Mild tofu readily soaks up the strong flavours of a ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce marinade, making it a welcome addition to this vegetable stir-fry.
1 level tablespoon peeled and grated root ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pound firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 cup long-grain rice
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced diagonally
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/4 cups Snap peas, trimmed
3 sticks celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
Small red pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
Small yellow pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
Small fresh green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
3/4 cup vegetable stock
2 level teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dry white wine or dry sherry
1 level tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1. Mix half the ginger, 1 tablespoon of the oil, half the garlic and the soy sauce in a shallow dish. Put in the tofu and turn gently to coat the cubes. Cover and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before the hour is up, start cooking the rice (see p. 17).
2. While the rice is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir-fry the scallions and the rest of the ginger and garlic in it over a high heat for 30 seconds, then mix in the chopped onion, Snap peas, celery, peppers and chilli, and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the carrots and half the stock, then add the tofu and its marinade. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes, until the vegetables are just cooked but firm.
4. Meanwhile, blend the cornstarch with the remaining sesame oil and mix with the wine or sherry and the rest of the stock. Pour into the wok or pan and stir carefully over a moderate heat for 2 - 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Take care not to break up the tofu.
5. Pile the rice onto a heated serving dish, spoon the tofu and vegetable mixture on top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Serve a salad of lamb's lettuce and watercress to provide a sharp contrast to the stir-fry.
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