Chinese Orange Tofu (chicken, shrimp or whatever) , Make it Yourself, and Stop Giving My Kids Those Nasty Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts!

Hi everyone and Happy Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day! As my kids recover from their various sicknesses from eating all the trash candy distributed to them in their schools, I decided to focus on making them cards delineating all the reasons we love them instead of baking sweets for them. Thanks, schools, for reminding me of the REAL meaning of V-day-an expression of love, not high fructose corn syrup hearts attached to a store bought valentine. Sorry for the bitterness, but enough is enough.

Let’s get away from V-day altogether and focus on Chinese New Year. You know, you really don’t have to buy Take Out Chinese food which is not always that healthy and is often more pricey than making your own. Here is a simple recipe that you can make if you just have a stocked pantry. I promise you, you will not be intimidated. If you are, email me and I will walk you through it, step by step:

Chinese Orange Tofu:

2 LBS extra firm tofu, sliced into one inch by 1/2 inch cubes

Prepped seasoning ingredients:
4 minced garlic cloves
2 TBS minced, fresh ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
peel from 1/2 of an orange without the white pith, minced OR 2 TBS Orange juice
2 Large scallions, sliced into one inch pieces
1 TBS canola oil or other flavorless oil

1/4 cup water
6 TBS ketchup
2 TBS agave syrup or white or brown sugar
3 TBS black soy sauce (thick soy that is mixed with Molasses-if can’t find, mix 2 TBS soy sauce with 1 TBS Molasses until combined)

In a 350 degree oven , place in cubes of tofu on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 1/2 hour, flip to the other side and cook another 15 min until a little golden brown. This process is to drain some of the moisture out of the tofu.

In a wok or frying pan, add the canola oil. When a piece of ginger sizzles, add in the minced garlic, O.J. or or minced orange peel, ginger, scallions and red pepper. Saute up for a few minutes until scallions are wilted.

Add the sauce to the seasonings and stir until sauce mixture starts to bubble and get thick. Add the baked tofu, coat the tofu and serve plain or with rice.


5 Responses

  1. Thanks, Alma, for the amazing tofu that you brought to our Chinese New Year shindig. It disappeared in seconds! I like the idea of baking the tofu first.
    As for the cards- I think that so many people feel a tremendous peer pressure to give the store bought hearts, and in this busy life, they take the easiest way out. I can't blame them, because I don't send ANY cards. It's not because I don't love anyone, or that I don't want to mark a birthday, or thank a person….. but I don't have much time, and what I do have, I prefer to give to my family and friends, or my writing. I have heard a few mom's feeling ashamed this week that they never got around to sending the valentines cards to school, and I think it's awful that they feel they should. We are grown women with real lives. If the kids wanted to make cards for each other- they would! It's time we women gave ourselves a break with these time wasters.

  2. Rachael, I am in full agreement re: the cards. If the kids don't make them, we should not be pressured into buying them. It is something that a child can do, when they are old enough to want to give them.
    It is more the candy that I do not want for them.

    As for the cards-my husband did not get one and I only made them for my kids this year b/c they woke up asking me why there was one on their pillow last year but not today! Whoops! Consistency is the key…

    As for you welcoming people into your home and showing them love, you do that exceptionally well-no need for a card 🙂

  3. This was delicious! I had a little leftover tofu and used in addition to some leftover roasted chicken, from a whole chicken (pre-made from Costco). I used clementine zest, since I keep buying those fabulous 5 pound boxes/bags of clementines. Here's a great tip – I often don't have fresh orange or lemon lying around when I need zest for a recipe, so I zest periodically and then freeze the zest in a small ziploc bag. I always have frozen lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange zest for last minute cooking. I add a tad bit more than the recipe calls for since I imagine it loses a little potency from freezing.

  4. Oh, ZZ Top! You are a chef after my own heart! I, too, freeze lemon and lime zest, as well as lemon and lime juice. I have even been known to freeze organic grapefruit juice and tangerine juice. We must meet!

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