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Sizzling Stir-Fry Satisfaction

I love tofu. In fact, I often find myself craving it. That’s what happened the other day when I also happened to be craving my favorite vegetable, asparagus, which is becoming unaffordable again as its season wanes. I decided to have one last asparagus fling, so I teamed it with some tofu in a quick-and-easy stir-fry from my book, Vegan Fire & Spice and served it over some brown rice. Cravings satisfied!

Spicy Tofu and Asparagus Stir‑Fry
I prefer using thin asparagus for this stir-fry, because it cooks quickly and doesn’t require paring. If all you have are thick spears, be sure to pare them near the bottom. (This recipe is from Vegan Fire & Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes © 2008.) Leave out the red pepper flakes if you’re not a heat-seeking vegan like myself.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon organic canola oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, well drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, water, cornstarch, and sugar. Set aside.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the canola oil over medium‑high heat. Add the asparagus and stir‑fry for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
In the same skillet, add the tofu, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until the tofu is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Return the asparagus to the skillet along with the red pepper flakes and stir‑fry until the asparagus is just tender. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir‑fry a minute longer, or until hot.

Serves 4