Tofu + Broccoli + Mushroom stir fry

stirfry

I hardly ever cooked in New York—small kitchen, was barely home, etc, etc. Trying to shake off the dust and after a few wonky recipes I think I have one that you might want to put in your mouth! Really, even if you’re a new cook, it’s going to be ok. I hope my directions aren’t intimidating: I’m not that good at writing them anymore.

Before we start, a quick note about tofu: 

What do you think of it? Fan, not a fan? For me, tofu has always been a little depressing, especially when the alternative is some kind of delicious, delicious animal. Many of you might have have had mushy, flavorless tofu that you gulp down with loads of sauce on top (see my tofu taco recipe, it’s yummy, don’t worry). My mom used to make fried tofu all the time when I was little and I never wanted it. But now, I think it might have grown on me. I could see myself eating the odd bowl of fried tofu and rice.

 

Tofu + Broccoli + Mushroom stir fry
(adapted from EatingWell)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (I used regular)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (definitely did not have this…)
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons water

Plus…

  • 1/2 package of baby bella or shitake mushrooms, sliced (I just had some on hand so I threw them in)
  • Cooked rice or noodles for eating with. I ate some of my leftovers with ramen noodles.

 

*Tofu:

If you’re going to fry it, you should let the tofu drain. According to this website you should let it drain for at least fifteen minutes, but I left mine out for like 3 hours :). I looked it up and you can leave tofu at room temperature for under 4 hours. According to EatingWell, they seem to think a few pats and cornstarch will do ya, but I didn’t even read it, haha.

What EatingWell recipe tofu:

    1. Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry, then sprinkle with salt.
    2. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the tofu; toss gently to coat.
    3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu; cook, undisturbed, until browned, about 3 minutes. Gently turn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

 

Here’s what I did:

    1. Cut the block of tofu into 1/2-inch slabs, either direction is probably fine. Drain for at least an hour and pat for good measure. Sprinkle tofu with seasoning of your choice (salt & pepper sound good to me).
    2. Fill a skillet with oil until at least 1/2 of the tofu will be covered when you lay it down. Wait until oil is at medium-high temperature before placing tofu in.
    3.  Place tofu into skillet and leave undisturbed until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook other side until golden brown.
    4. Remove from heat. And, as you can see I cut mine into strips to put into the stir fry.

Stir fry

  1. Combine broth, sherry (or rice wine), soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sugar and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Prepare tofu (instructions above).
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and water; cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir the reserved broth mixture and add to the pan. Cook until the sauce has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Return the tofu to the pan; toss to combine with the broccoli, mushroom, and sauce.

 

The verdict?

Mmm! I was super happy with how it turned out. Believe it or not, it’s my first time making this basic stir fry. It felt like I miracle that I was able to make the mysteriously delicious Asian sauce. I thought it tasted a little too wine-y to me, but maybe that was my imagination. I ended up putting a few final squirts of soy sauce on my plate and it was perfect. This is first more complicated things I’ve made in months. Not to say it’s hard, but it was definitely multi-step. It felt good. Perfect recipe if you’re missing your Asian friends.

Enjoy!

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