Friday, 10 December 2010

Fried Tofu with Stir-Fried Cabbage

I don't buy tofu often enough. I really enjoy it, but somehow I find it easy to forget about it. However, I saw some in the local grocery store marked at half price the other day. This was not a very firm, dense tofu, but a fairly soft one. Not as soft as some, which can be almost custard-like. You do need one that can be cut up and tossed around and still stay more or less in one piece (but don't get too upset if it crumbles a bit). The contrast of the crispy, flour coated outside and the soft creamy middle was very nice. And it's good old cabbage, carrots and onions again. Yay! I won't be saying that in April. But for now? Yay!

3 or 4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Fried Tofu with Stir-Fried Cabbage
Prepare the Tofu:
450 grams (1 pound) semi-firm tofu
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

Rinse the tofu, and put it on a plate, with another plate upside down on top. Put a weight on top of the second plate, and let the tofu drain for about 20 minutes.

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside until needed.

Prepare the Vegetables:
4 cups chopped cabbage
2 medium carrots
1 large onion
2 tablespoons finely minced, peeled ginger
3 cloves of garlic

Trim and chop the cabbage. Peel and slice the carrots. Peel and chop the onion. Mince the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic.

Final Cooking:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
2 or 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat 2 large skillets. Put 1/4 cup oil in one of them, and 2 tablespoons of oil in the other.

Cut the tofu into cubes, and toss it in the flour mixture until evenly coated. Lift the tofu out and put it in the pan with the 1/4 cup of oil once the oil is hot. Fry until nicely browned, turning it as needed so that most of the sides brown.

Meanwhile, add the carrots and onions to the second pan, along with about 1/4 cup water. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the vegetables are partly cooked and the water has evaporated. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir in for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the cabbage, and season with a good sprinkle of soy sauce. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 or 3 minutes more, until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Serve the vegetables over rice, with the crispy, browned tofu over them both.

Last year at this time I made Ham, Squash and Leek Orzotto.

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