Darlings, after all that lovely caveman comfort food last week and Superbowl Sunday, La Diva wanted to lighten it up with a simple “steam” fry to make good use of the red pepper, baby bok choy and yellow squash from this week’s farm share. Additionally, I found a left over zucchini and I forgot all about the Japanese green komatsuna! So, as my brain was still a bit pickled on Monday, I thought a simple “steam” fry was in order! To add a bit of “oomph” to the dish and give it some texture and protein, I thought that firm lite tofu cubes and cashews would be a delicious addition.
So, what is a “steam” fry, darlings? La Diva simply uses a bit of broth instead of oil to cook the veggies in the wok. This is a healthy (and quick!) way to have a light dinner after a caloric-heavy weekend!
As always, prepare the vegetables for the stir fry by chopping them all up ahead of time and make sure you blot all the excess water from the tofu, then cut into cubes. I use the extra-firm tofu or the extra-firm lite tofu, either is perfect for stir fry, anything else will fall apart! For garnish, I minced a bit of cilantro and green onions cut into two inch slices.
Once you’ve chopped the veggies, it’s time to make the sauce. (Don’t feel like making the sauce tonight, darlings? Simply use a bit of oyster sauce or one of the many pre-made Asian-inspired sauces from the store…but the fresh garlic and ginger is a MUST!)
La Diva’s simple stir fry sauce:
In mortar with pestle or food processor:
3 garlic cloves
1 inch knob fresh ginger, grated
1 heaping teaspoon shrimp paste *with bean oil (I use the orange paste from Thailand as opposed to the purple one labeled shrimp sauce, click for more info)
2 T hoisin sauce
2 T oyster sauce*
1 T sesame oil
1 heaping teaspoon chili paste
* vegetarians may substitute “vegetarian” oyster sauce made of shitake mushrooms
Put aside and prepare rice. Heat wok with a cup of vegetable or chicken broth. In the order it takes time to cook, add the vegetables starting with the squash and red pepper. Turn over veggies constantly (but gently) until almost cooked, then add the bok choy. You should be running out of broth, if you do, add a small amount more. You only want enough for the veggies to cook in, not swim in! (If there is still broth in the wok when the veggies are cooked, drain off before you add the sauce to avoid a soupy steam fry!) Once the bok choy wilts, add the tofu, cashews and komatsuna last. Stir only just to warm through and then add the sauce, cilantro and green onions while you gently stir. Make sure the sauce has covered all the vegetables and then serve over hot rice immediately. You can season at the table with soy sauce or kecap manis for additional flavor.
Result: The veggies are still a nice texture, not soggy, but crisp tender. The tofu adds protein but the cashews give the steam fry the necessary bit of texture and crunch. This is a very quick dish to make on a weeknight but if you want to make it even easier on yourself, prepare all the veggies the night before so all you have to do is make the sauce and wok it!
Originally posted 2009-02-02 23:51:00.