This is the vegetarian meal I usually make when there is no fresh produce left in my refrigerator. I had lots of errands today and grocery shopping was part of my to-do list, but I never had time to reach that one task before my husband and daughter got back home for lunch. So I went on a scavenger hunt in the pantry to make a quick and easy recipe for lunch to please my husband’s vegetarian diet.
I prepared white asparagus tofu because, well, this is what was available in the pantry. I found a can of white asparagus spears, honey, vegetarian hoisin sauce and tofu. To enhance the flavor of the dish, I also added garlic, yellow onion wedges, black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce.
I always stock my pantry with key ingredients in case of an emergency. My go-to tofu is the one that requires no refrigeration until the package is opened (shelf-table). I usually select the firm kind. Simply make sure the package mentions that there are no preservatives, that it is gluten-free (that’s a good sign for its quality) and that it’s made with non-GMO soybeans.
1. Info for White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe
- 1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can white asparagus spears, drained
- 1 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, to taste
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons orange blossom honey
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into small wedges
- 3 tablespoons curly parsley, coarsely chopped
3.1 Preparing the tofu
Cut the tofu into 1¼-inch slices. In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons oil. Pan-fry the slices on both sides until golden. The tofu should have a nice fried outer crust and still be moist inside. Using a spatula, cut the slices in half crosswise and pan-fry the sides until golden. Transfer the tofu onto paper towels. Sprinkle with mushroom seasoning salt.
In the same wok, heat more oil and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. As the garlic becomes slightly golden, return the fried tofu pieces to the wok. Add the black bean sauce, chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, honey and ¼ cup water (up to ½ cup if the water is absorbed too fast). Cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing frequently until all the sauce is evenly distributed. Add the onion wedges and white asparagus spears. Toss well for 2-3 minutes and add parsley. Check seasoning (add more seasoning salt if necessary). Turn off the heat. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with black pepper.
Serve with rice or use as a filling for a banh mi sandwich with pickled carrots and radish.
4. Tips and advices:
- Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the sauce. You can find it in gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores.
- You can replace the asparagus with any vegetable you have on hand.
- The ingredients listed above can be found in any Asian specialty markets.