Kale and Tofu Stir-fry
This may be the last kale recipe you’ll see from me in a while. I love kale, but I can only handle so much. And Nate likes kale the most when it’s in pie-form with butternut squash and bacon, not with tofu and rice. That means that I had to eat all of this delightful stir fry all by myself.
This stir fry was indeed “delightful” on days one and two, but by day four I was pretty tired of it.
Can we talk about ginger for a minute? Fresh ginger has got to be one of my favorite things (one of my favorite root spices, that is. Not as in chocolate, ice cream and pizza “favorite things” category.) Granted, it usually goes bad before I have a chance to use the whole chunk, but that doesn’t stop me. I think I tripled the amount of ginger needed for this recipe.
And the smell of garlic and ginger sauteeing in some oil….. Oh, baby.
Then there’s kale. This recipe originally called for swiss chard, which I couldn’t find at the farmers market. There was, however, tons of kale, so that was what I went for. Unless I find a kale recipe that I absolutely have to make, this is the last you’ll be seeing of kale here until I’m over my aversion.
Tofu makes everything better, especially when it’s crispy. If you disagree with me, then you probably haven’t had well-cooked tofu. Or you’re a die-hard carnivore.
This stir fry is really tasty, and is also a great way to use autumn produce (like kale…). However, next time I’d either half the recipe since it’s just me eating it, or maybe throw in some other stuff, like mushrooms, so the kale isn’t as over-powering.
Stir-Fried Tofu With Kale
(Adapted from The New York Times)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped or grated fresh ginger
3/4 pound firm tofu, sliced 1/2 inch thick, into 1- by 2-inch dominoes
1 large bunch or 2 smaller bunches kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), thoroughly cleaned
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Mix together the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the ginger and the sugar. Toss with the tofu in a bowl, and set aside. Marinate for 15 minutes or longer. Refrigerate if not using right away. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water.
When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the kale. Cook the chard 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender, and transfer with a slotted spoon or deep-fry skimmer to the ice water. Drain and squeeze out the water (you don’t have to squeeze it completely dry). Chop coarsely and set aside.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet or wok over high heat until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, swirl to coat the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high. Lift the tofu from the marinade, and add to the pan. Stir-fry for two to three minutes, until lightly colored. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic and remaining ginger, and stir together for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the blanched kale, and stir-fry with the tofu for one minute. Add the tofu marinade and cook, stirring, for another minute or two, until heated through and fragrant. Remove from the heat and serve, with rice or noodles.
Yield: Serves four.