Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fast, Mouthwatering Garlic Ginger Tofu

In my house it is absolutely critical to have dinner on the table by 5:30. Maybe I mentioned in a previous post that, if not fed, members of my family wilt and die after 5:30. Or they start eating snack foods, then they don't want to eat for hours and all routine flies out the window.

So the minute I walk in the door, the oven goes on preheat or the water goes on to boil. The yellow recipe folder comes out. Flour on the counter, vegetables. Cutting boards.

Yellow recipe folder. It's one of those $0.15 folders made of a single sheaf of flimsy paper barely thicker than the papers you put in it, a folder that you buy unknowing that you'll be using it for the next 10 years and what you really need is a 5 Star industrial strength plastic reinforced binder. The pages inside are smeared with food, crinkly and brittle from absorbing water and drying out.

Perhaps like a lot of you, I find most of my recipes online. I print them out, mark them up and make them my own. Write notes in the margin. "so-and-so thought this was too dry," or "added more clove and cinnamon. Worked really well." Then the recipes go in the yellow recipe folder, in no particular order.

This recipe, taken from Kristen at the Pixelated Crumb has been adapted to my family's preferences. The Other Adult does not like Dry Stir Fry, which this would have been without the sauce. So I made a separate sauce for the rice, and I added a few vegetables per the Other Adult's request.

Stir Fry Ingredients:
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 package firm tofu (I use a package and a half per our preferences)
  • 1 onion diced into big irregular chunks
  • 1-2 carrots diced
  • 2-3 heads of broccoli
  • 1 C chopped mushrooms
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t ginger powder
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • sesame seeds, for topping
  • cooked brown rice

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 3-4 T corn starch mixed in water
  • 3/4 C veggie broth
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t ginger


  1. Dice the tofu into 1.5 inch cubes (approximate size). Put the oil in the frying pan and spread out the tofu in the oil. Turn up the heat to medium high. Turn the tofu occasionally, browning each side. I let the tofu sit in the heat by itself for at least 5-7 minutes before adding other vegetables because the Other Adult likes "crispy tofu." If you like your tofu soft, then cook it for much less time.
  2. As the tofu cooks, put the rice on to boil and then start your sauce. Combine soy sauce, veggie broth, corn starch water, lime juice and garlic powder in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir occasionally. Add more veggie broth, soy sauce or lime juice to taste.
  3. Add carrots and onions to the frying pan. Sear the veggies by allowing them to sit on one side for a few minutes before turning them.
  4. Add broccoli to the frying pan, then sprinkle with soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and ginger. Turn down the heat slightly and keep turning the veggies and tofu, heating everything evenly.
  5. Add ginger to the sauce. Stir into the sauce until the ginger clumps have disappeared. Taste the sauce and make adjustments as desired (I usually play a lot with the proportions of lime, soy sauce and veggie broth).
  6. Serve when the rice is done, usually about 25 minutes. I put the rice on the plate first, then sauce, then vegetables. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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