Sunday, January 23, 2011

stir-fried tofu with snap peas

I love tofu, but I have a hard time cooking with it. It never gets chewy and dense the way it is in restaurants and at the Whole Foods salad bar. I'm determined to remedy my tofailings, and I started on Friday with stir-fried tofu with snap peas.*

Mark Bittman says there are a couple things you can do to prepare your tofu before cooking. He recommends pressing or freezing, and this week I went with the freezing method. On Monday, I cut my tofu into chunks and froze the cubes until I was ready to cook. I pulled them out of the freezer when I got home from work on Friday, let them defrost, and went to town.

I sauteed my onion and snap peas first, then I removed those to a plate and heated my garlic and ginger. I added my tofu cubes, let them brown a bit, and then added in wine and vegetable stock. After it reduced a little, I added the veggies back in, stirred in soy sauce and green onions, and called it a day.
Edwin and I really liked this stir-fry. It's probably the best one I've made yet, and I think it has to do with the large amounts of ginger and garlic (I love that Mr. Bittman usually requests at least a tablespoon of garlic instead of a measly clove or two). The tofu's texture was a major improvement for me, but I think I can do better. When I read about preparing tofu in The Food Matters Cookbook, I noticed that I was supposed to gently squeeze the defrosted tofu to get even more liquid out. Since that mandate is absent in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I missed it.
I'm making more tofu this week, and I'm going to try pressing this go round. I'll keep you posted on the totexture.

*Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "Stir-Fried Tofu with Snap Peas." p. 647.

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