Sweet and Sour Tofu

After sitting in my recipe box on TastyKitchen for a few weeks, this gem of a recipe from this lovely blogger got its turn. Have I mentioned that I have over 180 recipes in there? And that I feel firmly committed to making them all? If I make one per week, it should only take me about 3 and a half years–totally doable, eh?

Anyway, I’m so glad I bumped this to the top of my priority list, because what a phenomenal dish! The simplicity of the stirfry, the perfect balance of sweet and sour in the sauce, the golden brown tofu–I can’t rave enough about it. It’s got some kick–not over the top, but I hope you like things a little spicy! Because if not, you are henceforth banned from this blog forevermore and are no friend of mine.

Wait! Wait! I’m totally kidding! Please don’t go! It’s just my sometimes-abrasive humor–you’re not supposed to take me that seriously! Here, I’ll tell you what–I promise to post some non-spicy recipes asap, just for you. Like Lemon Crinkle Cookies. Okay? Okay?

Okay. I love everyone, The End. Phew. Nothing like tearing up relationships and then making amends to give you an appetite, eh?

And yes, this little conflict was staged just to make everyone hungry and thus more likely to make this stir fry. The lengths to which I go to spread the deliciousness . . . ah, the lengths to which I go. The world may never know.

But enough falderal–back to the recipe we go: I made it with tofu, but if you have an aversion to the block of soy stuff you could easily substitute chicken, pork, beef. Any protein would be great. And the sauce is so good that I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Ingredients

(Serves 3)

For the sauce:

1/4 red bell pepper, minced

3/4 cup pineapple juice

3 TBS rice vinegar

1/4 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS soy sauce

2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water, mixed

1 TBS sugar

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

For the stir fry

1 TBS peanut oil

1-16 oz package extra firm tofu

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic

3/4 red pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 green onions, diced

Mince 1/4 of the bell pepper, and assemble all the ingredients for the sauce.

Everyone say ‘cheese!’

Now we’re simply going to add all the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. The vinegar and pepper . . .

. . . the soy sauce and sugar . . .

. . . the white pepper (this is where the kick lieth; and the kick, it lieth herein) . . .

. . . the water and cornstarch slurry . . .

. . . the pineapple juice . . .

. . . etcetera, etcetera.

Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

The sauce will reduce by half, to about 1/2 cup. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking–I added an extra teaspoon.

In the meantime, assemble the ingredients for the stiry fry.

Cut the block of tofu into two ‘sheets’ (with the blade of the knife parallel to the cutting board), then into strips lengthwise.

Place the strips between some paper towels and kitchen towels . . .

. . . and put a heavy book on top.

You can probably learn a couple things about formatting your scholarly papers while you’re at it.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes–this will help dry out the tofu, which in turn will help it brown better when fried.

Remove the tofu from the towels and cut it into cubes.

Now for some knife work: chop up the bell pepper and onion, and set them aside; mince the garlic and set it aside; dice the green onions, and set them aside as well. You should have three little bowls of happiness at the end of this chopping fest:

Heat the peanut oil over high heat in a wok or large cast iron skillet. When hot, add the tofu cubes and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Season them generously with salt and pepper while they’re frying.

Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute, stirring so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the red pepper and onion, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and fry for about 6 minutes until the vegetables are starting to get tender, stirring frequently.

Pour the sauce into the stir fry . . .

. . . and toss the tofu and veggies so that everything is coated.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, letting the sauce thicken.

Stir in the green onions right before serving.

This is about to make me one very happy woman.

Serve over steaming hot white rice.

Oh yum.

May I have more please, sir?

If you think you don’t like tofu, this could very well be the dish that changes your mind.

It’s that good.

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13 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Tofu

  1. sweetridgesisters

    Aaaaaaaaaagh I was hungry, and then I read this, and now I think I need to go eat real food. Not just the chocolate cake that I used my blog as an excuse to eat for breakfast. See? Low blood sugar. That sentence didn’t even make sense. Anyway most appetizing blog post ever.

    Reply
  2. Barbara @moderncomfortfood

    This recipe looks simply fab, Jenna, reminds me of my decade living in Asia, and I’ve got all the ingredients on hand. What could be better? And let me thank you (and thank you again!) for you tip about draining the tofu, which is SO very useful to me. My sauteed tofu rarely browns properly, and I always wondered why.

    Reply
  3. Kimby

    Love your tofu “press.” :) Not a huge tofu fan (YET) but this recipe could make me a convert. And, ditto on Jenny’s comment (above) for using the word folderol in your blog. :) Makes me want to frolic, or practice May Pole dances. :)

    Reply
  4. skippymom

    What a wonderful recipe for vegetarians! But I would have to agree that I would have to go with chicken. :)

    Looks lovely, but the family would hang me off the back porch if tofu entered our house.

    Reply
  5. Joanne

    I always think that some day I’ll make all the recipes that I’ve bookmarked. But then I keep bookmarking more. Sigh. It’s a never-ending battle. This is why I should become a personal chef. then I really COULD make all of them!

    I’ve really been meaning to make a tofu recipe lately and you just can’t go wring with stir fry! Spice me up, baby.

    Reply

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