I am guilty of overlooking the obvious here at power hungry. For example, dinner. I’ll spend my days dreaming of and testing recipes that I think will be fun and exciting for a new post and forget to post the recipes I turn to time and again for simple suppers (often after a long day of recipe development and editing. Oh, the irony).
And yet, it’s often these super-simple suppers that readers like you tell me they like the most. Probably because you, like me, love to peruse food magazines and cookbooks by day (or in bed), but once 6 o’clock rolls around, you need something simple, delicious, and reliable. For example, my miso vegetable tofu stir-fry.
It’s the miso that makes this stir-fry taste like so much more than the sum of its parts. A fermented paste made from soybeans and grains, miso is a staple in Japanese kitchens; add it to your pantry, and you’ll soon discover that you have a multi-purpose seasoning that adds instant complexity to everything from soups to marinades to salad dressings and so much more. It is available in assorted shades, with flavors that range from mild to bold, salty to sweet.
For a good all-purpose miso (especially if miso is a new ingredient for your repertoire), you cannot go wrong with genmai miso (my very favorite) or shiro (white) miso. Both are mild and nutty, with balanced nuances of salty and sweet. Try either variety in this recipe (a standby at our house. Then store the remaining miso in the refrigerator and experiment by adding dabs of it in place of salt in your favorite recipes. You. Will. Love. It.
16 oz extra-firm organic tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch long strips
3 cups small broccoli florets
12 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 tablespoons miso
1/4 cup water
Suggested accompaniment: hot brown rice or rice noodles
In a large skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring, for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger, carrots, broccoli and green beans; cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Return tofu to the pan and add miso and water; cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until much of the liquid evaporates and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Serve with rice or rice noodles, if desired.