You can make this recipe from “The 15 Minute Gourmet Vegetarian” cookbook without tofu…but what kind of life is that? If you love tofu, this is a great recipe to have it in. However if you don’t it works just beautifully without it. So don’t fret. If you absolutely have to have some meat in here, I’d suggest a little bit of pork. Just a little bit. You definitely want the veggies to be the star of this dish, but I think maybe 1/2 a cup of ground pork would give this a good meaty taste without overpowering the other flavors. You could also use some slivers of beef in this. See? I’m not a totally heartless vegetarian. I understand some of you out there have to eat your meat. 🙂 I definitely recommend cutting the asparagus into bite-sized pieces. Heating up leftover asparagus is not my favorite thing ever. It can get chewy and stringy sometimes. And that’s never super fun to try to bite into. Blech! This is best hot and fresh, but leftovers are great too.
Asparagus-Cashew Stir Fry
for the Soy-Ginger Sauce:
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
dash of ground white pepper
for the stir fry:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup raw cashews
toasted sesame seeds, optional
1. Heat the oil in a large wok on medium-high heat.
2. Add the asparagus, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.
3. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or till vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch till mixed. Then add the remaining sauce ingredients, mix well again and set aside.
5. Reduce the heat on the stove to medium.
6. Re-stir the sauce mixture and pour it over the vegetables. Mix well.
7. Add in the tofu and cashews and mix again.
8. Cook at least 3 minutes more, or till sauce is thick and bubbling. Stir every once in a while.
9. Adjust the seasoning to taste, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve hot over rice.