Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stir-fry, take 101?

Anyone that knows me or has read my blog knows that me and stir-fries do not always get along. People assume that vegans live off stir-fry. When I go to hotels, it is almost a guarantee that I will get stir-fry for at least half of my meals (the others, of course, are pasta with roasted vegetables).

Every time I attempt to make a stir-fry, I do just as everyone says, throw a bunch of ingredients together and voila! A magical meal that always tastes great. Well, my stir-fries always turn out to be mediocre at best. However, it does not stop me from continuing to try.

So, this is my latest attempt at making this magical meal. A definite improvement and the only thing I think I would change is to add a bit more sweetness or a bit less sour.

Mango-Kale Stirfry
  • Oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 block of tofu, cut into triangles
  • half a bunch of kale, chopped
  • bok choy, chopped (I used about half of a large head. Is it called a head of bok choy?)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeds removed if you aren't into spicy)
  • 1 handful of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1-2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime (Maybe half this if you aren't into sour)
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
So, the first thing you need to do is press your tofu. What I do is I wrap my tofu in a paper towel or a cloth and set it on a plate, then you need to weigh it down with something heavy. I usually use my kettle, filled with water. It works well. Press it for at least 20 minutes, to an hour.

Next, cut your tofu. I like to cut tofu into triangles (above). First, cut the tofu in half length-wise and then slice it width-wise into 8-12 slices. Flip the slices so they are laying flat and then cut diagonally. Simple and prettier than doing chunks or cubes.

First, prep your veggies so they are ready to go. Get the biggest wok you have an heat your oil on medium. Once hot, add the tofu and fry it for about 5 minutes or until it is golden brown. Flip it and continue to fry for another 3-4 minutes.
Now, start adding your veggies. I started with the jalapeno, kale, mushrooms and the onion. Then I added the ginger, mango and the bok choy after about 5 minutes. Once everything has started to wilt and look cooked, add the broth, mirin, and soy sauce. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you want it sweeter, add mirin. Spicier, add some hot sauce or red chili flakes, salt? Add more soy sauce. Serve on top of rice.

Well, I have to say that my skills in stir-fry making have improved; if only slightly. I thought this had too much lime and not enough spice and sweetness. Considering I love lime, take that into consideration, when adding the lime juice. One day, I will find the perfect stir-fry. I give this recipe an 8 out of 10.

Anyone reading out there, help me! What makes a perfect stir-fry and why am I just not getting?? I would love to hear any suggestions, or maybe your own recipe. Alright, this will be my last post for a few days. I am about to begin a road trip and the first few days will be tricky to blog. Stay tuned though as I will be posting and blogging in about a week.

Anyone know any decent vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal, Atlanta or Savannah? Send me a message!

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