I’ve done a lot of experimenting with tofu. I’ve baked it, fried it, boiled it, steamed it, eaten it raw…as to not sound like Bubba, you get the idea. I think a lot of people are intimidated by tofu. Don’t be scared. I found a great recipe a while back that I finally got around to trying this week. It has a few random ingredients, but now that I have them on hand, I’ll make this regularly.
Tofu can be found two ways, fresh or on the shelf (usually in the organic section). Tofu is completely bland in flavor so it acts as an artist’s canvas for whatever flavor you want to impart. I’m usually skeptical when people say they don’t like tofu because you can do so much with it. For folks out there with texture issues, I can’t help you with that one.
You’ll want to start out by pressing out some of the liquid that the tofu comes in. This will allow your flavors to permeate better. Typically, I like to marinate the tofu to impart flavor, but this recipe has a great flavorful sauce that does the trick. Since you’ll be frying it, you’ll want to get out as much liquid as possible. Pour out as much as you can, and then press between two plates with a couple of paper towels (for about 10 minutes or while you’re prepping other stuff).
I started out by cooking some rice and vegetables. I have this little guy, and it does the trick. I have to keep an eye on it though because it will scorch the rice. I use short grain/sushi rice from the grocery store. I made 1 cup (dry measure) of rice, but for a good ratio, I would recommend 2 cups. In the steam tray, I put in julienned carrots and celery, diced onion (in place of the green in the recipe), snow peas, and sliced mushrooms.
Next, I fried up my tofu. I didn’t dry it out at all the first time, and I wasn’t getting any brown color. I drained out the liquid released by the tofu, and then it started browning up. Remove the tofu from the pan to make the sauce. I use everything except for the sesame oil (don’t have any) and bottled garlic and ginger. I use two freshly minced garlic cloves instead. I use water instead of broth to make it vegetarian.
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Dash of crushed red pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet.
Combine water and remaining ingredients in the skillet, stirring well with a whisk.
Cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Add tofu to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring gently to coat.
Serve with steamed mixed vegetables and 2 cups (dry measure) prepared rice.
Makes 4 servings.