I really debated for a while with myself as to whether or not I should post this recipe.
Not because I don’t want to share.
Not because it’s not good.
But because it uses a bottled sauce (gasp!) and thus is not 100% homemade.
I really don’t want this to be one of those blogs about how to use prepared foods to make it look like you slaved all day in the kitchen. Rather, I want to show people how easy it can be to make wonderful food, even when you get home late from work on a Tuesday and all you want to do is sit in front of your Tivo and catch up on episodes of CSI.
The reality is that it’s a rare cook who makes everything from scratch all the of time. Sometimes it just needs to be easy. This is one of my go-to dishes after sitting in hellish LA traffic for an hour and a half to go 25 miles to get home. And yet, for some reason, I’m still willing to make dinner instead of ordering take-out. It could be because I’m cheap, but I prefer to think it’s because I want to eat a healthy home-cooked meal.
So, about the sauce… It’s called “Soyaki” and I buy it at Trader Joe’s. There’s also a sauce called “Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki” which can be bought in just about any supermarket. I think they are the same sauce, different label. And no, I have no connection with either company other than I buy the sauce. In general, I don’t like “teriyaki” sauce because I find it too salty, but I like this because it has a touch of sweetness, ginger, and sesame with all-natural ingredients (no artificial nothin’).
The whole meal takes about 20 minutes start to finish, depending on how much rice I put in my rice cooker. After I start the rice, I cut up all the veg and tofu (or sometimes chicken), heat up the wok, stir-fry the ingredients, add the sauce and by the time I’m done, the rice is ready. I can now relax, and with something good to eat, turn on my TV, and try to forget the gridlock.
Leave a comment and tell me what you make for your Easy Tuesday Dinners…
8 oz Firm Tofu, patted dry and cut into 1″ cubes
8 oz eggplant, diced 1″
6 oz sliced mushrooms
4 oz sliced carrots
2 oz sliced green onions
2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup Soyaki Sauce
1 tsp chili garlic paste
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
Start the rice cooking.
Pat dry the tofu and dice into 1″ cubes. Cut and prep all the other vegetables, garlic and ginger.
Heat a wok very hot and add 1 Tbsp canola oil. Add the tofu. Add half the ginger and half the garlic to the tofu after 3 minutes. Cook until the tofu is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside temporarily in a bowl.
Reheat the wok and add 1 Tbsp canola oil. Add in hard vegetables (like carrots) and then mushrooms. Cook until tender and add to tofu in bowl.
Add remaining oil to wok and add eggplant, cooking until it starts to get brown and tender. Add remaining garlic and ginger, stir-fry 1 minute. Add back in tofu and other cooked vegetables. Add soyaki sauce and chili garlic paste. Turn the heat down to medium and let cook for 2 minutes so the vegetables and tofu absorb the flavors of the sauce. Add in green onions and toss. Serve with steamed rice.
Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand; red and yellow bell peppers, squash and zucchini, asparagus, onions, snowpeas, even a bag of frozen “stir-fry” vegetables will work. I just use what is in my ‘fridge on that day.
Leave out the chili sauce if you don’t want a bit of spice.
If you let it cook too long, all the sauce will reduce away and you may need to add a little more.