Monday, February 4, 2013

Meatless Monday: Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Green Beans

This week I'm going to be sharing some Authentic Chinese and Asian-inspired recipes in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year.  Because this holiday follows the lunar calendar, it falls on a different date each year sometime between January and February.  This year, February 10th is Chinese New Year and it will be the year of the Snake.

First up is a vegetarian dish for Meatless Monday.  Getting my husband to eat a vegetarian dish let alone one that features tofu is generally a chore.  My cousin once told him that they are "estrogen cakes" and if eaten too much, would cause him to grow boobs.  As crazy as that sounds (and I'm sure he doesn't actually believe it), this is the excuse he uses to NOT eat tofu lol.

But this recipe was different.  The sauce made everything dripping with deliciousness and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again on other meats and vegetables.  It has hoisin sauce (essentially Chinese BBQ) which I always love.  There were definitely fewer complaints from my husband about this dish than normal so that was a win in my book.  I left out the water chestnuts due to personal preference.  It's a texture thing for me...I just don't dig it but feel free to keep it in if you enjoy the wet crunch.

Two Years Ago: Quiche Lorraine

Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Green Bean


  • 1 block of tofu, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp hoisin
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dry cooking sherry
  • 2 tsp chili garlic paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large handful of fresh green beans, trimmed into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 

  1. Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a large saute pan or wok
  2. Add tofu; cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes.  Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Add a touch more olive oil to the pan.  Add garlic and onions, saute 1-2 minutes.  Add water chestnuts and green beans, saute 1-2 minutes.
  4. Mix hoisin, brown sugar, soy sauce, sherry, chili garlic paste, and broth.  Add to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return tofu to the pan; let cook a few minutes. Reduce heat and let simmer if you want the sauce to thicken.
  6. Serve over rice or noodles.
Source: Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

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