Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

I know, I know - it's been well over a month since I've written any new posts. I apologize - it's been one heck of a month, with lots of weddings, family, friends and the start of a new fall course. With all of my weddings behind me, I'm back and with lots of foodie things to share with you!

After a lovely fall afternoon apple picking my friend and I worked up an appetite so we decided to make some dinner together at her place. Soon to come is some sort of yummy fall apple dessert with all of these great fresh apples! I had bought a package of tofu a few weeks back that I needed to use so that was an easy selection. Our go-to with tofu has been stir fry so far, so we went with that and decided on a peanut sauce, like you often find in thai restaurants.

Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, choppped
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TB rice vinegar
3 TB reduced sodium soy sauce
1 TB toasted sesame oil

The nice thing about this peanut sauce is that you can use it on almost any sort of stir fry - you don't have to like or want to use tofu. It would go great with chicken or shrimp - or even just lots of vegetables!

Cut all of your vegetables in advance and feel free to get your rice started (or noodles). I know - we always tell kids not to play with their food but I noticed that my tofu looked just like dominoes and couldn't help myself! We used a great brown rice medley rice from Trader Joe's that was perfectly hearty and healthy. While the rice cooks you can get the sauce going.

In a small saucepan stir together the chicken broth and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer just a couple minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir until melted and combined well. Take the sauce off of the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients - the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir all together and taste to see if it has the salt level you usually like. If not - add a little more soy sauce. You'll find that the peanut butter actually makes the sauce a little sweet - I like it that way, but if you use a natural peanut butter you're less likely to get that sweet taste to the sauce.

Once the sauce is done you can get your pan heated and ready to saute the vegetables. I added a little bit of sesame oil to the hot pan - hot and fast, is what my mom always said - the best way to stir fry vegetables. If you keep your pan hot be sure to stir the vegetables pretty frequently.
When they are almost done add your peanut sauce to the pan and stir well - then add your tofu (which only needs to be warmed up earlly). You can stir lightly, but don't stir too much at this point or else your tofu will start to break apart (even using the extra firm like we did). I left a little bit of sauce to add at the end on top of the tofu.

Serve the tofu and vegetable stir fry right on top of the rice - we used yellow pepper, carrots, onions and broccoli, as well as some scallions - it was a good mixture with the peanut sauce and tofu!

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