January 4, 2013

Chilly Tofu | Quick Vegan Appetiser

Honestly, the new year has been intriguing enough (I know its been only 4 days since, but...) to let me experiment with new stuff. Mushroom has have never appealed to my palate although I do cook for my daughter and S as both are quite fond of it. But Tofu is another story. Everytime my shopping list goes askew with 'health foods' and I load up on Tofu from the  supermarket, well ...it stays right there, in the chiller of my refrigerator right up to its expiry date. Either I dont muster up courage to use Tofu to prepare something new, or I totally forget I even bought the packet in the first place. 

Well, this time, I wasnt upto letting that packet stay idle. Sure enough, I rustled up this honest-to-goodness quick and yummy Chilli Tofu, which could pass as an appetiser / snack or even a whole meal by itself. We paired it with Veg Fried Rice and although this turns out to be a tad dry compared to the usual manchurian with gravy, we enjoyed it a lot as it was a wholesome meal. Without much ado, lets get to this quick Indo-Chinese recipe

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 2
Difficulty level : Easy
Spice Level : Medium
Serving suggestions Veg Fried Rice or with just ketchup on the side.

  • Tofu - firm (or Bean Curd) - 200 gms
  • Green Onions / Spring Onions - 1/4 cup (diced fine)
  • White Onions - 1 large - slit lengthwise
  • Garlic - minced - 1/2 TBSP
  • Ginger minced - 1/2 TBSP
  • Capsicum / Bell pepper - 1 large
  • Olive Oil - 3 TBSP
  • Green chillies - 2 medium (low spice variety)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Low sodium Soya Sauce - 1 TBSP
  • Red Chilli Sauce - 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli paste - 1/2 tsp (adjust spice)
  • Sugar - 1 TBSP (optional)

Deseed the chillies and slit them lengthwise. Mince garlic and ginger finely. Cut the onions lengthwise and dice the spring onions (greens) finely.
Thaw the tofu, and cube them into bite sized pieces. I find that wrapping the uncut tofu block in several sheets of kitchen tissue helps thaw them quickly and drains out any extra moisture.

Heat oil in a wok or a deep bottomed pan. Once moderately hot, scald the garlic, gimger and green chillies and give a quick stir till garlic browns.
Now lower the flame and saute white onions & bell peppers till the onions turn slightly pink and wilt, about 4 - 5 mins. Ensure the bell peppers stay crunchy (you could saute them separately too)
Once done, add the sauces, salt and sugar. Stir quickly.
Add the cubed Tofu and toss for 1 - 2 mins. Ensure the pieces don't break or dis-generate. Sprinkle half the chopped spring onion greens and mix once more.
Once the tofu has absorbed all the spices and sauce, transfer to a serving bowl. 
Garnish with remaining spring onions and serve immediately

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