Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Vaguely Thai, vaguely vegetarian stir fry

Stir fry of tofu, snow peas, bok choy, mango, mint, and cashews over jasmine rice

stir fry is a pretty easy dish to riff on (off?). You can vary the basic sauce and ingredients 100 different ways. Today I whisked together about 2 T soy sauce, 1 T fish sauce (dried anchovy extract), 1 T mirin, and 2 t corn starch. I tossed cubed tofu (firm, about 14 oz) and let marinate while I did the rest of the prep work. Then I chopped up three baby bok choys and added that, and cut up two mangoes and put that aside.

The snow peas I bought, from a cooperative farm in the Fingerlakes District, were thicker than the usual and curved slightly -- almost like Fritos only much tastier. In fact, I'm tempted to buy them again and use them with a dip because that's what they'd be perfect for. But today I just pulled off the stems and broke them in half.

I learned a garlic shortcut from Nigella Lawson on one of her Food Network shows. Instead of mincing the garlic you can just grate it, and you'll still get all the juices. So after heating about 1/4 c peanut oil (works well with high heat -- sesame oil is too delicate and will lose its flavor) in my wok I grated in the garlic, softened that a little, and then added the snow peas. I stirred those around until they turned a darker green and then added the tofu and bok choy mixture. I think I fried the mixture for another 10 minutes or so and then removed the wok from the heat. Then I added the mint (spearmint) and the mango and allowed the mixture to heat both. If you cook the mango with everything else it'll disintegrate. You want to be careful with the tofu as well, for that matter. It can really come apart if you stir too vigorously or heat for too long.

To serve I added some fresh lime juice and crushed cashews -- roasted and salted. I also wanted to add some chopped scallions, but the coop was out of them. (Supplies are often low on Mondays at the coop, as not all of the post-weekend deliveries have arrived.) The bok choy releases a lot of water, so if you have the time and inclination you can remove all the veggies from the wok, and then turn the heat back up again, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes. The sauce will reduce and the corn starch will help it thicken.

Today was more routine than the last few days. We spent time at the playground. I cleaned up some hideous dust that flew into my bathroom window from my upstairs neighbor's renovation. Did some laundry. Went grocery shopping. Read some back issues of Nest.

A correction for yesterday's post -- Joey didn't die this year, he died 12 years ago. But this year his father finally made captain of the giglio lifting team, which is a very big deal.

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