Tahini Stir-Fry

I got this idea from a dipping sauce for asparagus that contained sesame oil and some mayonnaise. When I had originally looked at the picture, I had assumed by the color of the finished product that it contained tahini. Upon reading the ingredients, it turned out that it didn’t, but that was an intriguing thought – go a little further with that sesame theme and use tahini in a stir-fry? That seemed very close to a great number of peanut-sauced Thai dishes I’d encountered, so I forged ahead. I gave it a shot with a container of haricots verts and some extra-firm organic tofu. Pretty good – and fast.

1/3 c. sesame tahini
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. red chili-garlic sauce
1 T. tamari
1 t. mirin
½ c. water

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until combined – it may look for a minute like It Will Never Emulsify, but it will, I promise.

For the stir-fry:
sesame oil for the pan
1 ½ – 2 lbs. haricots vert, trimmed (mine come in little plastic boxes of about ¾ lb. each)
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained and dried, pressed if you have time. Cube into ¾ in. pieces.

In a nonstick pan, heat a little sesame oil over pretty darn high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss in the tofu cubes. Stir-fry until slightly browned on most sides. Place the tofu in the bowl with the sauce. (If you can do these two steps ahead, you’ll get better-tasting tofu. If not, it’s not the end of the world.) Add the green beans to the pan, and stir-fry for about two minutes, until they pick up a few brown spots. Add a couple tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and allow the beans to steam for two minutes. Add the tofu back into the pan, reduce the heat, and cook until the sauce is heated through. The tahini may brown a little on the tofu – that’s okay. Remove from the heat and serve over rice.

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