Monday, April 19, 2010

Thai Basil Tofu and Asparagus

The farmers market opened last weekend, and I couldn't wait to see what would be offered. Despite it being early in the season, there was quite a bit from the local producers! Spinach, asparagus, green onions, various was a thrill to walk through the booths again.

Naturally, I was eager to put my wares to the test. I've been craving Thai lately, and as I have a plethora of tofu in the fridge (there was a sale), that's the route I took. This is my variation of the dish my sister and I usually get when we go to the local Thai restaurant. The best part about making this myself is I don't have to ask the waiter to bring more basil!

Thai Basil Tofu and Asparagus

1 lb block extra-firm tofu, drained, lightly pressed between paper towels, and cut into 1/4" thick strips
2 tbs peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced (more if you like it hot!)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbs grated ginger root
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs stir fry sauce
1 tbs water
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1" lengths
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchstick sized pieces
1 lime, zested and cut in half
1 c fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c cashews

Heat wok over medium heat; add 1 tbs of the peanut oil and all of the sesame oil. Lay the tofu strips in a single layer in the wok. Fry tofu for about 5 minutes on each side, or until a light golden brown. Sprinkle the tamari over the tofu and stir gently. Allow to fry another 5 minutes, then remove from the wok and set aside.

Heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add jalapeno, onion, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry for one minute. Add stir-fry sauce and water and mix well.

Add bell pepper, asparagus, mushrooms, lime zest, and the tofu that was set aside. Stir, then cover and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes (or until the asparagus is a bright green).

Stir in basil, juice from 1/2 of the lime, and cashews. Cook an additional 2 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional basil and lime wedges cut from the remaining half of the lime. Makes 4 servings.


  1. Tofu + cashews + asparagus = mmm. I ALMOST went to the downtown OP farmers market on Saturday. Did they have any super-skinny pencil-thin asparagus? That's my favorite; I won't even buy chubby asparagus at all anymore.

  2. They did! One farmer had all sizes. I prefer the medium thickness asparagus for cooking so it doesn't overcook. The skinny ones I like for salads. I'll probably be going to the farmers market nearly ever Saturday. There was even a winery from Wamago represented there (which will be there every weekend), and the wine is fabulous.

    Seriously, I adore farmers market :). Not only is the food awesome, but I enjoy talking to the vendors. Plus, it makes me feel good to know I'm supporting local businesses!

  3. Speaking of Thai, while fun to cook! Have you ever been to Lulu's? Small Thai place in the Crossroads, super yummy!! BEST wild mushroom curry i've ever had. :) I like this cause I love cooking too!! Mostly Harrison is the master-mind but anyway, where is this farmers market??

  4. I haven't been there, no, but wild mushroom curry? *swoon*. I go to the market in downtown Overland Park. It's about Marty and 80th, right by the clock tower. If you wanted, you could make a whole morning of it; they have a band play at 10:30a, and of course there are all the shops down there as well.

  5. Saturday mornings. It starts at 0630. I went at 9 last week.

  6. collin and i used to go every saturday that i didn't work............ he always got a honey stick..... got some lavender honey one time and then some whipped black berry honey......... we should probably go to our own neighborhood's market now...... but the OP one is delightful..... it's also open on Wednesday a.m's................ in case you didn't know.........

  7. I did know, though it doesn't go to Wednesdays until June. That'll be nice, though, to have two days a week to choose from this summer.

    My mouth is watering thinking about lavender honey....