Have a hankering for Chinese on this Meatless Monday? Skip the MSG but keep the flavour with this remixed Chinese-inspired dish.
Have a hankering for Chinese on this Meatless Monday? Us too. Unfortunately, most North American versions are little more than a greasy, sugary, overly salty, and MSG-laden excuse for Chinese food that is far removed from the healthy dishes served up by traditional cooks.
Luckily, you can satisfy your cravings for speedy Chinese without wrecking your waistline by making your own.
The following meatless recipe from Matthew Kadey replaces pork or chicken with tofu, and the sauce tastes much lighter and fresher than the mystery neon goop. The coating gives the tofu wonderful texture, but choose organic to avoid genetically modified soy.
Making a vegetarian Chinese feast? Try out our Egg Fried Rice and our Wonton Soup (simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and swap out the shrimp for extra assorted mushrooms such as shiitake and lobster).
Sweet and Sour Tofu
1/3 cup (80 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium ketchup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) turbinado or raw cane sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) plus 1/4 cup (60 mL) cornstarch
1 large free-range egg white
1 block firm tofu, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) cubes
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cooking oil
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced, green and white parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ginger, minced
1 cup (250 mL) cubed pineapple
4 cups (1 L) cooked brown rice
In small bowl whisk together broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ketchup, sugar, 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch, and salt to taste. Set aside.
In separate bowl whisk together egg white and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. Add tofu cubes and toss to coat. Stir in remaining cornstarch and mix well.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cooking oil, swirl, and add tofu. Cook until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil to wok or skillet, swirl, and add peppers, green onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, or until peppers are tender, stirring often. Pour in sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Add tofu and pineapple; cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
Serve over brown rice.
Each serving contains: 511 calories; 16 g protein; 19 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 70 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 189 mg sodium