Black Pepper Stir-Fried Tofu and Asparagus
This fast, one-skillet stir-fry dinner combines vibrant spring vegetables with hearty tofu in a rich and spicy black-pepper sauce. The tofu is simmered in the fragrant sauce, which is spiked with aromatic garlic and ginger (use freshly ground pepper if possible for the ideal combination of flavor and heat) until it has absorbed all of the flavors and is nicely glazed. This recipe is perfect for using up that pencil-thin asparagus, which cooks quickly and toes the line between crisp and tender, while sweet snap peas balance out the assertive sauce. The dish can be served over baby spinach or in lettuce cups instead of with rice for a satisfying salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 6tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2tablespoons turbinado or light brown sugar
- 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or a vegan alternative
- 1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1pound firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- 2tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
- 1large shallot, finely chopped
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- 1tablespoon minced peeled ginger
- 1pound pencil-thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into thirds
- 4ounces snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- Steamed short grain brown or white rice, for serving
Step 1In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons of water. In a large nonstick skillet, combine tofu and half of the black pepper sauce, and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and nicely coats the tofu, about 5 minutes. Slide glazed tofu and any sauce out onto a rimmed plate.
Step 2Wipe or rinse out the skillet and heat oil over medium. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add asparagus and snap peas, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallions, the remaining black pepper sauce and the tofu, and cook, stirring, until vegetables are evenly coated in the sauce. Stir in cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 3Divide tofu and vegetables among plates and spoon over any remaining pan sauce. Serve with rice.