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Tags: Chinese, tofu, maple_syrup, ginger, spicy, sauce


Spicy Maple-Ginger Tofu with Veggies

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I'm really happy with the way this #vegan tofu dish turned out.  Nice balance of sweet, sour and spicy.

This sweet-and-sour tofu dish has become one of my favourite vegan Chinese recipes. The sweet comes from (real) maple syrup, which can be obtained almost anywhere these days in large bottles. Rice vinegar provides the sour flavour, and if you like a little spice, a couple of Thai red hot peppers fit the bill nicely. But I have to say the star of the show here is the fresh ginger. It's the aroma that you notice first and the dominant flavour absorbed by the tofu. Serve it as part of a larger Chinese-style feast, or by itself on some steaming jasmine rice.

Ingredients

2 Tbl canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)

1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped into roughly 1" pieces (about 2 cups)

225 g (1/2 lb) mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and quartered

2 cloves garlic, minced

350 g extra firm tofu, drained, sliced about 1/4" thick, and pressed dry with paper towel

1 medium red pepper, sliced and then cut into 1" pieces

2 Tbl ginger, grated

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup tamari sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1-2 pickled thai red peppers, slit (optional)

1 Tbl corn starch

1/2 cup water

Directions

This dish comes together a little quickly. It's a good idea to get everything prepped before heating up the stove.

I use about 2 Tbl of freshly grated ginger, which is easy to do with an inexpensive hand grater.

hand grater for ginger

Put a bowl underneath so you can capture all the juice as well.

grating the ginger

Combine the ginger with the maple syrup, rice vinegar, tamari sauce and sesame oil in the bowl.

If you don't mind a little heat, get a couple of pickled Thai hot peppers ready by slitting them down the middle.

pickled thai red peppers two pickled thai red peppers

When you're done prepping, heat a large, deep frying pan over medium high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the onion and stirfry for about 3 minutes.

stirfrying the onion

Then add the mushrooms and continue to stirfry for about 5 minutes.

adding the mushrooms

Next, garlic for about 2 minutes.

stirfrying the onion, mushrooms and garlic

Rip the tofu into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pan.

adding tofu

Add the red pepper pieces.

adding red pepper slices

Add the hot pepper slices if using.

Give the sauce a good mix in its bowl and add it to the pan.

adding sauce

Mix everything well and reduce heat to medium. Let the mixture cook and absorb flavours for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.

mixing everything up in the frying pan

Return the heat to medium-high and mix the 1/2 cup water with the 1 Tbl corn starch in a measuring cup. Add the corn starch mixture to the pan and mix continuously until the sauce thickens.

adding corn starch mixture for thickening thickening the sauce the finished dish in the pan

Remove from heat, remove hot peppers if desired, and serve immediately.

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Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2016


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