I hadn’t cooked tofu in a while and my husband Lulu asked for a vegetarian stir fry. I’ve wanted him to eat healthier, so I was happy to oblige. The base of the stir fry contains carrots, green beans and onions from Full Circle. To this, I added some kumquat jelly I made last winter (you could use any kind of sweetener you like) and a mixture of fresh garlic and red Thai bird chiles Lulu planted early this Spring. It’s just the right combination of sweet and spicy, and I love that the recipe is flexible enough to make use of whatever you have on hand.
1. Info for Vegetarian Stir Fry Recipe: Tofu with Beans and Carrots
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 8
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Vegetarian Stir Fry Recipe: Tofu with Beans and Carrots
- 1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 5 cloves garlic, cut in thirds
- 2 teaspoons homemade saffron kumquat jelly (or your favorite sweetener)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons black bean garlic sauce
- 1 red Thai chile, to taste
- juice of half 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
- 1 bunch carrots, trimmed and diced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 white onion, cut into small wedges
3.1 Preparing the tofu
Cut the tofu into ½-inch slices. In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Pan-fry the pieces of tofu on both sides until golden and puffy. The tofu should have a nice fried outer crust and still be moist inside. Transfer the tofu onto paper towels. Once the tofu pieces are cool enough to handle, dice them. Set aside.
3.2 Preparing the spicy sauce
In a mortar and pestle, combine 1 finely chopped clove garlic, the red Thai chile, 1 teaspoon kumquat jelly and the lime juice. Grind into a coarse paste.
3.3 Assembly time
In the same wok, add the rest of the oil. Once it’s hot, add the remaining garlic. As the garlic becomes slightly golden, add the tofu and stir fry until fragrant. Transfer the tofu to a platter, leaving as much oil as possible in the wok.
Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes until brown and softened a bit. Add the green beans, sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add a tablespoon of soy sauce. Toss well and cook until the beans become shiny and well coated with the oil. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a platter.
Return the tofu and garlic to the wok. Add the remaining kumquat jelly, black bean sauce, spicy sauce and the remaining soy sauce. Stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes. Return the vegetables and add the onion wedges to the wok with a little mound of butter (this is what finishes the dish). Stir constantly.
Check seasoning. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Thai basil. Toss well.
Serve immediately with steamed brown rice and more soy sauce on the side.
4. Tips and advices:
- To prevent Thai basil from darkening too fast, tear the leaves at the very last minute, toss them into the tofu dish and serve immediately.
- I used a combination of carrots and green beans, but you can use any other green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, choy sum or sugar snap peas.
- For a vegan version, you could also finish the dish with sesame oil instead of butter at the end.
- I used store-bought Lee Kum Kee brand black bean sauce.