With the scare surrounding animal borne diseases like Salmonella and Foot and Mouth Disease over the past few weeks, the Mauritian population has been shunning meat and poultry in favour of less suspicious sources of animal protein such as fish and seafood. Many have abandoned the meat section for safer plant based preparations. Tofu is one such healthy option that has been attracting more interest these days. Commonly known as teokon in Mauritius, this soya derivative makes a good substitute for both vegetarians and vegans. You will find it in the vegetable section of most supermarkets next to fresh produce and noodles. Though I almost always add tofu to a rougaille/tomato based sauce, I deviated from my usual method of preparation with this stir-fry recipe from BBC GoodFood. The marinated crispy tofu cubes – piled on layers of crunchy veggies and strands of rice vermicelli – pack loads of nutritious elements in a single bowl and will surely make you forget about any dangerous bacteria that has been driving everyone crazy lately.

TOFU VEGETABLE STIR FRY

Ingredients:

For the Tofu Marinade

195g extra-firm tofu

2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Stir-Fried Noodles

85g vermicelli rice noodle

3 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

100g pak choi/ brede tom pouce

50g fresh bean sprouts

1 large red pepper, sliced

50g corn kernels, drained

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

Method:

  • Drain the tofu by placing on several sheets of kitchen paper on a plate, with several more on top.
  • Put a heavy weight on top of the tofu and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into cubes.

  • Make the marinade by mixing together remaining ingredients. Put the tofu cubes in small bowl.
  • Add marinade, cover and leave for 30 to 60 minutes. Cook noodles as per package instructions.

  • Drain and sit them in a bowl of cold water. Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the tofu cubes.
  • Fry tofu cubes till hot and crispy. Before removing tofu from pan, add any remaining marinade.

  • Let it sizzle for 10 seconds. Place the cooked tofu on a warm plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
  • In a frying pan or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add the spring onion, garlic, red chilli and ginger.

  • Stir constantly for about 1 minute, then add bean sprouts, pak choi, peppers and corn kernels.
  • Stir for another 1 to 2 minutes, then add the cooked noodles. Toss well, then add the soy sauce.

  • Add lime juice and mix until well combined. Remove from the heat and divide between 2 bowls.
  • Top each bowl with tofu and drizzle over any juices. Sprinkle with the coriander before serving.

Eat healthy, eat safe!

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