Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tofu and Kale Stir Fry

Stir fry is a staple of my diet, mainly because it’s so versatile.  I tend to make it with tofu, but chicken would work just as well.  Also, almost all of the vegetables that I usually have on hand in my kitchen work well in a stir fry - mushrooms, onion, carrots, spinach, asparagus, etc.  I’ve heard many good things about kale, but was a little wary of making it myself because I wasn’t quite sure how to use it.  I figured that a stir fry would be a good place to start because you can’t really go wrong.  I found this stir fry recipe in the New York Times food section and changed a couple things around, to use what I had available in my kitchen already.  Not to mention, kale is an excellent vegetable, full of calcium, vitamin 1, B6, C and K.  This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan.


  • 1 bunch or bag of curly kale, chopped
  • 14 ounce package of firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

[for those gluten free: some soy sauce may contain gluten]

  1. Pour water and a couple pinches of salt into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add chopped kale and cook for one minute.  Place kale into a bowl of cold water and then drain it out. 
  2. Cut tofu into rectangles, place between two paper towels and push down to squeeze excess water out.
  3. In a small bowl mix together soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, stock, and cornstarch.  
  4. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add canola of peanut oil.  Add tofu and cook for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook another 2 minutes. 
  5. Add garlic, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pepper and onion soften.  Add kale, salt, pepper, and sugar and mix.
  6. Pour in soy sauce mixture and cook for 1-3 minutes or until the tofu soaks up some of the sauce.
  7. I served this stir fry with rice noodles, but rice is another good option.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Asparagus Shiitake Tofu Stir-Fry

I’ve never tried to cook tofu myself, so I figured now would be a perfect time to try it.  I found some detailed instructions on how to cook or "dry fry" tofu so that it turns out solid and flavorful, instead of crumbly and bland [my worst tofu nightmare].  It’s easy to customize this dish to your liking, or whatever vegetables you have on hand [but i do think that the sauce compliments the asparagus nicely].  It is a long list of ingredients, some of which you may not have as standard kitchen fare, but it’s much easier than it seems at first.  This dish is naturally gluten free and vegan.


serves 4

general ingredients:

  • about 3 cups Jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 14-16 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into pieces
  • 12 oz Shiitake mushrooms, sliced


  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger root, grated
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin or Kecap Manis or similar sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons water

[for those gluten free: there is a gluten free Hoisin & Kecap Manis sauce, but not all may be]

  1. Cut Tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles.  Press between paper towel or cloth to squeeze out extra moisture.  Place a non stick pan or cast iron skillet onto medium heat.  Place tofu in pan, without any oil and press with spatula.  The tofu is done when golden on both sides.  It’s easier to cook when you do smaller amounts at a time, so you have more room to flip the pieces.
  2. Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl, then add tofu, submerging the pieces.  If all tofu pieces aren’t covered, add in extra water.
  3. Start to cook the rice in rice cooker or according to directions.
  4. Add all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, then place on medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Take off of heat.
  5. Heat a large pan or wok to medium high heat and add vegetable oil, then drained tofu, asparagus, and mushrooms.  [You can add a little bit of the marinade for extra flavor]  Stir until asparagus and mushrooms are cooked. 
  6. Take off of heat and pour in sauce.  Mix until sauce coats tofu and vegetables.  Serve over rice.