Friday, August 22, 2008
Bamboo Shoots and Tofu Stir Fry
Stir fry was the best choice for dinner last night - a quick peek in the fridge said just that. The fridge was crammed with vegetables at the beginning of the week, thanks to the weekly visit to the local farmers' market. This time of week usually consists of some stragglers waiting for their turn to be used up.
I had one head of broccoli and a block of tofu left in the fridge - perfect for a stir fry. I know - stir fry this time of the year? I was born in the tropics and am used to eating hot foods ( heat and spicy) ALL year. No, really - I have been known to crave fiery sambals in the unforgiving blaze of the summer months. And if I crave something, I just have to have it :)
I found a can of bamboo shoots tucked into the depths of my pantry. I have seen fresh bamboo shoots at the oriental market but have always shied away from it. I feel much safer ( at this point) with the canned ones.
If you are adventurous enough to seek out the fresh bamboo shoots - get the winter bamboo shoots - available from November to May. The canned ones are quite delightful as well - just rinse well before using. Bamboo shoots are literally the tender shoots from bamboos ( but then again not all bamboos are created equal). Bamboo shoots are used in Indonesia (called rebung), Nepal, Japan, Assam, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Bamboo Shoots and Tofu Stir Fry - serves 4
You could make this vegetarian buy omitting the oyster sauce. I have also used an ingredient called Fatt Choy in this dish. It is a sea fungus that is mainly used in cooking during the Chinese New Year celebrations. I have NOT included this ingredient in this recipe as it is not a common everyday ingredient.
14 oz medium firm tofu - cut into cubes and drain in a sieve for 1/2 hour
8 oz can sliced bamboo shoots - rinsed
1 small head of organic broccoli - cut into florets
1 heaping tb minced ginger
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tb oyster sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tb cornstarch - mixed in 3 tb stock
1/2 onion - cut into thick wedges
2 tb vegetable oil
Heat oil in a wok or a heavy bottomed frying pan on high heat. Add minced ginger and onion wedges - saute for 1 minute ( should not brown) until fragrant. Add rinsed and drained bamboo shoots, broccoli florets and stir for another 2 minutes.
Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, vegetable stock, salt, sugar and stir well. Add drained cubes of tofu and give it another gentle stir. Cook for 4-6 minutes. I like my vegetables firm, so cooking the broccoli for 4 minutes will suffice for me. Pour in the diluted corn starch and stir well. Mixture will start to thicken right away. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately with rice. Leftovers make a great lunch! Your colleagues will envy you ;)