Stir fry is a great meal. It is easy to make, you can use just about any vegetables you have, and it tastes great. This simple purple stir fry recipe was inspired by my farm share, but every ingredient is easily found at your local farmers market or supermarket chain store. As this recipe is written, it is vegan, but you could add chicken and eggs if you wanted some delicious animal protein. The sauce for this dish is a twist on a traditional Pad Thai sauce, using soy sauce, white wine vinegar, lime juice, peanut oil (if your allergic, olive oil is fine) and brown sugar. Salty, tangy, savory, and sweet all together is a tremendous taste experience. Using purple vegetables will entice even the pickiest eater. The contrast in color and texture makes this dish not only delicious, but beautiful as well. Enjoy!
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Purple Stir Fry Recipe
2 blocks extra firm tofu
4 leaves red cabbage, shredded
3 purple scallions, chopped fine
3 bok choy leaves
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 white onion, sliced
1 purple pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/8 cup and 2 tablespoons of peanut oil
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
One of the wonderful things about stir fry is how fast it cooks. Traditionally you cook the ingredients over very high heat and add them quickly one after another. This seals in their flavor, caramelizes the sugars, and makes the cooking time fly by. For this reason, you want to make sure you have all your ingredients chopped, ready to go, and in separate bowls before you begin cooking anything. This will allow you to add them to the frying pan quickly and in the right order without overcooking anything. Generally you will cook harder and thicker vegetables first, and progress through to the thinnest and daintiest vegetables.
My family tends to like our tofu crispy and crunchy, so I fry the tofu first.
Slice the tofu into eight long pieces. Dry each side. Pan fry the tofu slices for 5-10 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Set them aside to add back to the stir fry at the last-minute. This leaves the tofu crunchy and ensures it doesn’t fall apart.
Of course if you like your tofu soft, feel free to skip this step and just add cubes of tofu in at the end.
In a bowl, add the soy sauce, white wine vinegar, lime juice, 1/8 of a cup of peanut oil, and brown sugar. Stir until the mixture emulsifies. Set aside for later.
Heat a large pan over medium-high/high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. When he oil is hot add the onions. 30 seconds later add the carrots and eggplant. 30 seconds to a minute after that add the peppers and celery. Add the garlic, then the cabbage. Finally add the bok choy. When the bok choy had wilted add the sauce. Cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat and place in a serving dish. Add the tofu and stir. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro and lime, or for a spicier option, red pepper flakes and nasturtium.