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Laquered Tofu Triangles With Green Beans and Cashews
from: Sharon

Adapted from This Can't Be Tofu: 75 Recipes to Cook Something You Never Thought You Would - and Love Every Bite, by Deborah Madison, this is easy, fast, and beguiling. Serve with rice or a baked sweet potato.

SERVES 4

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) carton firm tofu
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 lb green beans or thin asparagus
  • 1/2 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup water or stock
  • 5 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 6 scallions, green and white parts, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews

Drain the tofu. Cut it crosswise into slabs about 1/2 inch wide. Cut each slab in half lengthwise, then cut into triangles. Blot well with paper towels.

Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise, removing veins and seeds, then cut each half into three long strips. Cut each strip into triangles.

Snip the ends off beans and cut them into 2-inch lengths. Toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry skillet until aromatic, then grind to a powder and set aside.

Combine the next five ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, without disturbing, until firm, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side. The tofu should be golden, but still tender to the touch. Remove and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and when hot, add the green beans. Stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper and cook for about another 5 minutes.

Return the tofu to the pan and season with a few pinches of salt and the Szechuan peppercorns.

Add in the scallions. Pour in the soy-sauce mixture and cook, shaking the pan to coat the tofu and peppers. Turn off the heat before it reduces too much.

Top with cashews, and serve over rice.