Friday, January 7, 2011

Crispy Tofu with Colorful Stir-fry Veggies

  This was as fun lunch meal I made for the kids and I one day when we had time to spare and I didn't have to run them to preschool, or gymnastics, or all the other million things we do during the week. The kids helped me press the water out of the tofu, dredge each tofu piece in the different coatings, and they each got a turn whisking up the stir-fry sauce. When you involve your kids in the meal process, it makes them appreciate the food that they are eating, and they feel a certain pride that they "helped" make their meal. We all really enjoyed the crispy, crunchy tofu squares, and dipped them in some soy sauce, mostly because we just couldn't resist dipping them into SOMETHING! Enjoy!

*this recipe came from a Family Fun magazine called Dinnertime . You can check out the original recipe from Family Fun website.

Crispy Tofu Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep: 35 minutes Cooking Time:  6 minutes

1 (14oz) pkg extra-firm tofu
2 TB soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice (see Change It Up below for alternatives)
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beated
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (See note at bottom of post about panko)
1/4-1/3 cup canola oil

1. Drain the tofu, then remove the excess water by pressing it together with paper towels. Cut the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
2. In a 8-inch square dish, combine soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Add tofu cubes and turn them to coat all sides. Set aside for 30 minutes so they will marinate, turning them once halfway through. 
 3. For dredging, make an assembly line of three small dishes. First will be the cornstarch, next the egg and last the panko bread crumbs. 
4. Toss each tofu cube gently in each dish starting with the cornstarch. Set cubes aside on a plate until all of them are coated. 
5. Add oil to a skillet, and carefully fry tofu until golden crisp on every side. You should be turning them about every 2 minutes. Transfer cubes to a paper-towel lined plate. If you want, you can keep them warm in a 200*F oven on a baking sheet.

Veggie Stir-fry Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes Cooking Time:  6 minutes
Sauce: 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/4 tsp cornstarch
2 TB oyster sauce (didn't have this...I just omitted it) 
1 TB soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp toasted sesame oil 
Stir-fry: 1 TB canola oil or toasted sesame oil

1 small bunch of scallions ( separate the whites from the greens, only use half of the whites and all of the greens. Chop them up, but keep separated. )

2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cups vegetables to stir fry (I used broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini)

2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
1. Whisk together in a small bowl the sauce ingredients. Set aside. 
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, scallion whites and ginger. Stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add vegetables and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender, not too soft. Add garlic, then scallion greens, and sauce, stir frying until mixture is bubbly, 1-2 more minutes. Serve with rice and the crispy tofu squares.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Marinate the tofu ahead of time, and leave in your fridge until time to use. 
~Cut up vegetables ahead of time, and keep in fridge until time to use. 
~Mix sauce together, and keep in fridge until time to use. 


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Instead of lime juice in the tofu recipe, try lemon juice.
~Replace sugar in the tofu recipe with agave syrup or maple syrup.
~Try this recipe with cubes of chicken instead of tofu. 


What is Panko?
 Panko is a type of bread crumb that is popular in the Asian cultures and is used often as a crunchy coating for fish, meats, and soy products. According to Wikipedia, "Panko is made from bread without crusts, and has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading found in Western cuisine." There you have it! You can certainly replace panko with regular breadcrumbs, but your meal just won't be as crunchy.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails