Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stir-Fried Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Chinese Peas

This Thai-inspired stir-fry features bird chiles, which actually originated in South America, but have become widely-used in Thai cuisine. The chiles can be red or green, and are quite small and very hot. If you can't find them, use serrano instead, but increase the amount below to 1 teaspoon.

  • 1 tablespoon julienne-cut and peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 cup trimmed snow peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced bird chile
  • 12 ounces lite firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1. In a small bowl, combine the ginger and salt, and let stand for 5 minutes; the salt will draw out some of the ginger juice, making it drier and better suited for stir-frying.

2. Rinse the ginger with cold water and pat dry.  Combine with the cornstarch and set aside.

3. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet (or wok, if you have one) over medium-high heat.  Add the shiitake and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add the ginger mixture, snow peas, and bird chile; stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4. Cut the tofu into cubes, and add to the pan; stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the green onions and soy sauce, and stir-fry for a final 2 minutes.

Note: If ever there was a recipe for mise en place, this is it folks. Stir-fries move fast, so have everything chopped and ready to go.

I recommend serving with long-grain rice.

Nutrition Info:
2 servings (1 and 3/4 cups), Calories 208

Tasting Notes:
I have never before prepared ginger this way, draining off the liquid with salt, but the resulting ginger flavor was exquisite, and quite simply made this dish. The bird chile is truly fiery, so a little goes a long way, but it pairs perfectly with the tender shiitake and tofu. The only bit I'd leave out is the green onion. The sauce was silky-smooth from the soy sauce and cornstarch, but I do recommend serving with or over rice, to catch all the juices.


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