fry: red onion, kale (can you tell we bought a lot of kale this week?), broccoli, and tofu, served over lo mein-style noodles with a simple peanut sauce.  What follows isn’t really a recipe — it’s more of a notion. It would work with whatever vegetables you have kicking around in the fridge at the end of the week.

Friday Night Stir Fry

(makes enough for two dinners and two lunches the next day)

  • 1 lb lo-mein style egg noodles
  • 1 package tofu (I think ours was around 1 lb drained), cubed
  • red onion (I think the color is pretty.)
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 2 small-to-medium broccoli crowns

For the peanut sauce:

  • peanut butter
  • soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • splash of vinegar (white)

First, cook the hell out of the tofu. I stir fry it in canola oil until it’s crispy, and that can take awhile (on the order of 10 minutes). Get the water started to cook the noodles (these take just 2 minutes or so to soften), and chop up your vegetables.

Start the peanut sauce — whisk everything together until the flavor and consistency suit you.  I went with what would be described as a glop of peanut butter (that’s a technical term, of course) to start off. Now, the sauce held together nicely for awhile, but when I had to turn off the heat for a while (Mr. Baby requires sustenance), it did separate. It mostly came back together, and it was still tasty.

Anyway, once the tofu’s done, take it out of the pan, and start stir-frying the vegetables, starting with the onion. Add the tofu back to warm it up.  I usually add the noodles to the pot too, to warm them up and sauce them.

But today I layered the vegetables on the noodles, like sauce on pasta, and served the peanut sauce on the side, for dipping. Saucy, very saucy.

 

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