Friday, April 15, 2005

Tofu Universe

Here's something quick. Don't let the list of ingredients fool you. I'm no Martin Yan, but I've eaten enough Chinese food to know what passes for good. This isn't fancy, but it'll do and it's pretty healthy. In my kitchen at the end of the week when you just can't bring yourself to go to the store to get what you need, you just have to make do with what you've got. Like most Asians who've been schooled in how to eat right, I always keep oyster sauce, soy, hoisin, and fish sauce around just in case I need it. I made this in about 15 minutes - no joke. The best fermented black bean paste to get is the kind that comes in a jar and is mixed in some oil. Use it sparingly because it's fairly strong. Serve atop white or brown rice.

1 lb block of tofu cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 large clove of garlic minced
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp hot blackbean (fermented) paste concentrated
2 tbsp oyster sauce (regular or vegetarian option)
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp concentrated soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or reg. sherry (optional)
dash or two of white pepper
1 bag of stirfry veggies (already cut up)
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tbsp of chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of soy sauce + 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
Sesame seeds - black and white

Mix the soy, hoisin and oyster sauces and fermented black bean with the brown sugar and wine or sherry (set aside). In a wok or large pan. Heat the oil to high heat without smoking. Reduce to medium high and add the garlic and saute until translucent. Add the tofu and toss. While tossing add the mixed sauces to the tofu and toss until coated well. Cook for 1-2 minutes and place in a separate dish. Return the wok or pan to the stove without washing it. Turn the heat up to high and add the peanut oil. When oil is very hot add your vegetables and splash the broth and soy sauce/oyster sauce mixture. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove from heat and arrange the vegetables on a dish and pour the tofu in the middle. Garnish with black and white sesame seeds. Done.


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