Monday, November 12, 2007

Tofu Szechuan and Fried Rice

The great thing about wok cooking is that it is fast and tasty. If you don't have a carbon steel wok, you should really get one. You really can't stir fry properly without it. There is no Asian market where I live (or any ethnic markets, for that matter), so I have to scrounge what I can from the ethnic foods section of the grocery store. Despite this, tonight's meal was pretty darn tasty!

Tofu Szechuan
- 1 pkg firm tofu, drained and diced
- cornstarch
- oil for frying
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 green peppers, diced
- 2 green onions, cut into short sections
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp Asian chili sauce
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 1/4 cup VH Szechuan sauce
- few drops of sesame oil

1. Roll diced tofu in cornstarch to coat. Fry in oil on med-hi heat until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
2. Heat up a wok on medium heat. Add in cashews and stir quickly for 5 mins until roasted. remove from wok.
3. Turn up heat to med-hi. Add oil to wok. Stir fry green peppers, green onions for 1 min. Add tofu, hoisin sauce, chili sauce, sherry, and Szechuan sauce. Bring to bubbling.
4. Stir in cashews and sesame oil. Mix well and serve.

Note: I kept this heat down on this meal. For a more spicy version, soak 3 dried red chilies on hot water for 10 mins, de-seed and dice, and add to wok with the sauces.
Fried Rice
The secret to fried rice is that the rice needs to be cold when it gets fried in the wok. I also use basmati rice, which never ever sticks or clumps. Not authentic, I know, but who cares if it works?
- 3 cups cooked rice, cooled
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 red or orange pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1. Heat oil in wok on med-hi. Add in red pepper and stir-fry for 1 min. Add in rice and stir-fry for 4 mins.
2. Add in corn, chickpeas, and green onions and stir-fry until heated through.
3. Add in soy and hoisin sauce, and adjust to you personal taste.
We will be eating leftover tomorrow, and I will post the final dish then.