400g firm tofu
450g green beans, stem ends removed, then sliced in half
1 bunch spring onions, about 12, sliced into 1cm thick rounds (both white and green parts)
30g piece of ginger, finely grated
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons gochujang – this is a savoury, sweet and spicy fermented condiment popular in Korean cooking, you can buy it at Asian grocers or if you can’t find it try mixing 2 tbsp miso paste and 1 tbsp siracha.
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or black vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Cooked rice (for serving)
Sometimes green beans can feel a bit boring, a bit lacklustre, a bit ‘bean there, done that’, you find them in the bottom of your crisper and think ‘ah beans… you again’, well not this time! This time they’re served alongside crunchy tofu in a spicy, tangy sauce! Yum! On a bed of rice! Yum! With only four fresh ingredients and some must-have pantry staples, this recipe makes for a quick-sticks, ultra-satisfying, vegan weeknight meal.
Spicy-Tangy Green Beans and Tofu
Serves 2 generously or 4 as a smaller meal
Drain the tofu and cut it lengthwise into 6 planks. Place a clean teatowel on a baking sheet, with plenty of overhang. Arrange tofu in a single layer on the towel, fold the towel over to cover, then put something heavy on top for 15 minutes. The towel will absorb the excess liquid.
In the meantime, trim the stem ends of the green beans, then halve them on an angle. Trim the spring onions, then slice the white and green parts into 1cm-thick rounds. Finely grate the ginger. Set beans, scallions, and ginger aside separately.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mirin, soy sauce, gochujang, and vinegar.
Heat the oil in a large high-sided skillet over mediumhigh until shimmering.
Tear tofu into jagged 2cmx2cm pieces. Working in two batches, add the tofu to the pan in one layer and cook, undisturbed, until dark golden and crisp on the underside, 5 to 6 minutes. Toss tofu to release, then turn onto other side and cook until browned, about 4 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tofu to a large plate; season lightly with salt.
Return skillet to medium-high heat and add the green beans, scallions, and ginger. Season with salt and toss to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally until the vegetables are very well browned and slightly shrivelled but still have some juiciness, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and simmer until a little bit thickened, 30 seconds. Return tofu to the skillet and stir to coat, 30 seconds.
Serve with cooked white or brown rice.