Sep 25, 2013

Kung Pao Tofu

Chinese food remains one of my favorite options anytime we go out to eat. Anytime my hubby asks 'where do you want to go for dinner' my daughter jumps and says 'don't ask mommy- she would want Chinese or Thai'. Never mind that her option is always Italian. 

Such is my love for Chinese food. And one of the dishes we order anytime we do eat Chinese food is Kung Pao Tofu. There are a couple of types of Kung Pao that are available - some are a little sweeter and incorporate orange juice as one of the ingredients. Some versions are more spicier and more soy sauce based. Whatever the type, this is a versatile dish and vegetarian options can be highly customized depending on what veggies are available. I've made this quite a few times at home with tofu and other veggies. This combination of veggies is my favorite though. Really easy to make and can be done in 5 mins. Chinese Fast Food I guess.

Vegetarian Chinese

Vegetarian Chinese

Dice up a block of soft tofu.

Chop up some broccoli and red bell peppers.

 In a small bowl, add these ingredients -

Vegetarian Soy Sauce - about 2 tsps ( as you can see I just go by eye measurements)
Rice Vinegar - 2 tsp
Chinese five spice blend - 1 tsp
Agave Nectar - 2 tsp or you can substitute with Sugar - 2 tsp

In a pan, add a tsp of oil and when hot, throw in the tofu to stir fry. Add a little (less than half) of the sauce above to the tofu while cooking so the tofu can absorb the flavors a bit. Another option, if you can afford the calories and want it, is to deep fry the tofu. I don't think I need that.

In a wok or a pan, add 1 tsp of oil. When hot, throw in a handful of dry red chillies. This does not really make it spicy since they are thrown in whole and not ground up. So, don't worry that this might trigger the fire alarm  in your tummy.

Add some finely chopped onions to the oil and cook for a min. 

Now add the veggies to the pan and stir in well. Sprinkle a little salt to taste just for the veggies.

Use the same sauce left after adding to the tofu. Add 1 tsp corn flour to the sauce and mix well.
Add to the veggies immediately.

Let this cook for a min. You don't want to overcook the veggies and make them soft. The broccoli should still be crisp and not soggy.

Here's the tofu, a little crisped and firm to touch.

 Add the tofu to the veggies and stir in well.

Top off with some crisp roasted peanuts.

And your Kung Pao is ready to go.. A healthy, not too oily, protein filled Chinese dish. What's not to like?

Enjoy. Peace Out.