Things have been quiet around here. I’ve been busy studying for the Psychiatry Board certification exams (in one week), fretting over my presentation at the APA annual meeting (in ten days), and finding a house to move in (in the next few months).
Or maybe its just the evil influence of Twitter.
Last weekend, a long rainy day of house-hunting led us to a cute Thai restaurant, where the dish of the day was the aptly named Mango Tango. Whoever came up with the idea of using ripe, sweet mangoes in a spicy orange sauce along with fried, crisp tofu is a mad genius, and should have made it to the TIME top 100 list.
I had to recreate it at home.
There aren’t many prototypes online, but I’d like to think that the recipe does justice to its namesake in that tiny New England town.
2 tsp oil (canola)
1 large green onion (This is different from a scallion, and looks more like a leek. You can use a bunch of scallions, or 1 leek, instead), sliced, white and green parts separated
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 medium carrot, sliced thin, on the bias (about half a cup)
2 celery ribs, sliced thin, on the bias (about half a cup)
florets from two small heads of broccoli (about two cups)
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 inch cubes from two medium-sized mangoes (Sweet, ripe ones)
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chiffonaded
16 oz (1 block) firm tofu, pressed for about two hours, then diced into 1/2 inch cubes. (To press tofu, wrap the block in a couple of paper towels, sandwich between two flat plates, and put a heavy pot/large can of something on top of the plate. Don’t use an iron skillet like I once did- something that heavy will tear the tofu apart. It has to do with shear forces. Trust me.)
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp roasted cashews (optional)
For the orange sauce, mix together:
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp red curry paste (use chilli-garlic paste if you don’t have red curry paste lying around)
– Heat a large iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tsp oil, let it heat up, then spread the diced tofu in a single layer. Let it brown for a couple of minutes, then turn the cubes over with a flat spatula and brown the other side. After a couple of minutes, sprinkle 1 tbsp soy sauce over the cubes, and toss gently to coat. Let them stay in the skillet, and turn off the heat.
– Start the stir fry in a large wok/nonstick skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil almost to smoking point, and start by frying the white parts of onions.
– Add the other vegetables in this order- garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, mangoes. The skillet should be large enough for you to toss the veggies around. Do this until the veggies are al dente. (I test this with the broccoli- it should be bright green, slightly tender but still crisp.)
– Now add the green parts of onion, cilantro, tofu and the sauce. Let everything come together for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat.
– Serve over plain boiled rice, garnished with the mint and roasted cashews.
This is a fabulous recipe, and I take no credit for it. It combines all the flavors and all the textures of Thai goodness and makes them dance on your tongue. Oh, and it serves four, which suits me just fine because I intend to eat nothing else for the next two days.