Broccoli, Bean Curd (and chicken) Stirfry

This is one of my favorite stirfrys, or at least a variation of it. It's a recipe that you'll find in most Chinese restaurants but is very simple to make at home. The original recipe is sans chicken (hence the reason it's in parenthesis in the title), but having a teen-aged son usually requires some sort of meat in the recipe to make it palatable (who am I kidding...I like it too). To include chicken in the recipe simply saute it prior to the other ingredients, remove it from the pan, proceed with the recipe, then add it back to the pan once the sauce is added. Your first inclination is likely to use chicken breast, but I suggest boneless thighs...more flavor and juicier. Anyhow, it's easy to prepare, full-flavored, and healthy also (all that broccoli!). To see an earlier post with pictures regarding this recipe, click here. To see it at the Artvoice website (where it was originally published), click here.

Broccoli & Bean Curd with Ginger, Garlic, & Hot Peppers
Yield: 4 servings
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 heads broccoli, cut into florets
12 ounces firm tofu, sliced into
1-inch pieces
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 small onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix to dissolve the cornstarch and set aside. Par-cook the broccoli in boiling water, then drain it and cool it under cold running water.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully add the tofu and cook it on both sides until golden brown. Remove the tofu and transfer to absorbent paper. Carefully pour most of the oil into a separate pan (or other safe container), leaving just enough oil to stir fry in. Heat the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and hot peppers. Sauté for another minute or two.

Stir in the chicken broth; bring it to a boil, then stir in the soy-cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a simmer, then add the broccoli and bean curd. Stir and toss it to evenly coat it with sauce. Continue to heat the pan just until the broccoli is heated throughout.