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Old 04-12-2010, 08:21 AM   #1
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Give me your best tofu stir fry recipe

Tonight I would like to make a tofu stir fry for dinner. Every recipe I have seen online is basically the same, with minor variations. I am hoping the members here can post their favorite way to prepare this and maybe we will find some variations that we would not have thought of otherwise. So what do you do to make yours great?

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Old 04-12-2010, 08:26 AM   #2
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I don't cook with tofu much but couldn't you substitute tofu for any other meat in a recipe? e.g. Chinese pepper steak made with tofu instead.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:31 AM   #3
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Yes you could Andy. That is exactly what I am looking for. Your favorite recipe and what makes it different from the thousands of other similar recipes out there for the same thing.

For instance, when doing a search for tofu stir fry recipes most will start with garlic and ginger, soy sauce, broccoli, onion, carrot, mushrooms, sherry, etc. There are thousands of recipes like this, but I am sure some people here have little things they like to add that may not be among the usual items. Maybe someone uses sunflower seeds or something like that. maybe someone adds dried cranberries. I am just looking for variations on the standard that might make it a little more exciting and unique.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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Have you looked at other than Asian recipes?
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:02 AM   #5
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No. I still want it to be Asian. I am looking for a normal stir fry. Just looking to see how people make it their own instead of one of the same.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
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Lots of Asian recipes include garlic, ginger, soy, sherry, mushrooms and onions. They provide a basic flavor of Asian dishes.

That said, here's a pepper steak recipe we use. It's great 'as is' and might work with a tofu substitute.

CHINESE PEPPER STEAK

8 Oz Flank Steak
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1½ tsp Cornstarch
1½ tsp Chinese Rice Wine
1 tsp Garlic (use a rasp grater)
1 tsp Ginger (use a rasp grater)
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Sugar
1 tsp Peanut Oil
1 Tb Ketchup
1 Tb Hoi sin sauce
1 Tb Chile Garlic Sauce
4 tsp Peanut Oil, divided
1 Ea Bell Pepper, ¼” strips
½ C Scallions, halved lengthwise cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Sesame Oil


Cut the steak with grain into 1½ - 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across grain into ¼ inch-thick slices.

Put the slices into a medium bowl with the soy sauce, cornstarch, rice wine, garlic, ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, sugar, and the oil and stir with a fork. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes and up to four hours.

Stir together ketchup, hoi sin, and chile garlic sauce in a small bowl and set it aside.

Heat the wok over high heat.

Pour 2 teaspoons oil down the side of the wok, then swirl the oil, tilting the wok to coat the sides. Add the beef, spreading pieces in one layer on the bottom and sides as quickly as possible.

Cook undisturbed, letting beef begin to brown, for 1 minute, then stir-fry until meat is just browned on all sides but still pink in center, about 1 minute. Transfer the meat and any juices to a plate.

Pour the remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil down the side of the unwashed wok over high heat, then swirl the oil, tilting wok to coat sides.

Add the bell pepper and the salt. Stir-fry to cook the pepper,

Add the scallions, the beef with any juices and the ketchup mixture.

Stir-fry until well combined and the sauce thickens slightly, about 30 seconds,

Toss with the sesame oil then transfer to a platter.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Andy. I am not opposed to the basic building blocks. I am just looking for things to add in addition that make it unique. Your recipe does that and looks great. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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In a restaurant i go to, they make 'sesame chicken' but instead of the chicken, they cut extra firm tofu into cubes, put a corn starch coating and deep fry, then use these tofu ' nuggets' as the chicken substitute. the rest of the recupe is the same. its actually very good
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #9
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Well if it is deep fried it has got to be good. Thanks Larry.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:21 PM   #10
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Breezy Szechuan Spicy Bean Curd
(adapted from "Madame Chu's Chinese Cooking School")

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 square extra-firm or firm bean curd, drained & cubed
vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
1 tablespoon (approx. an inch or two) peeled grated or minced fresh ginger
1 scallion, chopped (optional)
1-2 stalks Bok Choy or Chinese (Napa) Cabbage, sliced
1/4-1/2 pound ground meat (any type – I use ground turkey)
1-2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or to taste
1 tablespoon hot sesame oil OR regular sesame oil
Approx. 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

Combine broth with soy sauce, sugar, & cornstarch & set aside. Heat a few tablespoons or so of oil in wok or large skillet. Add ground meat & stir for around 3 minutes. Add Bok Choy & stir an additional 2 minutes. Add scallions (if using) garlic, ginger, sherry, & red pepper flakes & stir a few times. Add bean curd, stir gently, then add broth mixture & bring to a boil while continuing to stir gently. When heated thru & slightly thickened, turn off heat & sprinkle sesame oil over the top. Stir one more time, sprinkle 5-spice powder over, & serve.

