I think it’s safe to say that stir fries have a special place in the hearts of college students everywhere. But tofu? Not so much. I myself had always been pretty indifferent towards this mysterious protein. However, once my girlfriend Miranda Kalish told me she found a promising recipe for tofu, I just had to try it. And what started off as plain old roasted tofu ended up as a spontaneous stir fry. Miranda and I were worried we’d still be hungry after just tofu and broccoli, so we poked around her kitchen looking for something else to make. In her fridge she had a product which neither of us had ever cooked with: Shirataki noodles. But when all was said and done, these noodles proved to be the perfect addition to our dinner, as they (like the tofu) don’t have much flavor of their own, so they completely absorbed the teriyaki flavor. And at the last minute, we decided to add cashews, because if you’re going to be adventurous, you might as well go all out.
- 1 package tofu
- Broccoli (as much as you can fit in your sauté pan)
- 1 bag Nasoya Shirataki Fettucine (or any noodles)
- A few handfuls of cashews
- Teriyaki sauce
- Olive oil
Tofu (Courtesy of Miranda)
- Place block of tofu between 2 plates covered with paper towels, and place something heavy on top in order to squeeze out the excess moisture. Let sit for around 30 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into 1 in. cubes.
- Put the tofu cubes into a large ziploc bag with teriyaki sauce in it. Make sure all pieces are covered.
- Place bag in the fridge overnight (or at least for a few hours).
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Line a baking sheet with greased aluminum foil and arrange tofu in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-45 minutes, shifting the pieces around every 10 minutes (the longer you bake it, the chewier it will become).
- Cut the head of broccoli into florets about the size of a golf ball.
- Add a splash of olive oil and teriyaki sauce to a pan over medium high heat.
- Add the broccoli to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
- About 10 minutes after the broccoli was added, or when it starts to become tender, add the noodles and cashews.
- 2-3 minutes after adding the noodles and cashews, add the tofu and coat all ingredients with Teriyaki sauce. Let this mixture sauté for another 1-2 minutes before removing it from the heat and serving.
Why this recipe is good for college students: Being a stir fry, this dish requires only one cooking utensil, the sauté pan. This is great for college students who don’t really have time to clean so many different utensils. And the star of this dish, tofu, was surprisingly easy to make. But even better, it was quite filling. I eat pretty big meals but even I was stuffed after this one. Tofu is also surprisingly cheap, so this is really a case of more bang for your buck.
Why this recipe is good for those who keep Kosher: Continuing with that last point, kosher meat is really expensive, so tofu is an even more appealing cheap alternative. And of course, tofu is vegetarian, so you can eat this dish and still have ice cream later.
What I would do differently if I made this recipe again
- Miranda and I used frozen broccoli in this recipe. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with frozen broccoli, we used some low quality pieces of broccoli which mainly consisted of stem. In the future I would make to either get fresh broccoli or frozen florets.
- The cashews were still a bit too crunchy when everything else was finished. I would add them a minute or two earlier next time, so their texture will really mesh with that of the rest of this meal’s components.