Inspired Recipe: Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry
Meals are created for a purpose. Fueling up for a workout, satisfying late night munchies, impressing a coworker, satisfying a parent–these are all objectives a meal can accomplish.
So what sorts of food does The Art of Fielding call to mind? The sorts of foods that are quick and effortless, like a pregame meal designed to settle a stomach, empowering and lean. A quick bite that overcomes all doubts. Fuel for the match.
My dad taught me how to do a lot of things, but the most useful were how to throw a baseball, program Excel spreadsheets and cook stir fry. A vegetable tofu stir fry is one of the easiest and simplest dishes I cook. Chop up the veggies, prepare your sauce, bust out the wok, and go. It’s easy. The technique of stir fry is simple, throw it in, cook it fast, and don’t think too much. Really the hardest part is the prep. Once the game starts, it’s all instinct and how high you can flip all the veggies out of the wok without spilling them everywhere.
VEGETABLE TOFU STIR FRY
- 1 Chinese eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 jar Chinese plum sauce
- Dijon mustard
- sesame oil
- Sriracha sauce (to taste)
- sesame seeds (to sprinkle on top)
- 1 box extra firm tofu
Drain the extra firm tofu and cut into bite sized cubes. Set aside on paper towels and allow to drain while you prep.
Chop the eggplant and red bell pepper into bite sized pieces. If serving to guests with small mouths, cut to fit.
Chop the onion in half and then into narrow half rings.
Dice the ginger and garlic into tiny bits.
Now make the sauce. I like a 3 parts plum sauce to one part mustard combo, but you can adjust the ratio to suit yourself. The mustard can easily overpower the whole dish, so take it easy, hotshot.
Wok time! Cover the bottom of your work with a thin layer of sesame oil. Heat it on medium heat until the oil starts to sputter.
Toss in the garlic and ginger, push it around, can you smell it yet? Not yet? Okay push it around a little more until it's golden brown. Smell good yet? Throw in the onion, toss it up and around the sides, get all that good garlic, ginger and sesame oil on it, oh, it really smells good now. Onions starting to look a little clear? Clear like a frosted window? That's how you know they're ready.
Now throw in the pepper and eggplant. Wok's getting heavy? PUSH THROUGH IT! Bump it around a little bit, make some noise with the wok. The pepper pieces should look like they're sweating, the eggplant will start to loosen and brown a little, that's when you know you're gonna win this one.
Final throw is the tofu, pop it right in there. NICE TOSS! Alright, buddy, now dump that sauce in there, mix it up, give it a flip in the air, two times! Now bring the heat. One squeeze of sriracha if you're feeling good, two if you want to impress that girl in the bleachers. One last toss in the air and you're done.
Slide your stir fry right over the plate. Dinner is served.
Now that you’re good and hungry, read our recommendation of the book that inspired this recipe: The Art of Fielding.