Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quick Kung Pao-ish Fried Tofu

8 oz firm tofu, cubed
2 T cornstarch
1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
3 T tomato paste
1 T chunky rooster sauce
1 drizzle honey or 1 t dark brown sugar, if desired
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 bell pepper, sliced thin
half a dozen mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
small handful peanuts
oil for frying

Press the tofu for an hour or so to remove excess moisture, then marinate in Worcestershire sauce for half an hour. Dredge the tofu in cornstarch and then panko (reserving the Worcestershire), and pan fry over high heat until the breading is GBD. Remove the tofu and add to the remaining oil the bell pepper, mushrooms, green onions, and garlic. Saute for just long enough to stir the tomato paste and chunky rooster sauce into the Worcestershire, adding the honey or brown sugar if desired. Then reduce the heat to low and pour the mixture over the vegetables, tossing until coated. Add the peanuts and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Serve the vegetables over rice, topped with the tofu. The sweetener, if added, will provide a nice counterpoint to the fiery garlic sauce. But sometimes you just want your Scoville units straight up.

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