Szechuan Tofu Stir Fry

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Tamari sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (optional)

  1. In a bowl, a food processor, or a blender, combine the water, peanut butter, Tamari, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes, and blend well.
  2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add the broccoli and bell pepper, and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, or until the vegetables soften.
  6. Return the tofu to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir-fry to coat the vegetables.
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