A great beginners recipe using Tofu, a good start to Vegan cooking :-) Stirfrying is simple and fast. Simply chop vegetables, add tofu and add a fry pan, DONE! Ok, so a heatsource and stirring utensil are required, but its basically that simple! :-)
Tofu works well, alongside your favourite fresh and frozen vegetables. Serve over rice, or with noodles, its up to you :-) You could also add TVP “mince”. Available cheaply at Bin Inn, it is also sold at supermarkets.
You could also upgrade a simple stirfry with the addition of springrolls! Available frozen at Pak n Save, Countdown and New World, try “Shore Mariner” brand cocktail spring rolls. They cost around $5 for 80 of them.
~15 miniature spring rolls per person is an affordable luxury :-) Simply snap them apart, place them evenly across a roasting tray, lightly brushing with oil. 20 minutes at 200 degrees C and they’ll take care of themselves while you make the stir fry :-) Serve with teriyaki/tartare/soy sauce, whatever you like :-)
Vegan stirfry with TVP “mince”, tofu and cocktail springrolls on top!
– Vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, capsicum peppers, onion, carrot, frozen beans, frozen corn etc etc)
– Noodles or Rice to serve the stirfried vegetables over.
(Optional) cubes of fried Tofu are nice! Fry the tofu first, and set it aside so the diced cubes are not squished by the heavy vegetables. Add the tofu after the vegetables have been cooked.
1. Chop the vegetables into uniform size.
(optional, if using tofu, fry it first into cubes, and then set aside to be added at the end)
2. Starting with thicker, denser vegetables first, fry them in a frypan/wok using oil. Add vegetables in stages, from thickest (longest to cook) to thinnest (shortest to cook).
3. Cook noodles/rice in a pot of boiling water.
4. Combine cooked vegetables (and tofu) with the cooked noodles/rice.
We used broccoli, cabbage, capsicum peppers, onion, carrot, frozen beans and tofu. Serve with brown rice or long Japanese soba noodles, for the recipe we used BOTH :-)
Both rice and noodles are easily found at your favourite supermarket, or local Asian Grocery store. Try “Asian House”, on Tay Street. You’ll find them proudly listed on our “Vegan Products in Invercargill” page.
You can chop, slice and dice all the ingredients before you start frying, to have them all ready in separate piles. OR, you could prepare each item as needed. Hard, dense ingredients (like carrots) should be cooked first, adding light vegetables like cabbage towards the end.
Lets focus on the tofu first.
Tofu by itself is bland, it has little flavour. It is often used for its chewy texture, a good animal flesh replacement. We bought “Bean Supreme” brand plain tofu from Pak n Save supermarket. Use firm tofu, NOT soft! Soft tofu will fall into mush quickly, firm tofu is, well, firm, rubbery :-)
Slice the tofu into cubes.
Lets fry the tofu first.
You could also add soy sauce or a marinade while frying the tofu, but we enjoy tofu cooked lightly by itself.
After its cooked, set the tofu aside on a plate, so you can cook the vegetables. The tofu is added at the end of the stirfry, after the vegetables have been vigorously cooked :-)
Wash and chop the vegetables. Harder, denser items will take longer to cook, so slice/dice them small and add them to your hot frying pan/wok first.
Peeling and dicing carrots.
Colourful capsicum peppers.
Carrot, Brocolli, Yellow and Red Capsicum peppers, Cabbage.
Carrot and Onion going in first. Items which are hard and dense will take longer to cook. Add them first, and gradually add extra ingredients as the fry pan contents cook.
Adding frozen beans. You could also try frozen corn, or peas, let your imagination soar! :-)
Adding the tofu we prepared earlier :-)
You can add noodles to the stirfried vegetables and tofu, or serve on rice. Which option will you choose? For this recipe, lets show both! :-)
Adding the noodles to a pot of boiling water.
~ 5 minutes later. Once the water is boiling and the noodles have been added, turn it right down to a low heat to simmer. The water may try to boil over, so adjust the lid as needed to reduce pressure and let the steam out. Use a sieve to drain the noodles, and they are ready!
You could mix in the noodles to the other ingredients in the frying pan/wok, but for today we’ll use the noodles (and rice) as a foundation.
Looks good! Tofu works great in stirfried vegetables.
Try adding soy sauce for flavour. Its quite salty, and can be found in the Japanese section of your favourite supermarket.
You could also try using silverbeet and red cabbage. Here we’ve used Tempeh instead of Tofu
, although it is currently hard to get tempeh in Invercargill. We brought some back from our trip to Dunedin.
***UPDATE We can now easily get Tempeh in Invercargill! The fermented soy product is now stocked at Countdown supermarkets :-) ****
Tempeh has a very strong smell and flavour compared to mild mannered tofu.