This is a simple, but light dish, with tofu and asparagus stir fried with red pepper, zucchini, carrots, avocado oil and sriracha, then tossed with kale. This makes a small appetizer for 4 or a larger bowl for 2.
For the tofu
225g extra-firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
1/4t coarse sea salt to taste
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
For the vegetables
2T avocado oil
1 small sweet onion, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced, 1/4″
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, minced
8-10 stalks of asparagus, bottoms snapped off, cut in 1″ segments
1 red pepper, cored, seed, and sliced 1/2″
2 small carrots, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced on an angle, 1/10″
1 small zucchini, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced on a angle, 1/8″
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the sauce
1/2 cup boiling water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)2T tomato passata (or puree)
1T white pickling vinegar
1/2T sriracha (or to taste — I use 1T)
1/2T coconut sugar
2T tamari (or to taste)
1T tapioca starch dissolved in 2T water
Optional: Add rice or rice noodles for a fuller meal. Add whole cashews. Reduce the avocado oil to 1 tablespoon and add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the sauce if you like. If you have the time, make the sauce first and marinate the tofu in the sauce for 30 minutes, then toss with corn starch. To water saute, replace the avocado oil with 3 tablespoons water and add the tofu with the asparagus. The tofu won’t be as crispy but the cornstarch also provides cling for the sauce. You can replace the kale with other greens, but if you do, pick a sturdy green that will hold up under the warmth of the other vegetables.
Press your tofu ahead of time if necessary. Prepare your vegetables so they’re ready to go. Cube and toss the tofu in the corn starch until well-coated. Bring the 1/2 cup water to a boil and add the kombu to start the rehydration process.
When ready, warm a large frying pan or wok on medium high heat. Add the avocado oil. Add the tofu and fry until lightly browned (should be 2-3 minutes). Working quickly, remove the tofu and set aside.
Add the onion and stir fry for 2 minutes, deglazing the pan as you do. Add the chili, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for another minute. Add the tofu and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper, zucchini and carrots. Stir fry another 5 minutes.
Remove the kombu from the water and whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients. Add the sauce to the pan and deglaze again if necessary. Stir fry another 2 – 3 minutes.
Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture to the pan and stir until it thickens (should be immediately). Add the kale and stir until lightly wilted (about 2 minutes). Season to taste. Spoon out into bowls and serve