Great food doesn’t have to keep you tied to the kitchen for a whole evening. Sometimes you just want to get in and get it done, which is one of the many reasons stir-fries are great. This one is packed with flavour and can be ready to eat in the time it takes you to cook some rice. I use the Cauldron simple tofu for this dish. I leave it to drain for 5 minutes by wrapping it in a clean tea towel and putting a heavy saucepan on top to squeeze out the moisture (you can do this while you’re getting your rice ready to save time).
Everything is cut quite large for maximum flavour and there is not a great deal of sauce, though neither is it dry. This is a perfect after work dinner with minimal fuss. You do, however, want to dust the tofu pieces with flour before frying to give them a crispy coating. I’ve used all-purpose gluten-free flour for this, but if you have no gluten issues use whatever flour you have to hand. I promise you this is the only messy part and it’s over with quickly. Get cooking, have fun with it and enjoy an easy and exciting meal.
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Prep time: 10 minutes (including draining time). Cooking time 16-18 minutes.
2 tbsp sesame oil
50g gluten-free flour
1x400g block plain tofu, drained and cut into large squares
A pinch of Sichuan peppercorns, roughly pounded
½ tsp garlic granules
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp tandoori masala curry powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ aubergine, cut into large squares
12-14 baby plumb or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small handful of pine nuts
2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (check for gluten-free)
First put the flour into a large bowl and toss the tofu pieces in it until fully coated. Heat half the sesame oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan and fry the tofu pieces for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs, until crisp and browned on all sides. Add the peppercorns, garlic granules, five-spice, curry powder and ginger about 3 minutes before the end of cooking and mix to thoroughly coat. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Rub the pan with kitchen towel and heat the other half of the oil. Fry the aubergine for 4-5 minutes, until soft and browned, then add the cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Cook for a further 2 minutes until the tomatoes begin to wilt and then add the tamari and sweet chilli sauce. Cook for another two minutes, stirring, until the sauce has mostly gone. Put the tofu pieces back into the pan and stir in. Serve with rice.