I like to say that the first thing I learned how to cook was pancakes. Not from scratch, but from the box, adding an egg, some milk, some oil. I was mesmerized at how they’d puff up on the skillet, and what a work of art it was to flip one without any splatter.
I also like to say that the first “real” thing I learned how to cook was stir fry. I was in middle school, and not in my own kitchen but a friend’s, we’d cube up tofu, chop some green peppers and onions, cook it in some oil, and then douse our stir fry with teriyaki sauce. While I have fond memories of this dish, I’ve since learned that there are many other ways to make stir fry… perhaps a bit healthier without the bottled teriyaki sauce, but I’m inclined to say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without this original dish.
It’s fitting that two of my “firsts” in the kitchen, and some of my favorites, come together for this super quick weeknight meal that also utilizes freezer ingredients and really, anything you have on hand that may be going bad soon.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Scallion Pancakes:
Makes 8-12 pancakes, depending on the size
2 large eggs
½ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
¼ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup almond flour (or flour of your choice)
1 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
1 bunch scallion, chopped (I love scallions, so use as much or little as you want)
1 tsp ground ginger (you can also use fresh ginger, that’d be amazing)
Pinch of sea salt
1 TBS coconut oil (for cooking)
Whisk eggs and milk together. Add in flour, soy sauce, scallion, ginger & salt and mix to combine completely.
On a skillet over low-medium heat, heat coconut oil until melted. Scoop pancakes on to skillet, as small or large as you want. Cook on one side ~2 minutes (until bubbles form around edges) and flip to cook on other side. Pancakes should be cooked completely - they should be golden on the outside and not runny on the inside.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Ginger Sauce:
Makes ~4 servings (you know I love me some leftovers)
1 package firm tofu, drained completely & cubed
Literally any vegetables you want… my favorites include broccoli, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and snap peas. I buy bags of frozen stir fry mix to make this SUPER easy, but you can also use any vegetables in your fridge that may be going bad, or if you have any frozen vegetable, that works too. Seriously, the possibilities are endless and I’m really not here to tell you what veggies work in a stir fry because I just want you eat your veggies…
1-2 TBS coconut oil, or another high-heat oil such as avocado oil. Stir fry is meant to be cooked over high heat, very quickly, so you want to choose an oil with a high smoke point, meaning it can be heated to a high temperature without smoking and burning off.
Peanut Ginger Sauce: check out the recipe here on NYTCooking
I used maple syrup instead of brown sugar
I used ground ginger instead of fresh ginger juice
I added quite a bit more water than the recipe calls for, about 1/4-1/3 cup water total
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shiny. Drop in tofu and cook to your liking - it can be totally browned on all sides or it can be slightly browned. Add veggies and cook together until veggies are cooked through - ideally, they should be fork-tender. This should take about 10 minutes or so!
Serve alongside scallion pancakes and fresh peanut ginger sauce (I could eat this by the spoonful).