Szechuan Stir-Fry with Fiery Peanut Sauce
Vary the vegetables in this recipe according to your personal taste and their availability. The amount of heat in this dish can be controlled by the amount of red pepper flakes added. Strips of extra-firm tofu are a pleasant foil for the spicy sauce.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup wheat-free tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons natural sugar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 large yellow onion, halved length- wise and thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
4 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
In a bowl, a food processor, or a blender, combine the water, peanut butter, tamari, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and blend well.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, broccoli, and bell pepper, and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and mush- rooms and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, or until the vegetables soften, adding a little water if the vegetables start to stick.
Return the tofu to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir-fry to coat the vegetables. Serve over the rice and top with the chopped peanuts, if using.
From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.