Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orange Peel Tofu Deliciousness

By the time I got home for dinner tonight, it was fairly late.  Duff Man had been home for a while but hadn't thought to take any meat out of the freezer.  Luckily, I had a block of Extra Firm Tofu in the refrigerator.  I looked around my kitchen and came up with this delicious (although possibly not the healthiest) recipe for Orange Peel Tofu.  Even Duff Man liked it--although he'd never admit that in public.

The key to most Chinese-style recipes is to prepare your ingredients in advance, keep your pan scorching hot, and move quickly.  

Orange Peel Tofu

1 block of extra firm tofu
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. vegetable or peanut oil (NOT olive oil--the smoke point is too low and the oil will burn before it gets hot enough)

2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 Tbsp ginger, minced or grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
3 scallions, sliced into 1/2" sections
2 dried red chili peppers, chopped
zest and juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 c. juice)
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed into 1/2 c. water (aka "cornstarch slurry")
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Heat the 1/2 c. of vegetable or peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  (I used my cast iron skillet.)

Squeeze the excess water out of the tofu using a clean towel or some paper towels, then slice the brick into 1/4" slices.  Blot the slices with a towel again, then cut each slice into thirds.  Liberally coat each piece of tofu with cornstarch, then shake off the excess and set aside.

Once the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu in a single layer being sure to not crowd the pan.  (I cooked it in two batches.)  Allow the tofu to cook for 7 minutes.  Flip the tofu over and cook for another 4 minutes.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

While the tofu cooks, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over high heat in another pan or wok.  Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic to the wok and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the carrots, mushrooms, and scallions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the chili peppers, orange zest, and juice.  Bring to a boil, then add the cornstarch slurry into the wok and allow the sauce to thicken.  Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir, then add the fried tofu to the pan.

Garnish with scallions and serve with jasmine rice.

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