Saturday, March 11, 2017

Broccoli Almond Sweet-and-Sour Tofu

We love ordering Asian take-out food but sometimes it's nice to just stay inside, enjoy our kitchen and make our own. Here's a pretty simple recipe -- make sure your tofu is nice and crispy!

Broccoli Almond Sweet-and-Sour Tofu
Vegan Yum Yum cookbook by Lauren Ulm

1            tub extra firm tofu, pressed
2            teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer plus 4 teaspoons water, mixed
1/4         cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4         cup peanut or canola oil
1/2         cup sliced almonds  (I used more)
1-2         cups steamed broccoli
            sesame seeds for garnish

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

3 & 1/2  tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4         cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2            tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2            tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2            teaspoons ketchup
1            teaspoon molasses
1/4         teaspoon ginger powder
1/2         teaspoon salt
            pinch Cayenne pepper (not in recipe)
1 & 1/2     tablespoons cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons water, mixed.

Slice the tofu into triangles or small cubes. Smaller is better for this recipe, since smaller pieces won’t have a tendency to break up when you toss them, and they have a bigger surface-area-to volume ratio.

Toss the tofu with the egg replacer/water mixture until coated.  Then toss in cornstarch until each piece is coated and dry, adding more cornstarch if needed.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.

While the oil is heating, make the sweet-and-sour sauce.  In a small saucepan, mix rice vinegar, water, sugar, tamari, ketchup, molasses, ginger powder, and salt and whisk over medium heat until the sugar and salt is dissolved.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens.  If you leave the sauce unattended now, it will thicken and burn, so keep an eye on it.  When thick, turn off the heat and set aside.

Place the tofu in the hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself.  You don’t want the tofu to be crowded or the pieces will stock to each other, so fry it in batches if needed.   Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden on the bottom, then gently turn and brown the other side.  Right before you’re going to take the tofu out, add the almonds.  Let them fry in the oil for 30 second – no longer.  They should barely change color.

Drain the oil from the tofu and almonds and place in a large bowl.  Pour the sauce on top and gently toss to completely coat.  The sauce should be thick and sticky; it shouldn’t pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Serve immediately with fresh steamed broccoli, adding sesame seeds on top.  (Alternatively, add the broccoli in with the tofu before tossing with the sweet-and-sour sauce – this is what I did).

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