Tofu and Stir Fried Veggies with Brown Rice
I don’t own a tofu press, and I’m not eager to own one more device, appliance, or gadget. I have enough stuff, and very full cabinets at this point. But I do find it is very beneficial, even essential to take the time to eliminate the moisture in tofu before you attempt to cook it. Below you’ll see a photo of what I use to get the moisture out: my very own cast iron pan, which does the trick of extracting the moisture from the tofu quite well. And if you are going to enjoy tofu, you don’t want it to taste soggy. Also, the tofu will absorb the sauce or marinade you choose to use if you eliminate the liquid in the tofu before you marinate it or add sauce to your finished dish. Betayavon! Good Appetite!
- 1 pound package extra firm tofu, rinsed, thinly sliced in small rectangles, and then pressed so the moisture releases
- 4 T. Olive Oil, or 2 T. Olive Oil for the veggies and 2 T. Sesame Oil for the tofu
- one inch piece ginger root, chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped small
- 3 Scallions, chopped small
- 1 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin rounds
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin rounds
- 2-4 large mushrooms, sliced
- 1 16 oz. bag shredded cabbage
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
- pinch of turmeric
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
- Cutting board and knife
- Cast Iron Pan
- 2 Plates
- Wok and Large Spoon for stirring
Drain and slice the tofu into thin slices. From each slice, make about 4 small squares or rectangles, about 2-3 inches each. Smaller pieces are just easier to work with, I find. Place the tofu pieces on a large plate and place a cast iron pot on top.
In the meantime, add 2 T. olive oil to your hot wok and sauté the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pepper slices. Add salt, pepper, and stir, cooking until they begin to wilt, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots, and cook for 3 minutes, then add the zucchini rounds, stirring often, and cook about 7 minutes or less, but until they become soft and translucent. You can remove all the veggies from your wok and sauté the cabbage and mushrooms separately, because the wok will probably be full, by now. Or, you can just add the shredded cabbage and mushrooms to your wok and mix it all together at this point, cooking just until the cabbage wilts, about 3-5 minutes.
When you drain the water from the plate that surrounds the tofu pieces, just go ahead and repeat with the other half of the package of tofu. Heat either the remaining olive oil or the sesame oil if you prefer to a hot cast iron pan and when it sizzles, (makes that sizzle sound when you put a drop of water on it), add the drained pressed tofu slices. I like my tofu crunchy and crispy, but it’s entirely up to you how long to cook your tofu. I added no marinade or sauce, as I like tofu when it’s sautéed and crispy in the sesame oil with the veggies over brown rice, but you can add any marinade or sauce you like. Readjust salt and pepper, add more garlic powder, if desired. Serve with your favorite rice.