When I threw together this snap pea, mushroom and tofu stir fry, I had in mind that warmer and lighter days were around the corner. I had visions of taking long walks through Central Park wearing light sweaters and my favorite pair of ballerina Crocs. But alas, we are expecting snow tomorrow. It's a bit of a cruel April Fool's Day joke that Mother Nature is playing on us, but hopefully it will be the last one for a while.
I am hoping that next week's weather will the bring warmth necessary to coax the lovely Spring flowers out of its state of hibernation, and that soon we'll be surrounded by graceful, elegant tulips and sweetly fragranced hyacinths lining Park Avenue and Central Park.
This snap pea, shiitake mushroom stir fry is an early celebration of the abundance of fresh produce that will arrive at the farmer's markets in the northeast over the coming months. The snap peas offer a fresh sweet green crispness, the shiitake mushrooms provide meaty earthy bites, and the tofu gives a solid creamy texture against the backdrop of a spicy garlic, ginger, and soy-based sauce.
I tweaked the recipe a bit by draining the tofu for a denser texture, and so that more of the flavorful sauce would be absorbed. The sauce has also been doubled in this recipe to add more moisture to the entire dish. I also recommend allowing the tofu cubes to crust a bit in the pan before sauteing. The honey in the sauce does a great job in aiding the tofu in browning.
Snap Pea Tofu Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry Recipe
Adapted from Bon Appétit | January 2004
- 1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps quartered
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in 1/4 inch strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 4 green onions, sliced on diagonal
- Drain the tofu, place it onto a flat plate. Top the tofu with another plate, flat side down, to help press excess liquid out. You may want to place a weight on top of the upper plate, such as a small can, to help press the liquid. Leave for 30 minutes. Drain and slice into 3/4 inch cubes.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add tofu and stir to coat; let marinate 30 minutes to an hour. Drain, reserving marinade in small bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup water and cornstarch into marinade.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and slightly sauté until golden, about 2-4 minutes, depending on how brown you would like it. Using slotted spoon, transfer tofu to plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and red bell pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry 30 seconds. Return tofu to skillet; drizzle reserved marinade mixture over. Stir-fry until marinade thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with green onions and serve with steamed rice.