This time I am unearthing one of my recipes from the “vault “. That is where I store all my recipes and pictures for future posts but somehow have never gotten around to posting them. There they languish until I decide to put them out of their misery !!! Its not as though I have not been cooking new things , I have but I have not been able to summon up the interest to setting up the props and angles and take pictures !!! I need a refresher course to revive the interest I suppose.
Anyway, onto the recipe. This is my homage to Indo Chinese food which in my opinion has been reduced to heavy greasy food, dredged in soy sauce and cornstarch. You can take those very same ingredients and use them in the right manner to produce a light flavourful dish. This is the recipe for CHILLI TOFU. V does not like Paneer and I do not want to go thru the process with cauliflower as I have yet to find a better way to cook them other than deep frying them !!! So after some thinking , I decided to use Tofu. It has a similar texture to paneer and when you marinate it , it suddenly transforms itself by absorbing all the flavours in the marinade….bland and boring to whatever you want to make it !!!! I also decided to eliminate the grease by lightly pan frying them rather then deep frying them and I have added no extra cornstarch to the sauce so it is light. When served over a bed or fried rice, the thin sauce is absorbed by the rice …….my mouth is watering just thinking about it !!!! Your eyes are going to appreciate it as well….the colours just pop !!
1 slab Tofu, cut into cubes½ cup sliced Red Onions¼ cup chopped Green Peppers¼ cup chopped Red/Orange/Yellow Peppers½ cup Cornstarch1 ½ tsp grated Ginger
2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped Spring Onions
1 ½ tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
½ tbsp Chilli Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 dried Red Chillies , broken into pieces
Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, chilli sauce , ginger, garlic and sugar to form a marinade.Marinate the tofu in it for 20 minutes. Set aside the marinade for later use.Heat a pan and add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Dredge the tofu very lightly in some cornstarch. You want just enough to provide a crispy exterior.Pan fry the tofu and set aside.To the same oil, add the dried red chillies and sliced red onions. Sauté till translucent.
Then add the peppers and salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Now add the marinade and cook on a low – medium heat till it starts to bubble.
Now add the tofu and mix it well so the sauce coats every piece. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, garnish with spring onions and serve over rice.
It tastes delicious even I do say it myself !!! The tofu has this crispy exterior while soft inside and the marinade infuses the tofu with all its flavour . The sauce is spicy, tangy with just a hint of sweetness, though I have to warn you that if you make this with chicken, discard the marinade and add the ingredients fresh to make the sauce. The fried rice with its small nuggets of vegetables ,crisp yet soft, provide an excellent way to sop up the sauce. The little bit of cornstarch in the tofu provides enough thickening to the sauce.
As I always say, make it your own and add the ingredients you fancy. I do however stress on a few things…..use only cornstarch, not maida , not besan ( chickpea flour) , if you do not have it rice flour can be used. It needs to be light flour not a dense one . I use Sriracha chilli sauce which more like a red chilli paste and this amount gives it just enough heat …if you want more go for it !