Monday, November 5, 2012

teriyaki tofu with asparagus + snow peas recipe

Teriyaki tofu w/ asparagus + snowpeas

The downside to being vegetarian and having a husband who eats chicken is that I have to handle and cook something that still grosses me out, even after years of working in the industry dealing with it on a daily basis. The upside is, that on the nights when I cook it for the boys of the family I get to cook whatever I feel like eating, knowing full-well that my little trusty side-kick Ada (who has recently and much to my delight given up on eating chicken, most of the time) will happily gobble up anything that I put in front of her. This girl can eat and with all the recipe testing going on around here this is a good thing. When the boys turn up their noses at something I've made that's not to their picky tastes, I can be guaranteed to at least have someone keen try my food and more often than not be asked for more once the first taster has gone in a matter of seconds.

Teriyaki tofu w/ asparagus + snowpeas

On these nights I tend to cook quick things like stir-fries or curries, two of my favourite foods. See when you have to cook two separate dinners, spending hours cooking both really is not my idea of fun. On the nights when Si and both the kids are eating seafood like prawns or mussels I tend to be even more simple with my meals and fry up an egg or two to have on rice, with salad on the side. 
With all the beautiful spring produce around at the moment, asparagus, broccolini, spring onions and snow peas have been making appearances nearly every night in some form or another, and stir-fried asparagus in particular is my favourite way to eat this seasonal delicacy. 

Asparagus Spring onion Snowpea Prep Prep

I like to always remove the gag-inducing inner string from my snow peas before cooking, which is really easily done. Simply snap off the leafy tip, pulling towards the inside of the pea. A quick little downward tug should take care of the rest. 

So do you sometimes have to cook two separate meals in your house? And does it drive you mad or do you enjoy the freedom it brings to cook whatever you'd like to eat?

Teriyaki tofu w/ asparagus + snowpeas

teriyaki tofu w/ asparagus + snow peas 
This made enough to completely fill both Ada and I up for dinner with rice. But could easily be doubled etc, to feed more. I use kikkoman gluten-free soy sauce and you can find mirin in the Asian section of your supermarket or at your local Asian supermarket (where it's usually way cheaper). What I call spring onions, are known in some parts as shallots. Oh and of course if spring veges aren't in season where you are, simple sub in your favourite autumn/winter veges.. broccoli, steamed pumpkin etc.
Serves 2-3 decent sized portions with rice 

350g packet firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 2cm cubes
1x 200g bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, then cut in half horizontally 
2 good handfuls of snow peas, inner string removed (see above + photos)
4 spring onions, white end only, cut into 4cm lengths with some of the green tips reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free if need be)
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon unrefined raw sugar
the juice from 1/4 medium lemon (approx 1 tablespoon)
Cooked rice and sliced spring onions to serve
Hot sauce, to serve if desired (I add heat to everything)

First up make sure you have all your vegetable prep done before you start to cook, as the cooking process only takes a matter of minutes. Combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl, mix well and set aside (near your stove-top) for later. Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook tofu over medium heat, turning every couple of minutes until evenly browned on each side (this is a bit of a pain to do, but so worth it when all that lovely sauce sticks to the golden bits). Once all golden and lovely, transfer tofu to a plate. Place pan back on the heat, add a dash more oil if needed and stir-fry all the veges for 1-2 minutes until just starting to wilt, add tofu back into pan, then pour over sauce. Stir-fry for a further minute until veges are just tender and sauce has reduced a little. Serve hot over cooked rice, scattered with chopped spring onion tips and hot sauce, if desired.


  1. A yummy recipe that I will definitely try! Thank you Emma for sharing this.

  2. Wow. That looks so delicious!! And with those photographs of yours, its so tempting. Lovely!

  3. I was vegetarian from the age of 11 - 19 and my Mum often asked me to cook a separate dish for myself (which I think is where I learned a lot of my cooking skills!). Even though I now eat meat (including your dreaded chicken!) I love tofu and this looks like a deliciously simple way to serve it.

    1. Ah cool, so it was a blessing in disguise having to cook for yourself

  4. Looks healthy and delicious. Hurrah for your little sidekick! How adorable and helpful. x

  5. when i lived with my parents, on the nights that bun bo hue was made i always made myself something else to eat. i would explain to my stepmother that it was not my fave dish and i would either have leftovers or make a simple instant noodle bowl to eat with the rest of the family. i didn't think it was fair to require her to make me something else just because of my food preference and as an adult now i am lucky in that my darling beloved will eat anything i put in front of him. my roommate before him was the same.

    incidentally, i now love bun bo hue and truth be told, if push came to shove, i would make a separate meal for someone if they didn't like what i was eating, because ultimately, food is love and i like to prepare it for others.

    1. I like your way of thinking love :-) And funnily my hubby has never ever liked Pho (which is similar to Bun bo hue eh?) and his mum always just grilled meat to have with rice on nights she cooked Pho. Me, I could eat (vege) Pho everyday!

  6. This looks delicious. I 'll have to find something to replace the asparagus and peas here in the northern hemisphere. YUM!

    1. Any veges will do. Whatever you'd usually put in a stir-fry :-)

  7. I hate it when that little stringy bit is left on the pea too!
    I never cook two meals, except two pots of pasta (plain and gluten free) but I will dish up meals and scoop out offensive vegetables from my husbands serving so he gets more meat and us girls get more green goodies :)
    Great recipe indeed!

  8. Hi Emma, just made this dish! It was soooo tasty. I doubled the recipe to have some extra for lunches and did the tofu in about 3 batches. I also halved the amount of oil cos my wok is brand new. :-)

    I also used shitake mushrooms instead of aspargus, and it was delish!

    1. Oh great Julie! Shiitake mushrooms would be LOVELY :-)

  9. That sounds like a huge pain, to cook two meals. The closest I've come to doing that is at my father-in-law's house, when I made pasta with beans and tomatoes and ate that, then also made a separate meat sauce for omnivores to spoon over it once they'd dished theirs up. My beloved omnivores were fine with that, since they all got what they wanted and they were all right with having beans in the pasta. I also could have left the beans in their own bowl and people could just get their own, like a taco bar. Maybe you could make a meal like this teriaki tofu, but saute some chicken in a separate pan so that anyone who wants it can add it to their stir fry. Or make a stew, and have some sauteed beef on the side. You know, present the meat as an ingredient for people to add, rather than doing two whole meals. I would hate that.

    1. Oh nah, it really is fine. I only cook chicken about 2 times a month, really no biggy. And I just grill it Vietnamese style and do often serve stir-fried veges or whatever I am eating that night on the side of the chicken for Papa and son and we all eat rice with our dinner. Easy.

  10. The tofu teriyaki looks really good. Love your pictures.
    I am always looking for ways to prepare tofu. I quite like it anyway, but it really needs to be done well if I want to serve it to nonvegetarian friends.

  11. Yum! My husband is the big tofu eater in our house, which works out nice. I'll have to make this soon!

  12. Yum! I love eating tofu out, but have never cooked it myself. Will have to give it a go.

  13. The winner of this dish is your sauce - it was amazing! You could use this to stir-fry a range of vegetables, or even with meat. I personally fried some garlic, ginger and chilli before frying the vegetables because I'm Asian, so I can't do without!

  14. Gee - that just looks so easy to make. I LOVE teriyaki tofu. Thanks for sharing.

    Robyn xx

  15. I just made this tonight and oh my word... the best! I never tried fried tofu but it's way better than meat!


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