Here's the back story. Shana used to always order broccoli in garlic sauce any time we went to a Chinese restaurant. Then, one day she found out that the garlic sauce often has oyster sauce in it, making it not veg*n. Needless to say, Shana was devastated. So I decided to see if I could replicate a good version of it at home. There are a ton of recipes for it online and they are quite varied! Some of them I discarded almost immediately after looking at the recipes (e.g., some call for minced onion, but the stuff Shana ordered never had onion chunks in it and I was going for authentic "Americanized Chinese restaurant"). Finally I found one that looked about right and have since tweaked it into something we both really like.
Now, don't panic, but this recipe involves tofu. Maybe you've had bad experiences with tofu.
- Maybe you think tofu is tasteless. You're mostly right! Tofu takes on the flavors of whatever else you've got going on in the pan. If that's your issue, the sauce is flavorful enough that you don't need to worry about no flavor.
- Maybe you think tofu has an awful texture. Some people can't deal with the "scrambled egg-ness" of tofu. However, the key to this recipe is that you freeze the tofu. Freezing the tofu changes its texture dramatically. You'll honestly be surprised.
Broccoli & Tofu with Vegan Garlic Sauce
2 bricks (usually 14-16 oz.) frozen and thawed tofu, see below
|Yes, that is a colander full of broccoli.|
2 c. veggie broth (I use Better Than Bullion "No Beef" flavor)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
scant 1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
At least 24 hours before you plan to make this meal, freeze your tofu. Open the tofu bricks (use the water-packed, refrigerated kind, not the shelf-stable stuff), place them between layers of a tea-towel, and gently press on them to remove the excess water. Alternatively, put a cookie sheet on top of them with a heavy book in it and leave them for 20 minutes or so. Then, wrap them in a layer of foil and toss them in the freezer. If you plan to keep them on hand for a while, put a layer of plastic wrap under the foil. These will keep for months in the freezer.
1. Thaw the tofu in the microwave, then cut it into squares like below (cut on the dotted lines) and lightly fry in a skillet or on an electric griddle (my choice!).
2. Prepare the rice as per package directions.
3. In a medium pot, combine the broth, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
|The start of the sauce|
4. Meanwhile, saute the broccoli in a little bit of oil in a large skillet over reasonably high heat. Occasionally add a bit of water to partially steam the broccoli.5. When the sauce has boiled, mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water (less than 1/4 c.) and add to the sauce while still over the heat, stirring constantly as you pour. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens.
6. Combine broccoli, tofu, and sauce, stir to combine.
7. Serve over rice.
Serves 4, or 2 for dinner and lunches the next day
Original recipe source: http://cupcakepunk.blogspot.com/2007/12/tofu-broccoli-in-garlic-sauce.
The post "Vegan Chinese Garlic Sauce" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.