By the time you read this I’ll be a vegan chef. Well, almost. A few months ago I enrolled in a new program at Matthew Kenney Culinary and I couldn’t be more excited to start. As a part of the Fundamentals of Plant-Based Cooking course, I’ll learn the ins and outs of vegan cooking through hands-on training, lectures, tastings and other unique forms of instruction. But get this – it’s in Thailand. I’m flying across the world to totally immerse myself in the experience of vegan cooking. Yeah – I know.
To prepare my taste buds for the ride of a lifetime, most what I’ve been cooking at home lately has been inspired by dishes from Southeast Asia. In other words, there’s a lot of ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, green onion, chili sauce, tofu, and rice noodles coming through my kitchen. While I’ve always considered myself a pizza girl at heart, I think I’m turning a new leaf in 2016. With Asian cuisine, I feel super healthy even after eating a huge meal because most of what’s in is light and fresh, yet full of satisfying flavor.
Now that I’m officially in love with the flavors of Southeast Asia, I always keep my eyes open for new vegan recipes I can add to my repertoire. As luck would have it, this recipe for Crispy Tofu with Roasted Carrots and Snow Peas came through my inbox at precisely the right time. I got a super fancy, stainless steel wok for Christmas this year and I’ve been looking for excuses to use it. You don’t necessarily need a wok for this recipe, but you can certainly use one to fry the tofu. Otherwise, any skillet will do.
I have to say, this is one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever made. It’s also pretty quick as long as you have the carrots roasting, rice or noodles cooking and tofu frying at the same time. Don’t worry; it’s easier than it sounds. Top it off with crisp snow peas and a sweet, savory, spicy sauce and you have a restaurant-worthy dish in about an hour’s time.
Crispy Tofu with Roasted Carrots and Snow Peas
From: 1-2 Simple Cooking
Ingredients for Tofu and Carrots
- 1 block firm tofu (14 oz)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 6 carrots, washed and sliced about 1” thick
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- Handful raw snow peas, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Steamed rice or noodles
Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Sesame Sauce
- ⅓ C soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp distilled water
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds