Stir-Friday

My favorite recipes are the ones where you just throw a bunch of unmeasured shit together and chow down. I’m a full-time student with three jobs and a drinking habit. I can barely pick the dirty clothes up off of my bedroom floor, let alone prepare a five-course meal for one.

That being said, I do still eat well. Really well. Alarmingly well. So well that my stomach grows like the Grinch’s heart after every meal. Because my diet is almost entirely plant-based, I have a tendency to eat in bulk.

Enter stir-fry.

Though I’m a sucker for a quality curry, my idea of the perfect stir-fry involves a healthy dose of peanut sauce. While my survivalist father keeps hydrogen peroxide and Fish Mox (antibiotics that are meant for fish but fine for humans) in his Doomsday Prepper’s cabinet, I keep multiple bottles of House of Tsang’s spicy peanut sauce in mine.

I eat stir-fry a few times a week, often with tofu. Since this is one of those “throw everything you own in a pan and pray to the dead gods” dishes, the ingredient list below is more of a strong hint than an order.

Oh, and an off-dry Riesling or Chardonnay will pair really well with the mild spiciness of the peanut sauce in this dish.


Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • Firm or extra-firm tofu
    • Corn starch
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans (frozen or fresh)
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Corn (frozen or canned)
  • Rice
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Oil
  • Spicy peanut sauce

Vegan, gluten free
Prep. time: 20 minutes + tofu press

Instructions:

  1. Drain the tofu and slice into slabs. Press the tofu. While I do own an actual tofu press, I’ve found that sandwiching the slabs between stacks of paper towels and cutting boards, and then placing something heavy on top (I use a knife block), works just as well. Let the tofu press for anywhere from half an hour to 2 hours. The longer you press it, the crunchier it will be when fried.
  2. Prepare rice and set aside.
  3. After the tofu is done being pressed, cut into cubes. Place in a lidded container with corn starch and shake until fully coated. Heat two skillets, each with a tablespoon of oil, on medium-high.
  4. Slice mushrooms, clean green beans and carrots, defrost green beans and corn if they were frozen. Basically just get your shit together.
  5. Spread mushrooms on one of the skillets. My mom and I have a saying we adopted from the movie Julie and Julia: “Don’t crowd the mushrooms.” If you push them all together, they won’t brown and your life will be ruined.
  6. Spread tofu in a single layer on the other skillet. Unlike the mushrooms, it’s cool if they touch.
  7. Force yourself to walk away without flipping anything for five minutes.
  8. Add the other vegetables to the mushroom skillet, with a splash of water. Cover and let steam for a few minutes.
  9. When the tofu is a dark-tan color on one side, it’s ready to be flipped. If the cubes were touching while they cooked, they’ll probably flip in one solid piece. It’s super satisfying.
  10. After here, cook everything until it’s done to your liking. I intentionally burn my stir-fry because I like the crunch and smoky taste. However, the acrid smoke isn’t great if you have roommates. Trust me.
  11. When everything looks about done, add the peanut sauce to taste.
  12. On a plate, build a bed of rice on top of a layer of cold whole Romaine lettuce leaves. Throw the veggies and tofu on top of this.

If you’re a disgusting human being like I am, you’ll discover that you can use the lettuce as a sort of crunchy shovel. You’re welcome.

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3 thoughts on “Stir-Friday

  1. lorijakiela says:

    Pressing tofu. I didn’t know this. It explains why, when I’ve made tofu at home, it looks like something to treat with Fish Mox. My life is better now. Thank you! (p.s. Your blog is a joy.)

    Like

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