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Asian Tofu with Vegetables

Grady Wells (1948-2008) was a writer, editor, and radio producer who devoted much of his time to developing recipes for a prize-winning Finger Lakes winery and contributed to a column on wine and food pairing for that winery's newsletter. Wells lived in Ithaca (Tompkins County). This recipe is from his book Wine Tour of the Finger Lakes.



Serves 4

1 block of marinated extra firm tofu, halved lengthwise (Like opening a book in the middle)

4 tablespoons peanut oil

½ large onion, sliced radially

½ large red pepper, julienned

2 tablespoons hot pepper, diced

½ cup Finger Lakes Dry Riesling

½ cup vegetable or chicken broth

Riesling Marinade (see below)

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


Pat marinated tofu dry with paper towels. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium to high heat for a minute. Add tofu halves, and fry for 5 to 6 minutes until brown on one side. Turn halves over, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on second side. Remove tofu to a platter; keep warm.


After discarding oil, wipe pan with paper towels, add remaining oil, and fry onion and peppers for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add Riesling and broth, and bring to a boil. (Using homemade chicken or vegetable broth instead of canned broth adds a lot of dimension to the already complex flavors of this dish. Also, try adding dried porcini mushrooms if you make you own broth.) Add tofu, and cook gently for 5 minutes, turning once. Whisk cornstarch into reserved marinade, and pour over tofu and vegetables in pan. Stir until sauce thickens, and cook gently for 1 more minute.


Sprinkle sesame seed over finished stir-fry, and serve over steamed brown rice. Service with Dry or Semi-Dry Finger Lakes Riesling.



½ cup Finger Lakes Dry Riesling

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 strips lemon zest, about 1 inch wide


Place tofu slabs on a tilted surface, cover with a cutting board, weight with a heavy object like a cast-iron frying pan, and press for an hour or longer. Mix marinade ingredients, and marinade pressed tofu in a shallow dish 6 to 8 hours or overnight, covered and refrigerated, turning tofu several times. Bring to room temperature before cooking: drain and reserve marinade, discarding lemon peel.


Reprinted with permission of the author from Wine Tour of the Finger Lakes by Grady Wells, McBooks Press, Ithaca, NY, 2004.








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