Tofu Pt. 2: Stir Fry

It’s amazing how many times I get asked how to make a stir-fry. To me, Stir Fry is one of the easiest, yet one of the most filling dishes, you can cook on a budget. Fist, we need a wok. A good wok can be purchased at Bed, Bath, & Beyond or a similar store for around $20, and will come with a set of cooking chopsticks. A good wok is something that any good cook or chef should have in his or her kitchen, and the benefits will outweigh the initial purchase price. I prefer my wok to have a rounded bottom, but a flat bottom works almost as well.

Now, this article will just go over the basics of stir fry. This meal is so customizable, there’s very little you can do to mess it up. First, warm the wok with a medium flame, and add a splash of oil to your wok (Just 2-3 tablespoons should be enough for the meal, really.). Next, as described in Tofu Part 1, you should drain and dry out as MUCH water as poossible in the tofu block. Once dried out, cube the semi-firm to firm tofu up and toss them into the wok (You can chop up the cubes as large or small as you like, depending purely on how much tofu you want per bite). As the tofu cooks, use the cooking chopsticks to stir the tofu in the wok all about. You will know the tofy is done cooking when the tofu turns a nice golden color all over, which should take no longer than 10 minutes, at the most.
From here, I suggest adding the vegatables. Now, while some prefer fresh vegatables, I suggest purchasing a bag of frozen stir fry vegatables. These usually include, but are not limited to, Green Beans, Carrots, Broccoli, Onions, Snap Peas, Celery, Water Chestnuts and even baby corn. Some will even have stir fry noodles included in the bags, and that’ll make this a lot simpler. Taking the frozen veggies, dump the entire bag atop the cooking tofu. Using your cooking chopsticks, mix everything together in the wok while getting your Stir-Fry sauce ready.
I personally suggest Soy Vay‘s Chinese Marinade, myself. It’s a good kosher sauce, and adds a special kick to the stir fry. Once the vegatables and tofu have cooked together for about 10 more minutes, pour some of the sauce over the tofu and vegetable mixture. How much you add just depends on your personal tastes, really. A little if you just want a hint of taste, or a lot if you want it marinating in the flavor of your stir fry sauce.
At this point, the changes are still up to you. If your stir fry vegatables came with noodles, you can just scoop the cooked mixture onto plates and eat happily. Also, you could serve the tofu and vegatables over cooked white rice, if you prefer. Or if you wish, 2-3 minutes before adding the sauce, you can also add in some stir fry noodles. Finally, durring Pesach, you could even serve it over matzos to spice up the cardboard we all must eat (I kid, I kid… It’s not cardboard, it just tastes that way!). Really, the choice is up to you on how you want to do it.
Now, an addition I enjoy is to toss in some fresh bean sprouts when I add the frozen vegatables. They just cook up nicely, and add a nice texture to the finished dish. Also, instead of tofu, you can also use 2-3 boneless chicken breasts cubed up. This way, you can ensure your family or yourself is still eating healthily, but also enjoying good food. Or, for added protien, you can add in 2-3 scrambled eggs once the tofu or chicken is cooked, stirring it wuickly so it breaks into pieces before adding the vegatables. I hope this article helps you to explore your own variations in tofu, and learn to enjoy this inexpensive meal that can easily feed a family of 4 with ease. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

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February 13, 2006. advice, main courses, recipes.

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