Tofu for Ann!

Ann wrote in the other day after checking out the cilantro pesto recipe:
Yum! This all sounds so good! Okay, what’s your best tofu recipe? Or maybe a couple recipes? I bought tofu, and have no idea what to do with it…

Hey, Ann! I’ll bet you were the nice young woman I spoke to at the cafe the other day?
You got it. Tofu is absolutely wonderful stuff, versatile as the day is long. Nowadays, and especially in a food-savvy area like ours, there are some great locally made artisinal varieties to be enjoyed: Thanh Son Tofu, Northwest Tofu, and Chuminh Tofu come to mind as must-try.

That said, my personal favorite variation is stir-fried with onions, green onions, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, carrots and garlic sauce.

So, first wash and prep your veggies: Julienne the carrots and onion, cut green onion into reasonable chop stick manageable chunks, and slice your water chestnuts.

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Drain and cut your tofu into nice bite sized chunks.

For the garlic sauce, you’ll need:
1 Cup Vegetable Stock
3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 Fresh Hot Chiles, fine diced (Jalapenos are fine for this, and red pepper flake will do in a pinch)
1-2 fresh Limes, (For Juice, you’ll want 1 to 3 tablespoons)
3-5 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon agave nectar, (Light Honey is fine)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water
1 – 2 Tablespoons Canola or Peanut Oil for sauteing

Add a little veggie oil to a preheated wok or saute pan over medium-high heat and allow to heat through. Add tofu and saute for a minute or two until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside.

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Throw stock, vinegar, lime juice, agave nectar and fish sauce into a sauce pan over medium heat. Start out light with each major flavor note and work to a balance you like between the salty, hot, sour and sweet notes, then adjust later as needed). When the sauce begins to simmer, drop the heat to medium low, and add the cornstarch solution; stir until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, then toss in the garlic and chile peppers and allow to incorporate. Remove from heat and allow to stay warm on stove top.

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Add a bit more oil to the wok, again over medium high, and toss in the carrots; allow them to saute for a couple minutes solo, then add all the rest of the veggies and about half the sauce.

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Let everything incorporate and heat through, then add the tofu and the rest of the sauce. heat through until simmering nicely and serve.

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Can be done solo, or on/with rice, or as lettuce wraps with more fresh sprouts, cilantro, and basil leaves to add to the fun.

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Thanks for asking, enjoy and let us know how it goes!

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