Stir frying is commonly known as a Chinese cooking technique.
The Chinese never knew much about stir fry until the Ming Dynasty. A half ball shaped pan, much larger and shallower than the pan we now know as ‘wok’ was used to dry grains. Boiling and steaming were the cooking methods in Chinese cooking.
Prosperity changed Chinese cooking over time, slowly, but surely. First royalty and affluent families attained access to oil and some smart chefs discovered that heated oil opened a door to a whole new way of cooking.
Chefs, working for royalty and rich influential people introduced new ‘fried’ dishes to their masters and as always, -having something different- was well received. The masters were happy and so where the chefs.
Woks improved in size and shape, the initial wok shaped pans, used for drying grains, were big and heavy cast iron monsters. Blacksmiths were ordered by the royals to make smaller versions that where easier to handle. Every order that came from the palace had to be complied with and so happened with the wok.
Prosperity spread and gradually more and more people got access to fuel and oil for stir frying. The stir frying technique moved along and became one of the most popular Chinese cooking methods.
This recipe is vegetarian, just change the tofu to cubed chicken meat if you like a 'meaty version'
- For the sweet and sour tofu
- • 4 (2 1/2 inch square blocks) firm tofu
- • 3 cloves garlic
- • 1 green bell pepper (cut into 1 inch squares)
- • 1 large onion (cut into wedges)
- • 4 oz carrot ( cut into wedges)
- • 4 oz fresh pineapple (cut small)
- • 1 cup firm round cabbage (cut in strips)
- • ½ cup olive oil
- • 1 tbsp soya sauce
- • 1 tbsp corn starch
- Sauce ingredients:
- • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- • 3 tbsp palm sugar
- • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- • 1 tbsp corn starch + 3 tbsp water
- • 4 tbsp water
- • ½ tsp salt + pinch of pepper
- 1• Mix the vinegar, sugar, tomato sauce, water and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl and keep aside. Mix the corn starch +water in another bowl.
- 2• Heat the olive oil in a skillet on high heat, coat the tofu with the corn starch from the tofu ingredients and add to the hot oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the tofu regularly so they turn golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
- 3• Cut the tofu blocks into 8 smaller squares per block.
- 4• Drain all but 2 tbsp of oil from the pan, add the other ingredients one by one, stirring continuously on high heat. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
- 5• Add the tofu and the sauce ingredients, mix well when the mix comes to a boil lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- 6• Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch + water mix.
- 7• Check for taste and serve hot with a bowl of steaming rice.
- Total Fat15.3 g24%
- Sat. Fat2.8 g14%
- Sodium341 mg14%
- Carbs32.8 g11%
- Fiber6.6 g26%
- Protein29.3 g59%