Asian five-spice powder turns tofu into tasty kung pao

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, March 25, 2008 5:09pm
  • Life

This healthy, vegetarian take on the Asian menu staple comes together in just 30 minutes.

Oyster sauce and five-spice powder should be available in the Asian section of most large grocers.

Kung pao tofu

114-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and patted dry

1/2teaspoon five-spice powder, divided

1tablespoon canola oil

1/2cup water

3tablespoons oyster-flavored or oyster sauce

1/2teaspoon cornstarch

12ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)

1yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1tablespoon minced garlic

2tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts

2teaspoons hot sesame oil (optional)

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a medium bowl, combine the tofu with 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder. Set aside.

In a large, nonstock skillet over medium-high, heat the canola oil. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the water, oyster sauce, cornstarch and remaining five-spice powder. Set aside.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the broccoli and yellow and red bell peppers. Saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan along with the peanuts and stir to coat with sauce. If using, stir in the hot sesame oil.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 197 calories; 1 g fat (2 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 622 mg sodium.

From the March-April 2008 issue of Eating Well magazine

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