It isn’t just vegetarian; it can be a vegan dish — no meat and no animal by-products whatsoever — if some substitutions are made. No, we’re not turning vegan. We’re not even going vegetarian. But no-meat vegetable dishes are great accompaniments to meat and fish dishes. We had this tofu and baby corn stir fry with fried alumahan several days ago.
What is alumahan? Oh, it’s the name for any of several varieties of mackerel.
Is that canned corn? No, it’s fresh baby corn, and you’ll find them in the vegetable section of most public markets and supermarkets these days. Unlike canned corn, which are ready to eat straight out the can, fresh baby corn needs a small amount of preparation.
Before using baby corn in a stir fry, cut them and simmer in a little water for about 10 minutes to soften the white core. Save the boiling liquid, cool, stir in a teaspoonful of tapioca or corn starch, and add to the stir fry if you like it with a little thickish sauce so that you don’t lose any of the corn’s flavor.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 300 grams firm tofu cut into 2-inch cubes and fried until golden (see related entry)
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 12 to 15 baby corn cut and boiled
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce for strict vegans, there are vegetarian oyster sauces
- fish sauce soy sauce for vegans, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Kecap manis
- freshly ground pepper
- chopped onion leaves for garnish
Heat the cooking oil.
Saute the garlic and onion just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the fried tofu and baby corn. Pour in the soy sauce, oyster sauce and Kecap manis (and the starch solution, if using).
Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
Stir fry just until blended.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped onion leaves. Serve at once.