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LOW-FAT COOKING

Deja Tofu

December 19, 1996|DONNA DEANE | TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

The sweet and sour flavors that many of us grew up eating in old-fashioned Chinese restaurants give a nostalgic twist to this low-fat vegetarian tofu dish.

Tofu, also sold in Asian markets as soybean curd, comes in several degrees of firmness. For this recipe, be sure to use firm tofu so it won't fall apart when stirred into the sauce.

It is important to drain the block of tofu on paper towels before cutting it into cubes; also drain the cut-up cubes on paper towels and pat them dry to remove any excess moisture so the sauce doesn't thin out.

Serve the tofu with Jasmine rice or brown rice.

SWEET AND SOUR TOFU

1 pound firm tofu

Nonstick cooking spray

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup catsup

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon slivered ginger

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 -inch squares

1 tomato, cut into thin wedges and seeded

Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch cubes and drain on paper towels patting off excess moisture.

Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add cubed tofu to hot skillet and saute until browned on all sides, turning as necessary. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Combine cornstarch and sugar in saucepan. Stir in vinegar and catsup until smooth. Stir in water and pineapple juice until blended, then add garlic and ginger. Heat and stir until boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and stir until thickened and clear, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep warm.

Blanch bell pepper squares in hot water until they turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and stir into hot sweet-and-sour sauce along with tomato and tofu and bring to boil.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

188 calories; 186 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.44 gram fiber.

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