Unlike most stir-fry dishes, this one can be covered & kept warm until ready to serve.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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Another quick tip. If you have an asian grocery store/ market near you, it may be worth a trip to check out what variety of tofu they have. The store I go to has the typcial ( extra firm, firm, silk) tofu. In addition, hey have pre-fried, some kind of dried or pressed tofu, tofu strips, tofu nuggets, tofu sheets .....and the list goes on. This may help ease the preparation ( especially if you dont like frying things) and it also may give you more ideas how to use them. Some are also pre-marinated too ( usually in soy sauce, or some kind of 5 spice marinade).
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #12
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Another slight variation:

Breezy Home-Style Bean Curd
(adapted from "Madame Chu's Chinese Cooking School)

Ingredients:

1 square extra-firm or firm bean curd, drained & cubed
Approx. 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1/4 pound ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or chicken (approx. 1/4 of your standard-size supermarket package - I divide, wrap, & freeze the rest for future recipes)
1-2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3cloves of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
One package fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced (or 6-8 dry shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for an hour, stemmed & sliced)
2 tablespoons dried Cloud Ear mushrooms, soaked (optional)
1 small can sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed & drained
1-2 stalks Bok Choy or Chinese (Napa) Cabbage, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 scallion, cut into 1" lengths (optional)

Combine sherry, soy sauce, & sugar. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the ground meat & stir for around 3 minutes. Add Bok Choy or cabbage & cook for 3 more minutes. Add sherry mix, along with mushrooms, cloud ears, bamboo shoots, garlic, & red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add bean curd & stir gently. Add 1/2 cup of water, lower heat, cover, & cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add Hoisin sauce & scallions if using, stir & serve over hot Jasmine rice.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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Hey Breezy. Good to see you. Those sound great. Thanks for sharing.

Larry, I went to the Asian market during my lunch today. There were more tofu option than I could count, including all the types you listed. I decided to stick with just a plain firm tofu to start, but if my family will eat this then I just may venture into the flavored ones a bit more. They had a lot of spicy ones at the store which I would have loved, but the rest of my family would not be so happy with.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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Here's one I do regularly - measurements are approximate.
Tofu, Broccoli & Mushrooms in black bean sauce.

1/2 lb firm tofu - sliced into bite sized pieces and pan seared in a little butter to brown.(set aside).

Med head of Broccoli - bite size pieces
2 carrots, yellow squash or canned baby corn ears
1/2 sliced onion
Big handful of seasonal Mushrooms (fresh)
Big handful of Mushroom shitake (re-hydrated) .
1 knob Fresh ginger - peeled and sliced (about 2 T)
5 cloves garlic minced
1/2 C cashews or peanuts

Handful of chopped cilantro
Sesame oil

Sauce:
1 mounded T of black bean sauce
1 t chili garlic chili sauce
1/2 C beer or white wine or water
1 T rice wine vinegar (adjust acid level based on use of beer or wine (above)
1 T Ketchup (shhh - don't tell ANYONE)
1 - 2 tsp corn starch
1 C Soaking liquid from shitakes

Mix up the sauce into a container (minus the soaking liquid and set aside)
Set aside soaking liquid.


1. Sear onions, yellow veggies and mushrooms in wok or skillet.
2. Add broccoli and cover for a minute or 2 to steam.
3. Uncover and add precooked tofu, ginger, garlic and nuts. cook for another minute or two until heated through.
4. Add sauce to dish and stir rapidly to cook and combine. Use soaking liquid to adjust sauce thickness.
5. Add chopped cilantro and turn into serving dish. Top with a drizzle of sesame oil.

This whole dish takes about 5 minutes to cook once ingredients are prepped.
Here are links to the sauces referenced - They are available in several brands and keep a long time.

http://www.quickspice.com/scstore/im...ngarlic_lg.jpg
http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acata...-Sauce-Big.jpg
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #15
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Now that is what I am talking about. Thanks Janet. That sounds really delicious!
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