Chinese Stir-Fry with Smoked Tofu
Sometimes Chinese food just hits the mark. It’s versatile enough so that you can create essentially whatever you want or crave with a huge variety of your favorite ingredients. All you need is a great sauce as a base, the veggies you love most, some protein, and one or two ingredients that allow you to create texture. This is my vegetarian version! It’s quick, easy, uncomplicated, and delicious. Everybody has their favorite sauce - this here is mine. Feel free to play around with it to get just the taste that YOU want. There are no firmly set rules here - have fun with it all. Or, if you prefer stick to what I do. Since stir frying is a fast process, make sure you have all ingredients prepared before you start cooking. Ingredients:
Sauce: 1/8 cup light soy sauce
1/8 cup regular (dark) soy sauce
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
1/8 cup Sherry, dry
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. ground white pepper
½ cup water
Stir Fry: 1 ½ cups Udon noodles - or Spaghetti, if you prefer.
8 Tbs. cooking oil
½ cup cashew nuts, unsalted
2 gloves of garlic, sliced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 hot chili pepper, seeds and white inner linings removed, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 cup smoked tofu, cut into ¼ x ½ inch cubes (or the size of your liking)
¾ cup zucchini, quartered length-wise and cut into ¼ inch slices
½ cup yellow or red bell pepper
½ cup carrots, julienned
¾ cup Bok Choy, torn into pieces.
½ cup sugar snap pees
½ cup mung bean sprouts
½ cup green onions, sliced
Let’s get started: Preparation:
Set the ½ cup of water aside. Add all other ingredients to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk until blended. If you prefer, put all the ingredients (except the water) into a small Tupperware container and shake vigorously to blend.
The Stir Fry: Cook the Noodles according to packet directions.
When done, rinse under cold water and set aside.
In a small pan, heat 6 Tbs. oil to high heat. Carefully add the cashews, stir, and fry to a lovely golden color. Remove the cashews from the oil and set aside on a paper towel. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the garlic, ginger, and sliced chili pepper. Stir immediately for roughly 1 minute. Now toss in the smoked tofu and stir-fry for another minute. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, and carrots and stir-fry, again, for another minute. Next, toss in the Bok Choy and sugar snap peas - stir-fry for a minute. Toss in the pre-cooked noodles and mix all the ingredients. Give the stir-fry sauce a shake or stir to assure that all ingredients are blended and then add the stir-fry sauce and the water to the wok.
Stir until all ingredients are well blended, the noodles are hot again, and the sauce sticks to the noodles. Add the bean sprouts and the green onions. Stir and serve immediately.