Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kung Pao Tofu and Veggies

I had planned on making Kung Pao chicken and tofu. All day I was craving something spicy, salty, and tangy, and I new that anything Kung Pao'd would fit the bill.

Then I opened up my package of chicken and gagged from the smell. Usually that's not something you want to have happen with food you're about to eat!

So, I took out some tofu, and used twice as many mushrooms as I normally would in this dish. Honestly, I didn't miss the chicken, though if you're wary of tofu, you can substitute chicken, pork, or shrimp.

Kung Pao Tofu and Veggies

Chop your veggies. I used six large white mushrooms, a red bell pepper, two stalks of celery, 3 green onions, half of a sliced yellow onion, and three cloves of chopped garlic.

I used dry roasted, unsalted peanuts in this dish. 

Toast about 1/4 cup peanuts in your walk, sans-oil, until lightly toasted. Cut the tofu into 1/2" cubes. Heat 1-2 TBSP in your wok on high heat, until almost smoking. Add 3 dried chiles and saute until fragrant; remove from pan. Add tofu and stir fry until golden brown; remove from pan.

Stir fry veggies in batches with wok on high heat, removing from pan when crisp-tender and charred. My wok seems to finally be seasoned properly; ingredients don't stick to it, and it actually gets hot enough to put a nice char on everything. I started with the mushrooms, removed, stir fried the celery, removed, stir fried the red peppers, removed, stir fried the onion, added the white parts of the green onion, added the garlic, then added all of the veggies and tofu back to the pan.

Add the Kung Pao sauce. Mine was: 1 1/2 T rice vinegar, 2 T soy sauce, 1 T white wine, 1/2 T grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp chile paste, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 T sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Whisk in about 1 T corn starch before adding to pan with veggies; let cook 1-2 minutes, or until thickened.

Serve with Jasmine rice, and garnish with the tops of the green onions.

Full Recipe
Kung Pao Tofu and Veggies

1/2 lb tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
6 large white mushrooms, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, choppped
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 green onions, slices, white and green parts separated
3 dried red chiles
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, toasted

For the Sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T white wine
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp chile paste
1/2 T grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp sugar
1 T sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 T corn starch 

Heat 1-2 T canola oil in large wok until almost smoking. Add chiles and saute until fragrant; remove from pan. Add tofu; stir fry until golden brown and remove from pan.

Stir fry mushrooms, remove from pan.

Stir fry celery, remove from pan. Do the same with the red bell pepper.

Stir fry the onion. Once charred, add garlic and white parts of green onion. Stir fry until fragrant.

Mix together all ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Add to pan and cook 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Serve with Jasmine rice and garnish with the green tops of the green onions.

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