Tofu chop suey is a cheap, tasty, and meatless Americanized stir-fry dish that can be made in a matter of minutes to serve a hungry bachelor or student. Not only tofu but mushrooms, red peppers, onions, bean sprouts, and celery are chopped and allowed to soak up a nice marinade of teriyaki sauce and butter (or margarine), then fried until they reach a nice, tender consistency, packed chock-full of salty goodness. As you might expect, it's something best served over a plate of nice long-grain white rice.

Like most stir-fry recipes, this one is easy to adapt for more people when necessary, so long as you can fit everything into your pan/wok at once. I don't necessarily recommend adulterating the tofu with chopped chicken breast, however, as I think that the bean curd offers a distinct kind of flavor that white meat just can't. Better yet, tofu is a lot more absorbent and will augment both the marinade and its sister ingredients a lot better.

So that said, let's bring on the cast of characters:

  • About 500 grams of tofu, drained and cut in bite-sized cubes.
  • One stalk of celery, chopped
  • A medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped
  • A cup of fresh bean sprouts and / or green onions, chopped
  • About three large white mushrooms, cut into eighths
  • A quarter of a sweet red pepper, chopped
  • Teriyaki sauce and melted butter (or margarine), low sodium
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • A dash of ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mutilate each of your ingredients in the prescribed manner, then stack the tofu cubes at the bottom of a small glass pan, just wide enough to accomodate them as a single layer. Add the rest of the ingredients on top. Drizzle the melted butter (with the ginger added) and teriyaki sauce atop the ingredients to create a nice half-inch layer of marinade at the bottom. Place a paper towel over this and weigh it down with a smaller glass pan or dinner plate that will fit atop it. Let everything seep in for about thirty minutes. When everything is nice and oily, heat up your frying pan with your choice of vegetable oil. Add everything to it, and fry on medium heat, adding more sauce at your own discretion. Once the vegetables are crisp and tender, they're ready to come out of the frying pan and onto your plate. Season to your taste with salt and pepper (though if you've seasoned everything properly you should have enough taste to deal with already).

Most importantly, make sure to openly mock your roommate as he gags at the taste of the taste of Top Ramen for the tenth time in half as many days, and thank God that Everything taught you some basic cooking skills beyond pushing buttons on a microwave.

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