14 November 2009

Spicy Orange Broccoli & Tofu

This is an updated version of our Spicy Broccoli & Orange Tofu recipe of March 17, 2009. This newer version is much closer to a 'restaurant version' and still very simple to make. I've tried a dozen versions of this dish, because I love it, but I've never had a recipe for it that was nearly as good as this one.

The original restaurant versions of this dish used small pieces of deep fried chicken tossed with red chiles in a spicy-sweet orange flavored sauce with an otherworldly color to it, and served with florets of steamed broccoli.

Obviously, a vegan or vegetarian version is not going to use chicken. In this version, we use baked tofu, but if you can't find that, you can use a 14 ounce block of drained, pressed extra firm tofu instead. Baked tofu is already pressed and dense and ready to go.

Another option would be to soak about a cup of Butlers Soy Curls in either chicken flavored or beef flavored vegan stock, and stir fry the soy curls.

I also cook the broccoli in the same pan as the sauce and tofu. It might be more authentic to steam the broccoli separately and add them together at the end, but I just toss it all together to eat anyway. And this way, I save washing another pan...

Spicy Orange Broccoli & Tofu
serves 4


1 1/2 Tbs oil
1-8 small dried red peppers (to taste)
8 ounces baked tofu, chopped into 1/3 inch squares
2 cups orange juice
zest from oranges (if using fresh squeezed juice)
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
2-3 Tbs raw sugar
1 Tbs mirin
1 Tbs white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 crowns broccoli, in florets
2 carrots in coins
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbs cold water

cooked brown rice


Heat a 12 inch saucepan over medium heat.

Add oil to hot pan.

Add the tofu and red chile peppers and saute until the tofu is browned.

Remove tofu and chiles to a plate.

Add orange juice, zest, if using, pomegranate molasses, mirin, 2 Tbs of the sugar, vinegar and soy sauce to the pan and boil over high heat to reduce.

If you want a spicier dish the red chile peppers back to the pan now.

When sauce is reduced to about 1/3 in about 10 minutes, check for sugar and salt. If you need to, add a little more soy sauce, or the other Tbs of raw sugar and stir them in until they are dissolved. Add the chile peppers back now if you haven't already done so.

Add the broccoli florets and carrot coins.

Saute, still over high heat, until broccoli is tender but still slightly crisp.

Add the cornstarch slurry and stir rapidly while sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and serve over plenty of hot rice.

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