Garlicky Green Beans and Tofu
Green beans are hoarding at the farmers markets recently. They are fresh, slender, crisp and cook up so beautifully! I have been making green beans in different ways off late while they are in season. They come in 2 colors at our market – green and yellow.
Apparently green beans are easy to grow but I have never tried it in our backyard. I find it easy to just get it from the market!
I prepare green beans the Indian way with Indian spices and potatoes – just like my mother used to make it. I need to put that recipe on the blog. It is such a simple dish. The effort is in cutting the green beans but that is something that can be done in advance.
And I have been making green beans in a Chinese style as well, – a very simple preparation – with a simple sauce and crispy baked tofu. The idea is to use less oil as possible.
Tips on how to make Crispy Baked Tofu?
- Firstly ensure to get Extra Firm Tofu from the grocery store. I use this brand from House Foods. WholeFoods carries their own brand too which is good.
- You have to press the tofu, by firmly wrapping it in a paper towel, placing it on a cutting board, and then pressing a heavy object on it, like a cast iron pan. That will help to release all the water from the tofu.
- Then cut the tofu into small cubes, and toss it in a mixture of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Then it is tossed in the sesame oil.
- Place it on a baking sheet, into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. That is all it requires. It crisps up nicely and does not even require much oil.
This tofu recipe has become my go to for any dish with tofu. I let the oven do the job and I can focus on other things. I do not like the splattering of the oil around the stove as well, so it helps to prevent it as well.
The green beans are literally shallow fried until charred, crispy and slightly softened so that you can get a nice bite into it.
The Sauce for the Green Beans:
The sauce is really simple and just a few ingredients:
- Soy sauce
- Dark Soy sauce – it gives that dark color to the end result and also good flavor! I get this brand from the Asian supermarket – Lee Kum Kee.
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Cornstarch : it helps to thicken the sauce
- Granulated Sugar: adds the touch of sweetness which is great
- Chili flakes : to give it some level of heat!
- Water: To dilute the sauce ever so slightly.
It’s all about combining the ingredients in a bowl. As simple as it gets!
To put all the components together, we saute a ton of garlic in the same saucepan as the green beans until fragrant and slightly brown. Then simply add the green beans and tofu. And finally the sauce. Saute it all together for a few minutes and you have your dish ready.
Garnish it with sesame seeds and serve hot with jasmine rice!
I love the simplicity of this dish and it makes for a great weeknight meal. In my opinion it is balanced with greens and protein.
Other Popular Asian Dishes on my blog are linked here:
If you do make it, please do not forget to tag me #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog.
Hope you are all enjoying the last few days of summer! Fall has already hit the Bay Area, the lighting has changed, and it is just beautiful all around with that chill in the air, in the morning and evening, and the birds migrating south. Enjoy!