I was so proud of myself making this recipe. This was a huge cooking milestone for me. I mastered tofu! This is after many failed attempts with tofu. The trick is really patience and the extraction of water out of the tofu. It is seriously amazing how much water is within that block of tofu.
I will say I had the luxury of time to prepare the tofu and highly encourage you to start the water drainage process at least two (2) hours in advance of meal preparation. Take it one step further and prep in the morning, refrigerate during the day, and take it out when ready for the cooking.
For the stir fry, it is really up to your liking on the vegetables. It can be as simple as a bag of frozen stir fry mix from Trader Joe’s, what is left in your produce drawer or an all out produce trip at the grocery store. I personally go for crunch and color with my selection
As for the sauce, depending on my time and flavor desire, I will either make from scratch of just use House Of Tsang Szechuan Spicy Sauce, Stir-Fry.
- 1 box firm tofu
- 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Set up a cutting board with one layer of paper towel (a plate works too)
- Remove tofu from box and set on a cutting board
- Place an additional 2-3 layers of paper towel on top of the tofu
- Place a heavy item on top of the tofu. I used a cast iron skillet.
- Leave for minimum two (2) hours
The heavier the object, the better to reduce the amount of liquid in the tofu.
When ready to prepare the tofu, remove the heavy object and paper towels. Cube tofu into about 1 inch pieces. Place tofu in a Ziplock bag with cornstarch and shake until well covered. The cornstarch coating is really the trick to getting the crispy tofu that you get in the restaurants.
Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add oil. Add tofu and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from pan, and set on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Reserve until stirfry is prepared
Stir Fry Recipe
- 1 tsp minced garlic cloves
- 1 broccoli crown
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 can bamboo shoots
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- Handful of cashews, optional
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (substitute for vegetable or paerve to make meat free)
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (Tamari for gluten free)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or small squirt of Sricacha
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together corn starch and water. Add remaining ingredients (chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, and toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet or wok and heat over medium high heat.
- Add garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don’t over toast
- Add vegetables and saute for 4-5 minutes. Reserve green onions and cashews for the end
- Add stir sauce and stir for an additional minute
- Add crispy tofu to the mix, along with green onions and cashews
- Lower heat and cook for additional 2 minutes, but don’t overcook to the point the vegetables get soggy
- Garnish with sesame seeds