Kung Pao Tofu with Vegetables

 

The Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 pinch red pepper flakes

salt

black pepper

 

The Sauce

1/3 cup vegetable stock or water

1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry

1 teaspoon agave

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce or tamari

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ½ teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

 

The Vegetables

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 broccoli crown, cut into small, thin-stalked florets

1 zucchini, sliced

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, sliced

4 scallions, sliced

½ cup unsalted peanuts

 

Heat oven to 425°, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil and cornstarch, plus dashes of salt and pepper. Add the tofu to the cornstarch mixture, and gently toss until tofu is evenly coated. Place the tofu onto the sheet pan, and bake until it’s done, approximately 25-30 minutes. Turn the tofu over every 10 minutes while it’s baking

While the tofu is in the oven, cut and chop the vegetables, and:

  1. To make the sauce, whisk all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch, into a small bowl. Once it’s combined, whisk in the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Set this aside
  2. Place a large skillet, or a wok, over a medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, and the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, or until it’s fragrant. Add the red pepper and celery, and sauté for 1 minute, or until they start to cook through and soften a bit
  3. Add the broccoli, and sauté for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli stalks start to soften a bit. If the pan is too hot, and the food starts to stick to the pan, add approximately ¼ cup of the sauce. If this evaporates quickly, add ¼ cup of water to the pan
  4. Add the zucchini and water chestnuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. When the zucchini is cooked to your liking, add the cooked tofu, remaining sauce, and peanuts. Stir until the sauce is thickened
  5. Adjust the flavors, as needed, with more hot sauce, or salt
  6. Serve over rice

Makes three-four servings