Wednesday, June 2, 2010

this was really good

asparagus tofu stir-fry (on my cupcake-aproned lap)

Last week we used asparagus and spring onions from our first CSA box of the season to make a tofu-based stir-fry. I took some liberties with the recipe, including leaving out the spinach, basil, and mint (I didn't have spinach or basil and Matt doesn't like mint). I used more garlic than it called for, which was not a mistake.

I also opted for Wildwood brand super-firm tofu instead of the suggested extra-firm. My philosophy when stir-frying tofu is this--the firmer the better. I've had extra-firm tofu fall apart and turn to scrambled-egg texture too many times. Maybe I'm just not gentle enough, but I am a total convert to this Wildwood stuff. It has that lovely firmness that I usually attribute to restaurant tofu.

Do take the recipe's advice to have all your ingredients prepped ahead. This dish fries up quite quickly. Do include the lime zest and juice. It added a nice bit of sweetness and tang.

Asparagus Stir-Fry
adapted from 101 Cookbooks (printable version available through link)

toasted sesame oil
8 oz super firm tofu, cut into strips the width of a pencil
4 green onions, thinly sliced
scant 1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb or bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch chunks
a couple big pinches fine-grain sea salt
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 big handful cashews, chopped up a bit
a few handfuls of spinach or other greens, optional
zest and juice of one lime
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 small handful each slivered mint and/or basil, optional

Have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach of the stove. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium high heat. Alternately, you can do this in a dry non-stick pan - one of the few occasions I still use non-stick. When it is hot, add the tofu, and cook until golden - a few minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

Add another (generous) splash of oil to the pan and, as soon as it is hot, add the onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, cashews, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Return the tofu to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while.

Remove from heat and stir in the mint and basil if using. Taste and add a bit more salt if needed.


  1. That looks really good. I think I'll make that for my friends this weekend!

  2. I'm glad to hear it! Hope you like it!