Candy & Bitter Tofu with Cashews, Veggies & Cilantro

If everybody demanded peace as a substitute of one other tv set, then there’d be peace
John Lennon

With regards to tofu, there may be one factor my siblings and I had a variety of rising up, and that was my mother & dad’s well-known tamari fried tofu within the ever-loved and really effectively used forged iron fry pan that bought used I believe extra steadily than tooth brushes in our family. This isn’t to say that we weren’t good enamel brushers (we had been), however with each dad and mom house for the majority of our childhood years, got here the a lot added bonus of having fun with house cooking an terrible lot. 

It’s a given after I go to my people (who could or could not nonetheless be utilizing the identical pans) to lovingly (and hopefully with out eye rolls) observe their routines from years of dwelling collectively that over the course of virtually 40 years have change into etched like well-worn grooves within the sandstone that lords majestically over the seashores & waterfront of the place they dwell. They dwell modestly (all the time have), and also you see it in every part they do.

On the island, nobody runs the faucets for longer than it takes to get simply what you want, and in efforts to preserve treasured water flushing bogs is reserved for under the mandatory features (i.e. no flushes for primary). You don’t discover paper towels or harsh cleaners of their home, and each plastic bag is re-used till it tatters and virtually falls aside. The home is warmed in winter by an actual wooden hearth, and leftovers are re-cooked on the fuel range and loved till they’re gone. There isn’t any microwave or dishwasher, simply actual chores to be completed by actual individuals. Chop wooden, carry water. Do it at the moment, do it tomorrow. These are the essential rhythms of their easy island life.

I suppose my cause for sharing this all at the moment, is that tofu cooked in a forged iron skillet is in my blood, simply as rolling up my sleeves to get exhausting work completed is. Psychological toughness and tough, ragged edges are an enormous a part of who I’m, and of who we’re (and had been) as a household. It’s humorous that it doesn’t matter what you do, there are some issues from childhood you simply by no means outgrow. I nonetheless serve my youngsters tamari-fried tofu, with added scrumptious flavours like yeast & ketchup — similar to my dad and mom and their buddies began doing 4 many years in the past, however I additionally love re-imagining these outdated favorites in new & scrumptious methods, beginning with this Mollie Katzen traditional which till now, I had oddly by no means tried. I’ll not chop firewood or drink water from a effectively, however there are components of this life that I’m resolved to honour, beginning with this yummy ode to forged iron pans & that oft-maligned ‘hippie’ meals: tofu.

Whether or not you cook dinner it in a forged iron skillet or not, be certain that to eat leftovers and be glad about the arms that made it. All the time rule irrespective of how advanced or easy life is.

Candy & Bitter Tofu with Cashews, Veggies & Cilantro:

Tailored from Mollie Katezen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest

  • (1) 350 gram block of agency tofu
  • (2) tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • (1) medium onion, chopped
  • (1) small carrot, chopped
  • (1) small purple pepper, chopped
  • (3) tbsp cornstarch
  • (3) inexperienced onions, sliced
  • (1) cup cashews, frivolously toasted
  • (1/2) cup chopped contemporary cilantro

Candy & Bitter Sauce:

  • (1) small 15 oz. can of pineapple (drained for the juice, save the pineapple chunks for an additional use)
  • (1.5-2) cups orange juice
  • (1) tsp grated orange rind
  • (2) massive cloves garlic, minced
  • (1) tbsp contemporary ginger
  • (2) tbsp soy sauce
  • (1/2) tsp salt
  • (1/4-1/2) tsp crushed purple pepper flakes or cayenne
  • (2) tbsp brown sugar
  • (2) tbsp cider vinegar

Minimize the tofu into one inch cubes. Place them in a medium-sized saucepan and canopy with water. Carry to a boil, decrease warmth to a simmer, and cook dinner for about 10-Quarter-hour. Drain and put aside when completed. Whereas the tofu is cooking, put together the greens by chopping the onion, carrot, pepper, & inexperienced onions, ensuring to set them apart in separate bowls as they’ll cook dinner at totally different occasions. Measure out the corn starch right into a separate bowl as effectively and put aside to have it prepared.

To make the sauce, drain all of the juice from the can of pineapple (setting apart the chunks for an additional use : youngsters love them!). In a 4 cup measuring glass, add sufficient orange juice to make 2.5 cups of liquid all collectively. Add the orange rind, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, !/2 tsp salt, sugar vinegar & crushed purple pepper to the juice and stir effectively with a whisk. Switch the sauce combination to a medium pan and warmth gently till heat however not boiling. Cowl & put aside till wanted, retaining the whisk useful.

When able to cook dinner, put up a pot of your favorite grain to cook dinner should you need. Right here I served it with purple quinoa for a lightweight, protein packed choice, however you could possibly get pleasure from it with white or brown rice, and even noodles should you desire.

Warmth a big wok or frying pan on medium-high. Add the sesame oil and onion and cook dinner for on excessive for one minute – if desired you’ll be able to salt the onion frivolously to convey out extra flavour within the cooking course of. Subsequent, add the carrots and cook dinner one other three minutes, stirring. Add the tofu & bell pepper and cook dinner for two minutes longer, retaining the warmth steadily excessive.

Whereas the veggies are cooking, whisk a few of the warmed sauce combination into the bowl of cornstarch, utilizing about (1/2) cup to begin. Whisk till the cornstarch is dissolved and the combination is clean & thick, after which whisk the cornstarch combination into the rest of the recent sauce. Add your entire sauce combination to the greens and cook dinner, stirring consistently on excessive warmth till the sauce has thickened and the tofu & greens are completely coated. Simply earlier than serving, stir within the scallions.

To toast cashews, merely lay them on a big tray and toast them dry in a 350-degree oven for 5-6 minutes till golden.

Serve scorching, over a cooked grain or noodle of alternative topped generously with toasted cashews & reserved cilantro. Leftovers will preserve fantastically in a sealed container within the fridge for a minimum of 4-5 days with out challenge (even longer if wanted). Maintain it available for re-heating on a chilly winter’s evening and also you gained’t remorse it. Promise 😉