Thursday, April 9, 2009
Asparagus, Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry (Vegan)
Freestyle Week continues at Just Vegging Out . . . .
I had an "almost vegetarian" upbringing. My mother rarely cooked meat. Instead, she made a lot of Asian-style vegetable stir frys. I actually disliked eating them, because I hated the taste of most vegetables when I was young.
After college, I became a huge meat eater. But, much to the surprise of family members, I've come full circle and now find myself enjoying the kinds of vegetarian dishes I had while growing up.
For last night's dinner, I bought vegetables that I thought would look nice together in terms of color and texture. I added tofu for protein. On the advice of a friend of mine who's Asian American and a vegetarian, I dredged the tofu in cornstarch before sauteing it. As a result, the tofu had a slightly crispy, golden brown, exterior, just like the way I've had it served to me in restaurants.
I recommend serving the following stir fry with white rice or brown rice.
Asparagus, Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry
Serves approximately 3-4
1 medium onion, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 portobello mushroom cap, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 cup asparagus spears, trimmed (white ends cut off), and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 package extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt, to taste
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of cold water. Set it aside.
In another bowl, dredge the tofu cubes in a 1/2 cup of cornstarch, making sure all sides are coated.
In a non-stick skillet (e.g., a cast iron skillet), heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and saute, until all sides become golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the cubes from the skillet and set them aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 10-12 inch skillet over medium heat. (I would not use a cast iron skillet, because the soy sauce may strip the seasoning). Add the onions, mushrooms, asparagus, garlic, and ginger, and saute until the onions and mushrooms become soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the tofu to the skillet. Next, add the broth and stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Gradually add the water-corn starch mixture (in 1 tablespoon increments) until the broth starts to thicken like a gravy. (You may or may not use all of the water-cornstarch mixture). Add salt, to taste, and serve.