I have to give my boyfriend loads of credit for making me a healthier eater. If not for him, I would probably not think about my calorie content as much. I wouldn’t make as conscientious an effort to eat vegetarian. If it happened, it would probably be by happenstance. For instance, as I write this, I am eating a Chipotle steak burrito bowl. I am tempted to eat the whole thing, but I’m distracted by my Twix bar and a bag of sour cream and onion chips. Granted, I don’t eat like this every day, but I don’t like to deny myself, but I also wasn’t the type to want to expand my cooking repertoire to involve a lot of vegetarian dishes simply because they were vegetarian.
This spicy tofu and pepper dish is a relatively easy stirfry, and it’s a fast one, too. I like my food just a little spicy, but if you really like it spicy, add more Sriracha to taste, but that stuff is hot, so be careful! If you want to temper the hotness, you can also try adding in some red pepper flakes.
I know there’s some sort of general wisdom out there that tofu can be gross or tasteless, but it’s all about prepping the tofu to give it flavor, to provide it the best possible texture. This recipe has both. The marinating gives the tofu a deeper flavor. The slight pan frying firms it up and gives it a nice texture that’s not at all slimy or unappetizing. Top it off with a sauce and vegetables, and it’s good times for everyone. Even for carnivores and omnivores like myself.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (spicy garlic and pepper sauce)
- 1. Drain the tofu and gently squeeze out extra water. Cube the tofu.
- In a large bowl, combine soy sauce and mirin. Place tofu in the mixture to marinate for at least 5 minutes.
- Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Toss the tofu into the oil (retain marinade), and cook until browned on all sides.
- Toss in yellow onions with the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are golden.
- Once browned, toss in red onion, peppers, and garlic; cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water, vinegar, soy sauce and mirin marinade, brown sugar, cornstarch, and Srichara. Pour over tofu and vegetables, toss to coat, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Add sesame oil before turning off the heat.
- Serve over hot rice.