When stir-frying, be sure to have all your ingredients prepared, chopped and ready to go before you turn on the stove. Start the rice cooker as you begin your preparations and your rice will be ready when dinner is ready.
Many people do not like cooking rice on the stove and so resort to using Minute Rice. I grew up on Minute Rice and have never actually cooked rice on the stove. When I met my husband, he had a rice cooker already and so I learned to use it. Rice cookers do not require any skills to make rice. This is our favorite style of rice cooker. There are other ways to cook rice but I like using a rice cooker because it is one less thing for me to worry about when making dinner; you can turn it on and forget about it. Some of my family members like to use this to cook rice (full disclosure: my mom sells Pampered Chef products). You can also buy frozen pre-cooked rice and microwavable pre-cooked rice bowls at places like Trader Joe’s now too.
If you aren’t a fan of tofu yet, you could use a pound of sliced chicken, or even shrimp, instead.
Tofu Stir Fry
Adapted from Martha Stewart EveryDay Food
1 pound extra-firm tofu *
2 tablespoons soy sauce, gluten free *
1 tablespoon rice vinegar *
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil *
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 small onions, cut into wedges
9 ounces mushrooms *
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 1/4 pounds bok choy, chopped, stem and green pieces separated
1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
1 inch knob of ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
Slice the tofu into 16 slices (or more) and lay in a single layer on a clean dish towel. Fold the dish towel over top of tofu and then lay something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet or cutting board. This helps remove the extra water from the tofu so that it browns quicker and easier. Leave it for about 10 minutes.
Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil and pour into shallow baking dish. Place the tofu in a single layer in the baking dish. Let marinate for about 5 minutes, then flip the slices and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
When all your ingredients are chopped and ready to go, heat the oil in your wok or large skillet. Carefully lay in the tofu in a single layer. The oil will splatter because of the water remaining in the tofu. Reserve the marinade from the tofu. Let the tofu cook for about 5 minutes and then flip it over and cook for 5 minutes more, or until it is slightly browned. Remove tofu to a plate.
Add the onions to the hot oil in your pan. Stir until they begin to get brown, 5-6 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and bok choy stems, cook for 3 minutes. Add snow peas and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves and the reserved marinade. Stir up the cornstarch and water mixture again and stir in. Add tofu and heat through. Serve with rice.
* For stir-frying, extra firm tofu is best. It comes water-packed in a plastic tray. You will find it in the refrigerated section of large grocery stores.
* If you are cooking gluten free, be sure the soy sauce is gluten free. San-J Gluten Free Tamari and LaChoy brands are both safe. Be sure to watch the labels on the San-J sauces as not everything they make is gluten free.
* Rice vinegar can be found in the Asian food section of most large grocery stores. Be sure to read the ingredients and make sure it is gluten free.
* Toasted sesame oil, yum! This can be found at most large grocery stores with the specialty oils. This is one of my favorite ingredients. The smell is divine. Whenever I use this, my husband always comments that whatever I am making smells wonderful.
* We used shiitake mushrooms for this dish as it is our preferred mushroom.
* I doubled the amount of marinade for this recipe and thought it was just right.