After a season of indulgent meals, appies, drinks, breakfasts and everything else you can name, sometimes a good plant-based meal just feels right. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or like me eat a bit of everything, there is no denying the goodness or plant foods.
I've actually always really liked tofu. It's a staple in many Asian diets and growing up, my Dad cooked with it a lot. To me it was just part of our regular meal rotation, but I know a LOT of people who are not fans...including my hubby. If you fall into the category of the "tofu is so bland" or the "I just can't do the texture", give it one more shot with this recipe. I originally came across this recipe on Lazy Cat Kitchen which has since become one of my fave food blogs. I used a little less oil to cook the tofu in and added some snap peas for color, texture and some extra goodness but the otherwise pretty much left it as is. So. Good!
I think I ate the leftovers three days in a row and didn't even get sick of it!
Tofu is a great plant based protein option. I am the first to admit that without a marinade or flavorful sauce, yes, it is pretty bland. But this is also what makes it so versatile. It basically just picks up the flavor of whatever you're cooking it with and the texture is also easily manipulated.
I use tofu for everything from vegan spaghetti Bolognese to coconut crusted tofu as an alternative for my Famous Kale Caesar Salad and even in smoothies!
For you tofu skeptics out there, give it one more shot and try this recipe out! If you still don't like it, you're off the hook but I have a feeling you might be converted.
If part of your plan to kick off the new year includes getting back to some healthy home cooking, join me here and I'll show you how to get your weekly meal prep done in just one hour.
Crispy Maple Black Pepper Tofu and Snap Pea Stir-Fry
*I love serving this dish over red or wild rice, if serving it with rice, get it cooking first as it will take approx 45 minutes.
- 350 g firm tofu, patted dry
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Lots of freshly-cracked black pepper (approx. 1-2 tsp.)
- 1 Tbsp + 1-2 tsp Avocado oil, split for separate steps
- 4 cups snap peas or snow peas, ends trimmed
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp ginger, minced (approx 2 thumb-sized chunks)
- 1 serrano chili, minced and with half of the seeds removed (keep them all if you like it really spicy)
- 3 small green onions, thinly sliced
- Maple Soy Sauce
- 4 Tbsp Soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- ½ Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml maple syrup or dark brown sugar
- 2 level tsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp warm water
1. Cut tofu into equally sized bite-sized cubes. Pour 2 Tbsp of soy sauce over the tofu, stirring to coat pieces evenly.
2. Add cornstarch to a large Ziplock bag and spoon the piece of marinated tofu into the bag. Shake the pieces up in the bag to coat them all evenly.
3. Heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil gets hot (approx 1 minute) Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with lots of freshly-cracked black pepper. Allow the first side to brown evenly, 3-4 minutes, then flip the tofu (you won't get every piece evenly flipped, that's ok), sprinkle with more pepper.
4. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, vinegar, and maple syrup. In a separate small bowl prepare cornflour slurry (cornflour and warm water). You will add this later to thicken up the sauce.
5. Once you finish frying the tofu, transfer it to a plate.
6. Add 1-2 more tsp avocado oil. Once heated, add the garlic, ginger and chilis, saute 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant. Add the snap peas and stir-fry for another 2 minutes until color becomes more vibrant. Add the soy sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer, once simmering, create a space in the middle of the pan to add the cornstarch slurry into, stirring it in to thicken the sauce.
7. Add the tofu back into the pan, stirring to coat pieces and heat through.
8. Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onion.
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