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posted: 9/19/2012 3:59 PM

Crispy Fried Tofu with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Brown Rice

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  • Joe Moninski created a stir-fry dish using tofu, crispy rice cereal, broccoli and mango chutney.

       Joe Moninski created a stir-fry dish using tofu, crispy rice cereal, broccoli and mango chutney.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 

2 cups brown rice

2 packages (14 ounce) 365 Everyday Organic Firm Tofu

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¼ cup cornstarch

2 egg whites, beaten

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 cup crispy rice cereal crumbs

4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

Sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons minced garlic

½ cup seasoned rice vinegar

½ cup Aji-Mirin sauce

¼ cup tamari soy sauce

1 jar (8 ounces) mango chutney

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1½ cups cold water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Veggies

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium red onion

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced on an angle

1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, sliced

4-5 cups broccoli florets

1 package (8 ounces) white mushrooms, sliced

Sesame seeds

Sprouts (radish, alfalfa, or the like)

For the brown rice: In a large pot, bring rice and 12 cups water to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Quickly drain in a colander (don't rinse), immediately return rice to the pot. Cover the pot with a tightfitting lid and set the pot off the heat. The hot rice will absorb the remaining moisture and won't be sticky.

For the tofu: Drain the tofu and cut into slices about ½ inch thick (about 6 slices per block). On a baking sheet, place a double layer of paper towels and arrange the tofu slices on the towels. Cover with another double layer of paper towels, and place a second baking sheet on top. Put a weight on top (a gallon of water or heavy book) and set aside for about 15 minutes to press out the liquid. Replace the paper towels and repeat the pressing process for another 15 minutes.

The tofu slices should be pretty dry at this point. Cut each of the tofu slices into 2 long triangles.

Put the cornstarch and cereal crumbs on separate plates. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Dredge the tofu triangles in cornstarch, and shake off the excess. Dip the tofu triangle into the egg white mixture and coat completely. Roll the tofu triangle in the cereal crumbs, and place on a plate.

In a frying pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil over medium-high heat. In batches, Fry the tofu slices, about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and crispy. Don't let the slices touch, and don't overcook. Wipe pan clean between batches. Set fried tofu on a plate covered with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set aside.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan heat the canola and sesame oil over medium-high heat. Quickly sauté ginger and garlic to release the flavors (don't burn it.). Add the rice vinegar, mirin, tamari, chutney and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

In a cup, mix the cornstarch with cold water. Add this to the saucepan and bring back to a boil, stirring until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

In a large wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and water chestnuts and stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in about half of the sauce; cover and simmer 3 to 4 more minutes so the broccoli gets bright green.

To serve: Fill a ½-cup measure with rice and press in. Invert the cup onto the middle of a plate. Arrange 2 or 3 tofu triangles upright around the rice and spoon vegetables around the tofu "structure." Spoon some of the remaining sauce over everything. Garnish with sesame seeds and sprouts serve with Asian-inspired Slaw and Crispy Rice Bowls (recipe below).

Serves eight.

Joe Moninski

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