Ever run into a recipe that is so easy and so tasty that you are dazed under its spell, obeying its command to make it again, and again, and again, until two weeks later you blink and say to yourself, “Damn, that was good.”
This recipe is why I bought the big honkin’ bottle of sesame oil.
Perfect for chlily nights when you have some time to cook, but not a lot of time, this sesame-peanut stir fry puts together pantry and freezer ingredients in about half an hour to create a comforting sweet-and-spicy assortment of veggies and rice. I love it for its…well, its heft. Vegetables and rice are so very light that they threaten to float away without something to anchor them down, and in winter that something is chunky peanut butter and luscious, dark sesame oil, anchored by onion, ginger, garlic, and lots of black pepper.
For a truly comforting experience, mix the rice right into the finished stir fry. We’re all at home here. If it’s late, we’re going to scoop some of this into a bowl and curl up on the couch with it, furtively, because we know we’re not supposed to.
Sesame Peanut Stir Fry
Recipe inspired by “Szechuan-style lo mein stir fry with broccoli slaw and peanuts” from The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook: 240 Healthy and Easy No-Prep Recipes for Busy Cooks. I’ll often make this with a bag of mixed frozen vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. It’s great with basmati rice and the great part is, you can start the rice when you start cooking the stir fry, and they’ll both be done around the same time. P.S. Sesame peanut stir fry doubles easily to feed a crowd or have extra leftovers.
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup chopped onion
1-2 minced garlic cloves
¼ tsp black pepper
16-ounce frozen broccoli, thawed
⅓ cup water
⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ tablespoon sugar
1 package (approximately 14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 tablespoon chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon toasted (dark) sesame seed oil
¼ cup unsalted chopped peanuts
cooked rice (I like basmati)
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add garlic and black pepper and cook 1 minute.
Increase heat to medium-high and add broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed, 1 to 3 minutes.
Stir in water, soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Add cubed tofu, if using. Bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and add peanut butter and sesame seed oil, stirring to incorporate; cook until heated through.
Serve on basmati rice. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.