Kung Pao Tofu

kungpao tofu

Last night I made Kung Pao tofu, based on a recipe over at Everybody Loves Sandwiches, which was based on a recipe on another food blog I can’t recall now. It’s full of crisp veggies, a spicy, peanutty sauce, and yummy tofu. It did take a fair number of pans, though, so be warned!

I started by making a batch of brown rice; since brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook, you want to get it rolling first. Then I pressed my tofu. I buy firm light tofu. It’s pretty solid, for tofu, but you can get a lot of water out of it by placing it in a shallow bowl, putting a plate on top, and putting something heavy on that plate for 15 minutes or so. Drain and you’re good to go. I used a whole block of tofu for this.

Anyway, while your rice is simmering and your tofu pressing, chop:
1/2 onion
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 small head broccoli
2-3 carrots
1 stalk celery

and make your sauce. For that you’ll need:
1/4 c OJ
1/4 c soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
1 T cider vinegar (though I’d bet you could use rice vinegar, if you’ve got it)
1 T Sriracha (asian hot sauce)
1 T brown sugar
1 T peanut butter
1 T cornstarch

I started this with the peanut butter, putting in the microwave to loosen it up. We use all-natural peanut butter which stays in the fridge, so it can be pretty firm. Then I added everything else, whisking away with a fork.

When your rice is about halfway done, cube your tofu. Take a nonstick skillet, heat it up to med-high, add a teaspoon of canola oil, and add tofu. Brown, turning over, until it reaches your desired color. This can take 10-20 minutes, depending on how watery your tofu is, how hot your skillet is, etc.

In another giant skillet or wok, add 1 T canola oil and a little bit of sesame oil. Add onion and garlic, stirring constantly, a minute or so. Add other veg, and stir-fry about 5 minutes or so, until crisp-tender. Add sauce. Stir, stir. Add tofu. Stir, stir. At the end, add some peanuts if you’ve got them. I forgot. Oh well.

Serve with rice! We got four meals out of this–two dinners, two lunches–so it’s a pretty good bang-for-your-buck kind of meal.

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