This is a quick and easy weeknight stirfry, and a good introduction to cooking tofu if it's not a staple in your household.
Tofu seems to put fear into the heart of so many home cooks. I'm not sure why, it's one of the most forgiving of ingredients. It's also a relatively cheap source of protein, and enjoyed by most kids. With little flavour of its own, it's a blank canvas and will take on the flavours of whatever you add to it.
The two most common methods of dealing with firm tofu are to marinade and fry, or fry then add sauce. The latter is my preference for convenience and speed - no worries if you forgot to marinade it earlier. It also gives a crispier result.
It was just myself and the big girl child I was feeding so I was after something quick that she'd happily eat, and that I could spice up for myself with a bit of extra chilli. If you're not feeding any 'chilli-phobes', by all means add some chopped chilli or chilli sauce in with the other sauce ingredients.
The sauce i've used in this recipe is vaguely 'Asian', made from common pantry items, a little bit sweet and sour and intended to be kid friendly. Tempted to just use a stirfry sachet or what not from the supermarket? Go for it, but consider - this sauce takes literally about three minutes to make, there are no weird food additives in it, and its cost would be a fraction of the price of a pre-made stirfry sauce.
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoon tomato sauce (ketchup)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated or minced
- 1 clove garlic grated or crushed
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
For the stirfry:
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
- 1 block firm tofu dried with paper towels and chopped into cubes
- 1 cup green beans chopped
- 1-2 large handfuls mung bean sprouts
- leaves Handful each of garlic chives and fresh coriander chopped (I used whole coriander, so finely chopped the root and stems, then roughly chopped the leaves)
- Fresh pineapple sliced
- Chilli to garnish optional
For the sauce:
- Mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
For the stirfry:
- Heat oil in a wok or large fry pan over a medium to high heat. You might be tempted to add more oil, but it's really not necessary (and let's take care of our hearts, eh?).
- Add tofu, let it fry without moving it until it starts to go golden brown on its bottom surface. Then start flipping and stirring until your tofu is golden brown on most sides. Take your time, crispy tofu is your friend. Once you're done with this step the rest of the dish will come together in minutes.
- Got golden brown tofu? Nice one. Throw in the beans, give them a stir, then throw in the bean sprouts and sauce, cook for 1-2 minutes then stir through the chopped herbs.
- Serve on a bed of white or brown rice, with extra chopped herbs, chilli and pineapple to garnish.
- Serves 2, but could easily serve 4 if you add extra veges (think Asian greens, carrot, broccoli). Make extra sauce if you're going to do this.