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.
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.
- Firm or extra-firm tofu
- Corn starch
- Green beans (frozen or fresh)
- Corn (frozen or canned)
- Romaine lettuce
- Spicy peanut sauce
Vegan, gluten free
Prep. time: 20 minutes + tofu press
- 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.
- Prepare rice and set aside.
- 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.
- Slice mushrooms, clean green beans and carrots, defrost green beans and corn if they were frozen. Basically just get your shit together.
- 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.
- Spread tofu in a single layer on the other skillet. Unlike the mushrooms, it’s cool if they touch.
- Force yourself to walk away without flipping anything for five minutes.
- Add the other vegetables to the mushroom skillet, with a splash of water. Cover and let steam for a few minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- When everything looks about done, add the peanut sauce to taste.
- 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.