Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thai Green Beans and Tofu with Coconut Rice

This tofu and green bean stir fry is an amazing dish that charmed even some folks who were very skeptical about the tofu. It's easy to prepare, and you end up with great flavor since each component has its own slightly different sauce. I will definitely make this again, and I'll also make the tofu separately to use in other dishes. The tofu ends up an amazing texture, creamy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. In this dish, it's then tossed with the sauce after frying and so not quite as crisp, but still delicious. The tofu is perfectly complimented by the veggies, and I could imagine using other roasted veggies here too. A great dinner with coconut rice!

The recipe comes from everybody likes sandwiches and is most definitely a keeper!

Thai Green Beans and Tofu (recipe from everybody likes sandwiches, here)

Fried Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t red dried chili flakes
3 - 4 T cornstarch
2 T vegetable oil

Take the tofu out of its package and set on a paper towel. Wrap tightly and then wrap again with a kitchen towel. Set in a shallow dish and press with something heavy--either a plate stacked with canned goods, a big pot with water in it, or anything else that will put pressure on the tofu. Let sit for at least 2 hours to drain.

Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Cube the pressed tofu and add to the marinade. Let sit 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all the tofu gets some marinade.

Put the cornstarch in a gallon ziplock bag and then add the tofu. Shake until all the tofu is well covered in cornstarch. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and fry until the tofu is a deep golden color. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Roasted Green Beans
1 lb green beans, rinsed & trimmed
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp sriracha

Toss the beans with the rest of the ingredients and roast on a shallow baking tray at 400 degrees until caramelized and wrinkled. Check on them and take them out when they're as cooked as you like them--15 to 20 minutes for beans that are a bit firmer, or longer for softer beans.

Putting everything together
1 large bell pepper, sliced
2 large shallots, diced
1 T vegetable oil
2 T chili garlic sauce
1/2 can of light coconut milk
1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 T soy sauce
Any remaining liquid from the tofu marinade
juice of 1/2 lime

In the same pan as you prepared the tofu, heat up oil and add in the red pepper and shallots. Once they get slightly wilted, add in green beans. Stir the coconut milk, curry paste, chili garlic sauce and soy sauce together and pour over the vegetables. Stir fry until sauce reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the tofu, stirring everything until well coated with sauce. Squeeze in some lime juice, stir and then serve over coconut rice.

Coconut Rice (from Gourmet)

1 can unsweetened coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 cup Jasmine rice

Bring coconut milk, water, and salt to a boil. Add rice, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Let rice stand off the heat, covered, for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

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