Before you ask, yes, that’s a tiny Murano cat that found her way into the serving bowl – cats! You only turn your back on them for a moment, and who knows where they end up!
During Stalin’s times, in the mid-30th in Soviet Russia, there was a patriotic female factory workers’ movement called mnogostanochnitza which meant one person working many looms simultaneously. Those heroic Russian women worked 40, 50, 70, and eventually close to 300 looms. In time, the term evolved to mean anyone doing several things at the same time. Today we call it multitasking.
I am sure that many ladies, especially older ones, still remember that multitasking did not always mean driving, texting, and applying mascara at the same time. That’s what I reminded myself of when I was making this “real quick” dinner. I had tofu fingers in a frying pan, muli with other veggies in a dutch oven, soup on the third burner, and all this while setting up the table. Busy as a bumblebee!
If you listen to this adorable little Chinese wunderkind playing “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, it might put you in a proper mood!
Muli, as confirmed by an amazing chef, an incredible food artist, and a great blogger Sumith Baba from Keralas.live, is just another name for daikon radish. In Indian stores it is sold with leaves, and I am still experimenting with lots of ways you can find use for them. First, I tear them into manageable pieces, then I ice and salt them the way I treat all greens and herbs (for instructions, please click here).
If you are wondering what makes green muli leaves turn red, it’s beets. Carrots are there for company. While the greens are soaking in salted ice water, you can grate beets, carrots, ginger, and yellow turmeric (which is actually orange!).
I do use the little grater for ginger and turmeric, but for this stir fry, you can just grate them together with beets and carrots. Heat up your dutch oven or a deep frying pan, mist it with oil, and start stir frying all your veggies together. Pour some lemon juice, soy sauce, and agave syrup, mix them well, and cover. Watch them and give them a stir occasionally as it only takes a few minutes for them to soften. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds and turn them off.
Meanwhile, while the veggies are stir-frying, open and drain a package of extra firm tofu. Press gently to get rid of excess water. Cut across into 1/3 inch (1 cm) slices. Mix Panko (I use gluten free) with salt and pepper. Turn around and give your veggies a stir.
Preheat a frying pan, mist with oil, dredge tofu slices through Panko crumbs, pressing lightly so the crumbs stick, and start frying. Give your veggies another stir. Fry Tofu Fingers on both sides until golden brown.
Arrange veggies in a clear glass serving bowl to display the colors to their full advantage and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Arrange Tofu Fingers on top and serve immediately, while it is still hot. Now you may take a deep breath and listen to the “Bumblebee” again.
- 3 -4 cups of loose muli greens (kale or Swiss chard could be used)
- 1 large beet root, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 1 finger length yellow turmeric, grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- A sprinkle of sesame seeds
- 1 package extra firm tofu (12 oz) drained
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (preferably gluten free)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tear muli leaves into bite size pieces by hand. Salt and ice them, put aside.
- Peel and grate beet root, carrot, ginger, and turmeric.
- Preheat dutch pan or deep frying pan, mist with oil.
- Rinse muli leaves, pat dry with paper towel, start frying.
- Add the rest of vegetables. Add lemon juice, agave, soy sauce. Stir well, cover. Stir frequently for several minutes until greens are wilted and the rest of the vegetables soften. Turn off heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, cover.
- Drain tofu, pressing lightly to remove excess water. Cut across into 1/3 inch (1 cm) slices.
- Mix panko with salt and pepper. Preheat frying pan, lightly mist with oil. Dredge tofu slices through panko, press lightly to make breadcrumbs stick. Fry on both sides until golden brown.
- Arrange Tofu Fingers on top of stir fried vegetables. Serve immediately while hot.