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tofu stir fry


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Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total: 37 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Drain tofu and wrap in a thin dish towel. Weight down with a heavy cookbook or skillet (weigh that down with a few cans of beans). Press for 10-15 min, changing the towel halfway through.

Step 2

Meanwhile, stir together the Sauce ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup, and prep your veggies and aromatics.

Step 3

Cut the tofu. Slice the tofu into four equal squares. Flip each square on its side and then slice into squares, ⅓” wide (~1 cm). Transfer to a large bowl or shallow baking pan.

Step 4

Coat the tofu. In a small bowl, combine the salt, white pepper, garlic powder, five spice powder (if using) and cornstarch. Sprinkle half over the tofu, flip the tofu over, and sprinkle with the rest, tossing gently to coat with your hands.

Step 5

Line a cutting board or large plate with paper towels. Open some windows, as it will get smoky if you’re using a wok.

Step 6

Fry the tofu. Heat a flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat until you start to see light wisps of smoke. Only then add 3 TBSP of the oil (this prevents sticking). Swirl the pan to get oil up the sides (See Note 1 if you don't have a wok). Carefully add tofu. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute for even cooking, until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and toss the tofu and repeat for 2 to 4 min, until golden brown but not charred on the bottom (reduce the heat if it starts to char). Transfer tofu to the paper towel-lined surface to absorb excess oil. Wipe out the pan.NOTE: Depending on your wok size and tofu weight, it may not all fit in a wok. You'll get the best results frying in 2 batches.

Step 7

Finish the stir fry. Return the wok to the stove. Heat over high until smoking, then add the remaining 1 TBSP oil. Add garlic and ginger, and stir fry for 20 to 30 seconds, tossing frequently so they don’t stick. Add prepped veggies, and stir fry for 1 to 1.5 minutes (add sturdy veg like carrots or broccoli for 1-2 minutes, then add softer veg like bell peppers for 1 to 1.5 min). Add the Sauce and stir fry for 2 ½ minutes, then add any tender vegetables (e.g., bok choy leaves) and stir fry for 30 seconds until wilted.

Step 8

Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until well-dissolved. Add to the pan and stir until thickened and glossy (it won’t take long). Off the heat, add the tofu, cilantro, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Toss well to coat the tofu. Serve over rice.