My mom made this tofu dish this summer a lot, something like a couple times a week. Now I understand why. It’s so easy. It probably took me about 15 minutes to prepare, and it is a classic Chinese home-cooked comfort food. I love it. This isn’t the greasy, oily, deep-fried food you find in Chinese restaurants. This is the real deal, and it is infinitely better. We eat it with rice, of course, since what would a Chinese meal be without rice?
It was day 2 of living in an apartment, and since I didn’t start work till this morning and had time to kill, I decided to make dinner for me and a couple of the other girls living in my apartment last night, so I used the entire block of tofu, and it was just enough for the three of us. I also made some broccoli to go along with it, and put some brown rice in the rice cooker. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually made rice before, since my mom always takes care of it at home, so I had no idea how long it was going to take. It ended up taking over an hour, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, so ended up calling my mom for advice. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but she wasn’t sure if the rice cooker was too old to handle the amount of brown rice I had put in, since it seemed to be taking too long, so she suggested that I make some on the stove as well, using a smaller amount of rice. I used about one third of the amount I put in the rice cooker, and that worked on the stovetop in about half an hour, by which time the rice in the rice cooker was also finished. Lesson of the day: rice needs to be made in advance. Oh well, everything still turned out great, and my apartment-mates loved it! An added bonus of the rice fiasco: we now have lots of leftover rice, so we plan on making fried rice tonight!
Chinese Ginger Tofu with Broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil, chopped
1 green onion
1 14 oz block firm tofu, cubed
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger, or 1 slice fresh ginger
¼-½ cup water
1 medium head broccoli
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp minced ginger
1/4-1/2 cup water
In a wok or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green onion and cook for about a minute. Add the tofu, toss to coat with olive oil, and heat through for a minute or so. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and ginger and stir to combine the sauce ingredients. If you like more sauce to soak into the rice, add about ¼ to ½ cup of water, and let simmer down to the desired amount of sauce. Serve over rice.
Chop the broccoli head into small florets, and chop the stem into about 1/2 inch cubes. In a pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and drop in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, then add the broccoli pieces. Toss to coat the broccoli with the olive oil and cook for about a minute. Pour in 1/4 cup water and cover with the lid. Allow to steam-cook for a few minutes, until the water is absorbed. If you like softer broccoli, add more water and allow to steam for longer, but if you like crispier broccoli, you’re done! Serve alongside the tofu and rice for a delicious Chinese meal. Enjoy!
Edit on 9/27/13: This can also be made into Ginger Tofu Chicken. Just use one block of tofu and one package of 6 chicken thighs or 2-3 chicken breasts, and add the chicken first, before adding the tofu and sauce. This is not vegetarian but it’s an old favorite of mine. My grandma used to make it when we went over to their house, and I would literally eat the entire dish by myself. This is when I was about seven or eight years old, so it was no small feat. It just tasted so good I couldn’t stop eating it!
Now, for the workout part of today. This morning I had my first meeting with my boss for work, and after I only had about 45 minutes before the pool closed. By the time I got there and got in the water, I only had about 40 minutes. In keeping with my high school tradition, I decided to do an abbreviated Threshold Thursday. Threshold is defined as the speed you can maintain for at least 10 100s, pushing pretty hard. When I do threshold sets, I have the intervals such that I get about 5 seconds of rest. For me, that interval is a 1:20 when I’m in shape, 1:25 when I’m not. Here’s the set I did today.
Quick Threshold Thursday
Warm up: 100 free, 100 IM, twice through
Warm up set: 4×75 50 build free, 25 sprint kick
Main set: 3 rounds of the following, the stroke goes fly for the first round, back for the second, breast for the third
3×100 threshold free @1:20
2×50 fast stroke @1:00
Warm down: 200 easy choice
Total: 2100 yards
Time: 35 min