This was supposed to be a super healthy tofu stir fry, when an impromptu gathering of close friends caused me to amp up the recipe. I'm glad I did because this dish came out really tasty, satisfied my tofu cravings, and still ended up fairly healthy for me and my dining companions. The pickled peppers as a garnish allowed each guest to tailor the dish to their desired heat level, which was perfect for one of my friends who wanted the meal to burn a hole through her sinus allergies.
I'm gonna call this Chinese Five Spice. Cause I'm good at math.
After this, things got a little hectic while I tried to juggle my light, camera, beer, and the fast paced nature of a good Asian stir-fry, so I missed out on some pics. You would think that one of my friends woulda helped me huh?
Either way, the dish came out awesome!
A lot of times when I make stir-fries, I want to put everything in and the food ends up in a grey area that I like to call "generic Asian". This dish however was decidedly Chinese.
Very savory and sour with a nice hint of sweetness and of course a little zing from the pickled peppers
1 pound pork
2 packages extra firm tofu
1 head cauliflower
2 handfuls snap peas
1 small onion
2 ribs celery
3 tablespoons Garlic ginger chile paste(equal parts ginger and garlic with a little chile in paste form)
¼ of a cabbage
1 heaping tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice
Quick stir fry sauce (soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil and honey)
2 tablespoons of a cornstarch slurry
Rice stick noodles
Pickled hot peppers
Cut the tofu into cubes and allow to drain on paper towels to remove excess water. In a hot wok with oil, sear the tofu in batches to brown on all sides and remove from wok. Next add the pork and brown. Remove and drain some of the excess fat. Cook the onion, carrot and celery down for a few minutes in the wok. Add the cabbage and cook another minute. Add the garlic ginger chile paste and cook one minute. Add the 5 spice. Add the sauce and the cauliflower and let cook until the cauliflower is tender but still has some bite to it. Add enough of the slurry until the sauce reaches your desired texture. Return the pork and tofu to the pan along with the snap peas and some sesame seeds and allow everything to heat up. Serve over rice stick noodles and top with the cilantro and pickled peppers.