Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stir Fried Celery and Carrots with Dried Tofu

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Spring is on its way.  Pretty soon, the grass will be greener, the cherry blossom will be blooming; the dog will be happier since we will take him out more with nicer weather. This is just an anticipation.  The gloomy sky out there says nothing about spring.  To keep my hope alive, I need some spring colors.  Here is a simple stir-fry dish with lovely colors.

Kitchen notes:  
  • The dried tofu is an extra firm tofu without much moisture. They usually come with different flavors and five spice is one of the most popular flavors. There are usually 4 pieces in a package. You can get it from most of the Chinese grocers. 
  • To remove the strings of the celery, place the inside (the hollow side) of the celery stalk upward.  Cut the bottom white part close to the root slightly, not all the way through. Then bend the cut portion outward and pull towards the top of the stalk with the strings.  

Recipe:  Stir Fried Celery and Carrots with Dried Tofu
Serves 2 (double the recipe to serve more)

1     Tbsp canola oil 
2     ribs of celery, cut into matchstick, around 1 1/2" long
1     small carrot, cut into match stick, around 1 1/2" long 
1     piece of five spice dried tofu, cut into match stick, around 1 1/2" long
1     Tbsp chicken or vegetable stock or water
1/4  Tsp salt

1     Tsp Chinese cooking wine (optional)
1     Tsp sesame oil

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Add the celery, stir fry for 2 mins.  Add the carrots, chicken stock and salt.  The moisture from the stock help the veggies to cook faster.  But too much moisture may steam the veggies instead. So avoid putting too much in. Stir fry until the veges start to soften, about 2 more mins.  Add the dried tofu and the cooking wine (optional). Toss everything together and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 mins or until the vegetables are tender.  You can add a little bit more chicken stock, one Tbsp at a time, if the pan is too dry and the veges start to brown. To finish off, add the sesame oil and stir fry for a few second.  Serve immediately.      

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