You know how it is: you’ve got some random veggies in your fridge that you need to use up and some tofu that’s a day past its expiry date. Sounds like a stir fry is on the cards. But not the same old ginger, garlic and soy sauce medley. Something jazzier, but just as simple, if not simpler.
The secret to this stir fry is the marinade. It’s delicious and dead simple – no garlic-chopping or ginger-grating required. But you do need some chilli sauce – I had a a few drips of Sriracha sauce that did very nicely (speaking of things to use up in the fridge).
The surprise of this easy recipe is that it comes from Ottolenghi, a brilliant chef but whose recipes typically require more time and expense than everyday meals allow. But like all Ottolenghi jobs, this one is spot-on veggie fair that I will definitely be making over and over again.
This recipe is incredibly versatile. I was short on brussels so I used more tofu. I didn’t have shitake mushrooms so I used chestnut mushrooms (oh but it would be good with shitake I bet!). Served with some steamed savoy cabbage and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, I was in veggie heaven.
Tofu, Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts
This recipe is worth making for the marinade alone – it’s delicious and simple, and would go well with just about any vegetable you felt like serving this with. Adapted from Ottolenghi’s Brussels Sprouts and Tofu recipe.
- 150g firm tofu (Tau Kwa)
- 2 tbsp chilli sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 500g brussels sprouts
- 180ml sunflower oil
- 100g spring onion, sliced
- ½ small chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 120g shiitake mushrooms, halved
- 15g picked coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- First, marinate the tofu. In a bowl, whisk together the chilli sauce, soy, two tablespoons of sesame oil, vinegar and syrup. Cut the tofu block into 0.5cm thick slices and then each slice into two squarish pieces. Gently lay in the marinade and set aside.
- Trim the bases off the sprouts and cut each lengthways into three thick slices. Take a large, nonstick pan, and in it heat up four tablespoons of sunflower oil. Add half the sprouts and a little salt, and cook on high heat for two minutes. Don’t stir much – you want them almost to burn in a few places and cook through but remain crunchy. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the rest of the sprouts.
- Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan, heat up and sauté the onion, chilli and mushrooms for a minute or two. Transfer to the sprout bowl.
- Leave the pan on high heat and, using a pair of tongs, lift half the tofu from the marinade and gently lay in the pan (be careful: the oil may spit), spaced apart and in one layer. Lower the heat to medium and cook for two minutes on each side until nicely caramelised. Transfer to the sprout bowl and repeat with the rest of the tofu.
- Once all the tofu is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and return all the cooked ingredients to it. Add the tofu marinade and half the coriander. Toss together and allow to cool slightly in the pan. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir in the remaining sesame oil (extra, if you like) and serve warm, not hot, garnished with sesame seeds and the rest of the coriander.