Recipe: Stir-fried tofu with green beans

The Food section of this blog was rather empty till now which is a real shame as Japanese cuisine is arguably one of the healthiest and most delicious in the world. To kick it all off, I finally decided to post the first recipe. I believe that there are many good, traditional Japanese recipes all over the web already, and I love to experiment and improve my self all the time. I will thus primarily concentrate on Japan-inspired cookery. It’ll involve mostly native ingredients, but it’ll always have an original spin to it, and that’s what cooking is all about—isn’t it?

Stir-fried tofu with green beans

The following is a very healthy, low-fat, vegan meal. It is relatively easy to make and it can be served both as the main dish or as a side dish accompanied with rice.

Serves: 1–2 (main dish), 3–4 (side dish)
Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time: 10min
200g firm to extra-firm tofu, pressed and diced
200g fresh green beans, chopped or whole (or frozen green beans)
1 diced onion
2tsp minced garlic
2tsp minced ginger
2tbsp sesame oil (or other vegetable oil)
1tbsp mirin (or sake/nihonshu)
2tbsp tamari (or shōyu)
1tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
sesame seeds, peanuts, or cashew

Press the tofu between paper towels for 10-15 minutes and dice it into 1/2cm cubes.

How to press tofu and why is it important?
Pressing tofu removes excess moisture which in turn allows it to absorb more flavor during the cooking process and improves it’s texture. To press the tofu, lay it down on a flat plate, put another plate on top of it and finally place a heavy object (ex. a textbook) on top of it. The gravity will do the rest and in about 15 minutes your block of tofu should be ready for consumption further processing. If it’s still soggy, repeat the process.

Mix 1tbsp of tamari, 1tbsp of mirin, 1tbsp of sesame oil and 1tbsp of maple syrup and the diced tofu & green beans in a bowl; toss to coat and let soak for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, dice 1 onion and mince 2tsp of ginger and 2 garlic cloves. Heat the pan or wok on high heat, add the diced onion, ginger and garlic, and sauté—stirring constantly—for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the marinated tofu & green beans, onions, and after a few minutes 1tbsp of soy sauce; stir well. Sauté for about five minutes stirring frequently, then add 2tbsp of water, cover and let cook for another 5-10 minutes, checking from time to time. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and serve hot, alone or with rice.