Bean curd, also known as tofu, is a stable food among vegetarians and vegans. This is because it is very rich in protein, serving as a healthy alternative to animal-based products and meat. Bean curd comes all the way from the Chinese region, Sichuan.
Tofu is a very versatile ingredient that everyone can enjoy, as it can give many dishes and diets an interesting twist. There are many ways to cook bean curd. While this vegetarian bean curd recipe is stir-fried, you can also steam, skew, or grill it, or even add it to your broths and soups. You can relish it with the seasonings of your choice.
Vegetarian Bean Curd Recipe
Requiring no more than 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cooking time, this quick and easy recipe is guaranteed to be a family-favorite dish. It will be your go-to meal whenever you want to cook up something healthy in no time. The best thing about this recipe is that you can find most of the ingredients we’ll use in your kitchen.
- 2 cloves of grated garlic
- 1 tsp of red chili flakes
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp of sesame oil
- ½ tbsp of black pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 can of preserved bamboo shoots
- Diced spring onion (for decorative purposes)
- 12 oz of dried tofu/ bean curd sticks and water to rehydrate it
- 2 tbsp of doubanjiang sauce (or soy sauce)
After you’ve rehydrated the dried bean curds in water, place them into a pot of water and bring them to a boil. Generally speaking, you should leave it on the stove for around 10 minutes. However, you should still check the package for detailed or specific instructions.
In a medium-sized bowl, place your doubanjiang or soy sauce, garlic, chili flakes, honey, ginger, and pepper. Mix them well together.
After you’ve taken the boiled bean curds off the stove, place them onto a plate or any flat surface. Gently pat them dry and cut them into strips. They should be approximately 2 inches long.
If you have a wok, pour the sesame oil inside and bring the fire to medium heat. You can use a frying pan, as well. Place the curd strips over the hot sesame oil and fry them for around 2 to 3 minutes. When they are a light gold color, mix in all your spices and the bamboo shoots. Allow the bean curd strips to fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. They should become fragrant by then.
Place the vegan, stir-fried, home-style tofu onto a platter. Sprinkle the diced spring onions and serve hot.
Additional Notes and Tips
- The reason why we use rehydrated bean curds in this recipe is because of their unique texture. However, if you wish to substitute it with a block of tofu, you can do that.
In that case, you must use a tofu press to get rid of excess liquid before you start the prepping process. This will help you achieve a better texture and will make the dish more flavorful.
- After you cut the bean curds into strips, you can broil them. This is optional, but if you wish to try it out, you can line a baking sheet with baking paper and place them on top. Brush the bean curds with the spice mixture of your choice.
Be generous with the relish, and make sure to cover all the sides. Bring the heat to 350 °F and allow the bean curds to broil for five minutes. Remove them when they are fragrant and have a golden-brown color.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I serve this dish with?
You have numerous options when it comes to serving stir-fried bean curds. For instance, you can serve it with either white or brown rice. If you’re crazy about the aesthetics, you can serve the bean curds with a mix of wild rice and basmati. Not only would it be delicious, but the plate will look very colorful and appetizing.
If you like to mix things up and enjoy the occasional fusion, you can squeeze a lime over the dish before serving.
You can also serve the vegetable and tofu dish with your preferred type of Asian noodles or add the tofu to the salad of your choice. Our suggestion for the salad ingredients would be blue onions, romaine lettuce, baby tomatoes, papaya chunks, and mangoes. You can top it off with roasted nuts like peanuts and cashews.
What is bean curd?
To avoid any confusion, it’s worth noting that bean curd is popularly known as tofu. This food item is highly favored and indispensable when it comes to Asian cuisines (most popularly, Chinese and Japanese cuisines).
Bean curds are made by curdling non-dairy milk. Using a coagulant agent, milk is extracted via the boiling of dry soybeans. Many people enjoy eating fresh tofu. Without seasoning, this food tastes a bit like an omelet. It also has the same smell.
Bean curds are gluten-free and highly rich in protein, making them a common food choice among vegans and vegetarians.
Is this the same as fermented bean curd?
No, the bean curds that we referred to above and fermented bean curd are not the same.
Fermented bean curd, as you can tell from its name, is preserved. It is rather salty and typically seasoned. The texture of fermented bean curd is also different. It is soft and easily malleable and spreadable. Unlike the neutral taste of tofu, fermented bean curd has a strong smell and a sharp flavor.
Many people compare it to cheese. It is also popularly used as a condiment in China. While tofu is gluten-free, fermented bean curds contain gluten or vinegar. This makes them unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivity, as well as individuals with celiac disease.
This stir-fried vegetarian bean curd recipe is very quick and easy to prepare. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also rich in important nutrients. This tofu and vegetable dish suits a wide array of diets and tastes due to its versatility and numerous side-dish options.