Ask anyone who knew me growing up, and they’ll tell you I’m a meat-and-potatoes girl. Who (*gasp*) refuses to eat her vegetables. Give me a big slab of steak and some sort of potato side dish, and I was happy. Of course, that was long ago, in my pickier years. I wouldn’t eat sashimi or most more exotic ethnic foods at that time either.
Nowadays, though I am by no means vegetarian, I’ve started to lean the other way. No longer does a big honkin’ piece of steak sound like the perfect meal – now I tend more towards fish (sashimi, anyone?) or even vegetarian dishes. Just a change in tastes, I suppose.
Recently we were at Son’s parents’ house for a Buddhist holiday where they couldn’t eat meat, and his mother made a vegetable stir-fry with this fried tofu. The old me would have turned up my nose at the dish but tried to choke it down to be polite, but nowadays? Well, needless to say, I loved it. So much, that I had to ask his mom for the recipe. She didn’t have actual measurements for anything, but I’ve tried my best to approximate the amounts that I used when I made the dish for dinner just a few hours ago… it was a success.
- 1 container firm tofu
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 large zucchini, sliced
- about 20 mushrooms, quartered
- olive oil
- 1 cup shoyu
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- Slice the tofu along the short side into slices at least 1 cm thick.
- Pour a little bit of olive oil into a frying pan or wok, heat over medium heat.
- Place the half of the slices of tofu into the pan in one layer.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of shoyu over the tofu.
- Sprinkle about 2 tbsp sugar over the tofu.
- Spread about 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce onto each piece of tofu.
- After about a minute, flip the tofu using a pair of tongs. (I find that it’s really difficult to flip the tofu using chopsticks without breaking the tofu slices.)
- Spread about 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce onto the second side of each piece of tofu.
- After another minute, flip the tofu again. Continue flipping every minute or so, until the tofu begins to brown and the sauces/sugar begin to caramelize.
- Remove the tofu from the pan onto a plate.
- Repeat with the remaining tofu.
- When you have cooked and removed all the tofu, place the onion slices into the pan.
- Sauté the onions until translucent, then pour 1/2 cup shoyu and 1/4 cup sugar over the onions.
- Add the zucchini and mushrooms to the pan.
- Add in the chili garlic sauce. If you want your stir-fry spicier, then you can add more, but 1 tbsp is just enough to give it a kick without being very spicy.
- Sauté the vegetables until they are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
- Serve the vegetable stir-fry over a bed of rice or noodles, topped with a couple slices of fried tofu.