Thursday, September 1, 2011

HomestyleTofu and Scallion Stir-Fry and Asian Cucumber Salad

This is what we had for lunch when we made the Faux-fried Drumsticks and Zucchini Corn Cakes.  No leftovers, except a little rice.

Homestyle Tofu and Scallion Stir-Fry
I saw a lovely picture on Mark Bittman's blog for something similar.  My version has a little ground beef in it, for flavor only.  This makes a great Meatless Monday meal- just leave out the ground beef and substitute water for chicken stock.  The extra stock/water and cornstarch is what makes the sauce, which kids love to mix in with their rice. I use short grain rice which is nice and sticky. I made a double recipe, and there was not one square of tofu left. 

1 box of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into small squares. ( I let it drain for a few minutes on a paper towel to minimize excess liquid)
1/4 lb. ground beef (this is just for flavor-leave out for meatless option)
(Optional to mix in with ground beef: 1 tsp rice wine, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil)
1/2 c frozen peas
4 scallions, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T canola oil
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 chicken stock or water

Heat a tiny bit of the oil in a large saute pan or wok. Add a pinch of garlic and ginger (reserve most of it). Cook the ground beef (with optional mix-ins if you desire) until done. Remove from pan and set aside. Add rest of canola oil to pan, then add tofu squares. DON'T TOUCH THEM FOR A FEW MINUTES!  Once they are brown on one side, flip them over gently to brown, and add the rest of the ginger and garlic. Throw in the frozen peas, and add the ground beef mixture.  Stir. In the meantime, add liquid to the cornstarch and stir so there are no lumps.  Add this cornstarch/stock mixture to the pan a little at a time and stir.  The sauce will thicken as it boils. When the sauce is thickened to desired consistency, add scallions, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Add more cornstarch/stock mixture if needed. Serve with rice.

Asian Cucumber Salad
I used my new mandolin slicer for this one. It is awesome.  Beautiful, even, and thin.  I got mine for under $15 at Target, and it works great.
You can see how I forgot the sesame seeds. Oops.

2 cucumbers, sliced very thinly
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
sprinkle sesame seeds
1 T canola oil

Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and drizzle in the oil while whisking. Mix in with cucumbers. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

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