Stir Fry Sans Soy Sauce

So as I’m writing this post, I’m pausing to take bites of this simple stir fry. Craaazy right? Basically, this “recipe” happened because I thought I was making stir fry for dinner, but when I went to grab some from the fridge, well, we didn’t have any. And I didn’t feel like going all the way downstairs and around the corner to pick some up, so…I improvised (that’s a polite euphemism for “I was unprepared”). The sesame oil, garlic, and ginger actually add enough flavor to make up for the absence of soy sauce, but of course, if you have it, you should totally pour it all over everything at the end.


-Vegetable oil

-1 block firm tofu

-Minced garlic

-2 small heads of broccoli

-1 red pepper

-Baby carrots

-1 can water chestnuts

-1 can shitakke mushrooms

-Sesame oil

-Ground ginger

Step 1: Chop up everything into more-or less evenly sized pieces. This means that a cube of tofu should be roughly the same size as a piece of pepper, to ensure that everything cooks evenly.

Step 2: In a large saucepan (preferably, a wok) heat vegetable oil over high heat. In batches, add tofu cubes and saute for 30 seconds-1 minute, until the underside is a light golden brown. Flip the tofu cubes over and do the same on the opposite side(annoying, I know. PS I used two forks to do this). When the tofu is done browning, transfer to a plate and set aside. After about 3 batches (remember to wash your pan in between!), you should have a pile of something that looks like this:

It’s better to have them a little on the under-cooked side, because you’ll be adding them back to the pan later.

Step 3: Add more oil to your pan, and then brown garlic for about 30 seconds. Add in chopped peppers, broccoli, and  carrots, and let cook for 2-5 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened but not limp.

Step 4: Add the water chestnuts and shitakke mushrooms and saute until vegetables are limp and most of the water has evaporated, about 3-5 more minutes.

Step 5: Return tofu to the pan and add sesame oil and a hearty helping of ginger (especially if you’re using powdered ginger, which isn’t as strong).

And there you go: dinner! You can make some rice or noodles to go with it, too, if you want.


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