Monday, January 3, 2011

How to - Vegetable Stir Fry

Hey guys! My mom was feeling sick last night so I made dinner. I wasn't planning on making anything so my choices were limited. Then I remembered I had all the stuff to make a tofu vegetable stir fry! Score! This dinner is such an easy one to make, especially if you have some premade stuff to help you along. I'd suggest having some of these ingredients on hand for whenever you're having a "sick day", OR for when you have the sudden craving for insanely delicious Chinese food. Here's a quick tutorial.
The ingredients-
minus tofu (extra firm works best)

That would be some Asian sesame ginger salad dressing (used as the marinade for the tofu), precooked brown rice, frozen stir-fry vegetable blend, and ginger teriyaki sauce.
Now if you have more time/you don't have these ingredients, by all means cook up your own brown rice, look up a simple marinade recipe online like this, buy all the vegetables at the store and cut them up, and make your own sauce. But this works better for me.
Lets begin!
Okay so you want to press some of the water out of your tofu. If you have a tofu press, PERFECT! If you don't, like me, then just sandwich the piece of tofu between two towels and place something heavy on top.
There IS tofu in there..
If you have leftover meat like chicken, pork, or beef then you can just use that as well.
After the tofu has been pressed for about 15 minutes or so, cut it into cubes and squirt some marinade in there.
Just marinate this guy for 30 minutes or so, tofu doesn't need that long to absorb all the flavors. If you're doing something like raw meat instead of tofu, then you can leave it in the marinade for a couple of hours if you want to do this step ahead of time.
Okay so now you're going to throw in a handful of onions into a oiled wok or big skillet on medium to medium high. The onions are optional but I like to do it. If you're in a big rush though, just don't add em.
After they have sauteed for a bit and a little brown, add your tofu. Make sure you drain your tofu on a paper towel to get the excess marinade off because you don't want all the sauce burning onto your pan.
Now turn the heat up to medium high and sear those babies for a couple of minutes till they start to get nice and brown.
Now flip them over so the other side gets nice and crisp. After that sits for a couple minutes just start stirring it ever so often so some of the random sides get a little brown too. Don't worry about getting every side, just make sure you don't start burning them.
Okay so these look done-

Ah, perfectly caramelized and browned. Now take the tofu mixture off the heat and put it on a plate (or bowl, or the counter, whatever) And add your veggies.
I originally added this much but then added about 2 cups more. So about 9-10 cups of frozen veggies (fresh might yield a different amount, however)

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You want to have all that extra moisture evaporate so don't cover the pan.
After I added the extra 2 cups of veg
Okay these are good, don't cook em to long or they will turn to mush (the downside of frozen vegetables). Now add your tofu and the sauce packet into the pan and cook till everything is hot.
Now's the time to pop that rice into the microwave and cook it according to the package's directions.
And dinner is served! If you want to impress your friends and family, top the whole thing off with some toasted sesame seeds.
ooooo, ahhhh
I personally don't think they add much in terms of flavor, but its a fun little addition. :D
Serve with quick brown rice and you're done!
How easy was that? This feeds three hungry people (aka me and my parents) but I'm sure you could squeeze 5-6 servings out of this if you made more rice and the people eating didn't enjoy vegetables as much as we do :P
As I said, this is so easy and so fast. The ingredients used last forever in the pantry/freezer , so there's no reason why you shouldn't go out and get them for times like this.
Love this meal!

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