Tofu is marinated in soy sauce and bakes while the remainder of the stir fry comes together, so you can have a full meal in just 30 minutes! A rainbow of veggies – red cabbage, jalapeños, onions, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, and cilantro – packs a ton of flavor and nutrition into this quick dish.
I… I have a confession to make.
Despite my big talk of my ‘consulting job’ and ‘salary’ and ‘great life in DC,’ I have moved back home with my parents in the good ol ‘burbs of Vienna, VA. Please be nicer to me than the Tinder boys are.
The thing is, I’m funemployed* until late March, and paying rent for the month of February was not going to do great things to my bank account. So I found a girl to take over my lease, packed my bags, and drove out to my parents’ place. A month rent-free, without utilities, and with free groceries? What more could I ask for!
*Can autocorrect PLEASE stop changing this to ‘Unemployed’? It sounds so much better when you add the ‘fun’!
Upon my return home, my sweet mother immediately greeted me with a sink full of dirty dishes and a chair overrun with unfolded sheets. Okay, fair, I probably should do my part if they’re letting me stay there at the ripe age of 23. I watched Corinne release the crazy on The Bachelor as a scrubbed and rinsed away, and then finally settled into my childhood bed with a very full mug** of wine. Three hours into living at home and I was already itching to throw in the towel and live on the streets.
**My parents also don’t drink, and their vintage wine glasses have all developed a 30-year-old film that tastes like a combination of rat feces and dust mites. Mugs it is!
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon, when I was developing this recipe. I needed soy sauce. A very common condiment – there are 4 bottles of it back in my rowhouse – but nowhere to be found in the vast expanses of the fridge, the condiment cabinet, the upstairs pantry, the downstairs pantry… must I go on?
So I sought out mother (watching reruns of ‘America’s Got Talent’ in her bedroom, softly crying ‘they’re so talented’ into a knockoff designer handkerchief, staring wistfully at my 6th grade ‘Best Singer’ trophy) and asked her where she was hiding the goods.
Mom: We have those little packets!
J: Do you have not those little packets? Don’t you guys ever make Asian food?
Mom: Oh honey, don’t be silly, your dad and I don’t cook!
So, long story short, the only soy sauce I had available to make this stir fry was 3 packets. So I’m giving you measurements in packet form. Happy cooking, readers!
Soy-Glazed Tofu Stir Fry
To make this recipe, you will need:
– 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least 1 hour
– 2 packets soy sauce
– 1 T olive oil
Stir Fry Sauce
– 1 packet soy sauce
– 3 T rice vinegar
– 1 T lime juice
– 1 T brown sugar
– 1.5 t cornstarch
– 1 T olive oil
– 1/2 white onion, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
– 1 small can water chestnuts, halved
– 1 can bean sprouts
– 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped thinly
There’s tofu in that purple hand towel, being pressed by the weight of my mother’s ‘Brain Books’
First up, the tofu! Whisk together your soy sauce and olive oil, dice your tofu up into bite-sized cubes, and combine. Preheat oven to 400F, and let the tofu marinate while the oven heats up.
Once the oven is ready, spread the tofu out on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed, and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. While the tofu is baking, get started on the stir fry!
In a small bowl, whisk together your lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and cornstarch, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add your garlic, onion, jalapeño, and water chestnuts. Sauté until onions are translucent and water chestnuts are warmed through, then add the bean sprouts and sauté another 2 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl and return skillet to stove.
Add your red cabbage to the skillet and let cook on medium for 6 minutes, stirring once every minute. Once your cabbage starts to get tender, add the stir fry sauce and bring it to a boil, stirring well to fully coat the cabbage.
Once the sauce has thickened and the cabbage is well-coated, add the bean sprout mixture and mix well. Add the tofu once it is done cooking, garnish with whatever you want – I chose cilantro and peanuts – and serve!
SOOOO GOOD, GUYS. Now, I’m off to the grocery store to buy a BOTTLE of soy sauce. Adulthood. Ta ta!