Tofu seems to be one of those ingredients that polarizes people — and I think I know why. It's quite simple actually; it's a matter of how the tofu is prepared before it is cooked.
Tofu acts like a blank canvas in both texture and flavor. Having worked at a Chinese restaurant for 10 years, I learned the secrets for transforming tofu into an incredible delight. The first trick is to cut the tofu into small cubes and then roast it — this is to give the tofu a crisped exterior so it's ready to soak in the flavors of the sauce it's cooked with.
As those of us with a gluten intolerance and sensitivity know, eating Asian foods can be challenging. This recipe requires only one easy swap out — soy sauce — for a great quality wheat-free tamari. My favorite stir fry is made with a dark, spicy, well-balanced sauce with mushrooms and asparagus. Lucky for us, it is spring and asparagus is in season. Having all the ingredients prepared and ready to go makes this dish an easy and fast meal since it cooks so quickly.
- One 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup Gluten-Free San J reduced sodium tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons mirin/rice wine
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chile sauce
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced/grated
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon five spice seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- About 6 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bundle asparagus, fibrous ends cut off, cut into 1 ½ pieces
Heat oven to bake/roast to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet or jelly roll pan lightly with non-stick spray. Evenly space out the tofu cubes onto the sheet/pan. Cook in oven until the tofu turns lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
In a measuring cup, combine the tamari sauce, brown sugar, wine, vinegar, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, white pepper, five spice, and cornstarch with a spoon until combined. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Put in the oil, followed by the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add in the cut asparagus, and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add in the roasted tofu and cook with stirring for another minute or two.
Serve with any rice of your choice. It goes well with millet or quinoa too.