Like many others, I too have a slight addiction to Chinese takeout. And when my craving hits, only the saltiest and greasiest takeout will do. But there are other times when I’m craving Chinese food and looking for something slightly different. Instead of yearning for the comfort of fast food, I’m seeking more depth from the flavors of my favorite ingredients—a task more easily accomplished if I make the meal at home.
One easy-to-make, and often-used, recipe is my garlic-ginger tofu stir-fry. The sauce contains a few of my favorite ingredients—peppers, garlic, ginger, and soy—and is just thick enough to coat and stick to the ingredients without becoming too gooey. Don’t get me wrong—I love the gooey, oily goodness that you sometimes find in fast-food dishes, but this recipe is meant to be a little lighter.
Of course, you can throw in any veggies you’d like and serve over your favorite rice or noodles. Get crazy with it.
Garlic-Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry
1 small Thai pepper, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1×1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch strips
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large bok choy (or 4-5 baby bok choy), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Cooked lo mein or soba noodles
•Sauté the minced pepper, ginger, and garlic in the olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the soy sauce and water, stirring until well combined. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer over low heat until the tofu and vegetables are ready.
•Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick 12-inch skillet.
•Add the tofu and cook, stirring frequently (stir-frying), until heated through and browned on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
•Add the carrots, red pepper, bok choy, onions, and squash to the skillet and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the prepared sauce and tofu and stir-fry until all the ingredients are coated and heated, about 2 minutes.
•Serve immediately over the lo mein or soba noodles.