Tofu is something I used to eye suspiciously in the organic shop then buy on a whim, hoping to find something to do with it, but I’m actually starting to quite like it.

I needed to use the remains of the red pepper from the other night’s improvised chilli, and even though I’d have liked to do something really simple — this looks nice — I decided to use up some carrots as well. As this is also lunch for tomorrow, more things is good.

The longest-cooking ingredient is the rice, so make sure you get it on nice and early. I’m still using the tricolour rice from the supermarket freebie, but dithered for a minute or two when I saw a packet of noodles in the cupboard.

As ever, the measurements are somewhat random, but I used:

  • one medium red onion, one medium white onion
  • two large cloves of garlic
  • 125g firm tofu
  • 5g ginger
  • 150g carrots
  • 250g broccoli
  • remains of a red pepper

Peel the ginger and cut it into thin strips. Chop the garlic, but not too finely. Peel and slice the onions lengthwise to make little crescents. Peel the carrots and cut them into thin strips, reduce the broccoli to delicate florets. Drain the tofu and chop into centimetre cubes.

Start by heating a little light oil in a wok or large frying pan. I use peanut oil, personally, because the taste is not too strong, but it might’ve been interesting to try it with some coconut oil. Test the heat from time to time with a piece of garlic or ginger; you want it to sizzle nicely but not burn.

When the oil temperature is to your liking, add the garlic and ginger and stir to flavour. Try to keep it hot over a medium heat so that things cook without burning, and add the other ingredients in reverse order of cooking time. I started with the carrots, then the broccoli, pepper, and onions, and then gave it a dash of soy sauce.

Stir the vegetables as continuously as possible using a slotted spoon and then towards the end, turn up the heat and add the tofu and some soy sauce for seasoning. I also added a few drops of Piri Piri sauce and cooked it over quite a high heat until the tofu had started to brown.

Serve with rice (or noodles).

The only ingredient I had to buy was the broccoli, which was 2,69€ for 500g, of which I used half. Some other shopping was involved which I’ll tally for pot purposes later, but I did splash out on an organic three cheeses pizza for tomorrow night (4,05€) as I finish late and really won’t want to cook when I get home.

The chilli, incidentally, went on to stretch to three quite hungry people the following evening with the addition of some stock, some oil, and quite a lot of penne.