Sunday, 29 August 2010

The 21st Century Housewife's Tofu Stir Fry with Hoisin Sauce

It’s Meatless Monday again, the one day a week we are all encouraged to give up meat. Of course, it doesn’t have to be Monday, but giving up meat one day a week can make a real difference to your health and to the environment. It’s well worth trying, and if we all participate it will make a huge difference to the collective health of our bodies and our world.

Hoisin sauce is a thick, tangy sauce made with soy beans, sweet potato, garlic and chilli so it is perfect for Meatless Monday. I have to confess I wouldn’t want to try to make it from scratch, so I buy it ready-made from my local grocery store. They do an own-label version that is really delicious, but many other brands market this tangy sauce including Sharwoods and Amoy. Be sure to check that your brand is vegetarian, but I’ve yet to find one that isn’t and I have tried quite a few!

This is only the second recipe I’ve developed using tofu. I was really hesitant about using it at first, but my son loves it and has encouraged me to persevere. I find the ready prepared marinated brands are especially easy to use and really delicious. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand or in the garden. I had a lot of beans ready for harvesting so I used those, along with a yellow pepper, some cabbage and carrots from the market to add colour. If you want to make this extra-healthy, choose brown rice for its extra vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Of course, you could also serve this on a bed of noodles if you prefer.

2 cups rice
about 1 cup ready to use Tofu
(I used one that comes already marinated in soy and ginger)
2 tablespoons oil, sesame if possible
a couple handfuls of green beans, topped, tailed and cut in one to two inch pieces
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
half a small cabbage, shredded
½ cup Hoisin sauce
one bunch of scallions, finely chopped

Prepare the rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium to high heat. Stir fry the beans, pepper and carrots for a few minutes, stirring pretty much constantly so they cook evenly. Toss in the tofu and cabbage and continue to stir fry for about three to four minutes, then stir in the Hoisin sauce and scallions and cook for a couple minutes more.

Drain the rice and divide between four plates. Serve the stir fry on top of the rice.

Have a great Meatless Monday! 

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