Leah's Approximately Asian Veggies
This recipe is the creation and favorite of my oldest daughter, Leah. There is
lots of room for variation, and it's a quick, nutritious, tasty meal.
- 2-3 T. mild oil (canola works well)
- 0.5-1 tsp. cayenne pepper flakes
- 1-2 tsp. minced garlic, or the equivalent of fresh chopped garlic
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 medium (or 3 small) stalks of broccoli, cleaned well
and chopped into large bite-sized pieces
- 1 small can of sliced water chestnuts
- 10-14-ounces of firm tofu, cut into bite-sized
- (any other desired vegetables to make approximately the
same volume...cook in order of decreasing firmness, e.g.
carrots before peapods etc.)
- 1.5 cups cold water
- scant 0.5 cup cornstarch
- 3/8 cup (6 T.) soy sauce
- 1-2 T. (yes, tablespoons) ground ginger
Heat sauteeing mixture (oil, pepper flakes, garlic, ground pepper)
in a 5 quart saucepan until a drop of water sizzles.
Turn down to med-low. (Cover pot, because it will spatter.)
Add broccoli and cook, stirring periodically. it can be left
covered for several minutes at a time without sticking, but make
sure that the heat isn't too high and that the broccoli gets stirred
often enough to cook all parts evenly.
Meanwhile, in a container that can hold at least 2.5 cups of liquid,
mix all sauce ingredients, making sure that the cornstarch is
completely dissolved in the liquid.
When the broccoli is tender (just a short while after becoming
bright green), add chestnuts, then tofu, cooking a bit longer at
each step. If you are using other veggies, add in order of decreasing
When all the vegetables are cooked, pour in the sauce mixture
and turn the heat up slightly. Stir fairly often until the sauce
begins to thicken. Turn the heat down to simmer (or even off, if your
burner stays warm), and mix occasionally.
Serve over rice. This is excellent immediately but also keeps well in
the fridge. It serves 8 moderately hungry or 4 famished persons.