I’ve always loved Chinese food. Ever since I was little my parents have been taken us to Chinese restaurants regularly… past favorites were always Sweet and Sour (fill in the blank), Pepper (fill in the blank), BBQ (fill in the blank)…
When I first moved to NYC, I went to lunch with my dad and he suggested I should try the Chicken with Cashew Nuts… Cashew Nuts!!! What are those?? Well a few minutes later, I was a convert for life. And after that day that became my usual order at Chinese restaurants.
When I decided to become vegetarian, I would order at restaurants Chicken with Cashew Nuts WITHOUT the Chicken. It was the simplest way for me to describe to Chinese waiters that I wanted sautéed vegetables with cashew nuts. I even ordered it so often at a restaurant close to my former place of employment that I stopped describing it – just ordered the usual – Sautéed Broccoli with Onions, Peppers, Carrots and Cashew Nuts.
I just looooooove the combination of soy-based sauce with the crunch of the nuts… This is the version I make at home. This version has tofu, but most of the time I leave it out. The protein in the nuts is enough for me.
CASHEW AND TOFU STIR FRY
1 medium onion, chopped into medium sized pieces 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped into medium sized pieces 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thin using a vegetable peeler 1 tbs canola oil Canola Oil Spray Marinated Tofu slices ¼ cup tamari sauce 1 tsp cornstarch The juice of 1 lime 1 handful of roasted cashews 1 cup of whole grain basmati rice – to serve
For the Marinated Tofu:
- Take half a block of Extra Firm Tofu and slice it into ¼” slices. I take a baking sheet, line it with 2-3 layers of paper towel, place the tofu slices on top of the paper towel, cover them with 2-3 more layers of paper towels, top with another baking sheet and apply some weight on top. Press it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In a medium skillet, sprayed with canola medium-high heat we need to get the tofu pieces golden. Just place them on the skillet until they get some color.
- While that is happening, mix together in a shallow pyrex dish the tamari sauce, the lime juice and a bit of water. Dip the tofu pieces in the tamari/lime mixture and let them soak the seasoning. Soak them for about 15-20 minutes and set them aside.
Now on to the stir-fry…
- Prep the vegetables while the tofu pieces are marinating.
- In a medium-sized skillet, over medium-high heat again, heat up the canola oil. Add the onions, peppers and carrots and sauté them until they begin to cook, but are still crunchy. Add the tofu pieces so they can dry up a bit and get hot. Stir everything together.
- Mix the leftover tamari/lime mixture with the cornstarch. If you have little sauce left (less than ¼ cup) just add a bit more tamari or lime juice, whatever you prefer.
- After a few minutes, add the cashews to the skillet. Mix well the tamari/cornstarch mixture and add to the skillet. The sauce will thicken as it heats up. When the sauce gets somewhat thick, turn the stove off. Don’t let the sauce get too thick on you.
Serve over whole-grain basmati rice.