kung pao tofu

I know, it's been pathetically long since I've last posted a recipe!  I cook every night, but sometimes like any bad blogger, I forget to take pictures.  Not today, though - this my friends, is a really good one.  

I'm sure some of you have husbands who can cook, yes?  Well, mine really can't.  I mean, he can boil veggies and put a salt & peppered piece of fish on the grill, but I tend to feel a little guilty about letting it come to that.  With all the STL Fashion week events happening, I'm not home during dinnertime much lately so I was on the hunt for a foolproof recipe I could make and leave for him.  

Kung Pao Tofu

What You'll Need
1 package extra firm tofu
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tbsp ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 lb bag mixed asian veggies
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Get Cooking!  
Press your tofu.  I have a very scientific method of laying the tofu between paper towels and plastic wrap, and piling heavy books on top.  If you own a tofu press, by all means use it!  

Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Once pressed, cut the tofu into cubes and toss with 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and the sriracha.  Bake in a single layer on the sheet for about 15 minutes.  

The tofu should come out looking about like the second picture.  Nicely browned on the edges.  

Set the veggies to steaming.  I use a stovetop method, but you can always use a steamer or simply microwave them with a little water.  

While that's going on, warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and sautee until it's all soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the mirin & vinegar and simmer until they start to reduce a bit.  Then add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce.  

Once the sauce begins to thicken up again, add the tofu and toss to coat.  

Here, you have two options.  If you're making this at dinnertime, divide the rice and veggies between 5 serving plates and top it off with the tofu & peanuts.  If you're making it at 3 in the afternoon so that your husband will have something to eat for dinner, separate the rice, veggies, and tofu into Tupperwares and leave reheating instructions on the counter!  

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