Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Szechuan Stir Fry

We are a family of stir-fry lovers. Pretty much, if you can toss it in a saute pan with a ton of veggies, a little sauce of some kind and pair it with a carb, it's fair game at our table. Since my mom is now retired, there's a wedding coming up in the near future and meat is ever-more expensive these days, meatless meals have become routine - like it or not. Although my stepdad is a little resistant to the shift, my mom and stepbrother are gladly embracing it... especially since my stepbrother would rather eat tofu than chicken or turkey!

The key to any good stir-fry, regardless of whether it's meat, seafood or tofu, is to season well, and often. Yes, the pan's heat adds an element of "browned" taste to the food, but without those key basic spices, herbs and sauces you might as well just steam the food. I was lucky enough to still have some  Szechuan sauce from San-J in my fridge (we love that stuff), and I used it as a jumping-off point for our dinner - marinating extra-firm tofu in it overnight, before using a mix of tamari, apple juice, ginger, garlic and even more Szechuan sauce as a finishing flavour punch for a pan full of caramelized tofu, tons of veggies and brown Basmati rice. Not only did the combination taste fantastic - a blend of tangy, sweet and spicy - but it used up all sorts of leftovers (which for the uninitiated is really the purpose behind stir-frying anything!). We even had enough left over for my mom to take for lunch when she volunteered at my school - a meal that garnered very interested looks from everyone in the lunch room!

Szechuan Stir Fry

Shared with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Szechuan Stir Fry
Serves 4
4 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed if water-packed
2 tbsp San-J Szechuan Cooking Sauce, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp tapioca starch
1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 red onion, diced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
5 stalks celery, diced
1/4 large green bell pepper, diced
2 large button mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets (blanched if desired)
1 cup cooked brown Basmati rice (I used leftover cold rice)
  1. Cut tofu into small cubes and place in a shallow dish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp Szechuan sauce, cover and marinate overnight.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together remaining Szechuan sauce, apple juice, tamari, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, water and tapioca starch. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Add pepper, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu, raise heat to medium high and cook 5-6 minutes longer. 
  6.  Add rice and sauce. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and rice is hot, about 2 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 202.3
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 508.0 mg
Total Carbs: 31.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.7 g
Protein: 10.4 g