Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sesame-Ginger Tofu

I love cooking tofu - it's such a miracle food that is quick and easy to cook by almost any cooking method, and it doesn't leave you with a bacteria-laden meat ooze to clean up. This is a super simple dinner that can be put together in about 20 minutes. It has a great light flavor throughout (I know the tofu looks like sesame candy in this picture, but it is not super-sweet) that works so well with the accompanying veggies. I recommend tasting and adjusting the sauce to your liking - I like to add a dash of this or that to balance it out at the end.

Sesame-Ginger Tofu
Drain the liquid from 1 lb. of tofu, turn on its side and slice into 3 layers, then cut the layers into quarters (you will have 12 square-ish pieces). Lay the tofu on a baking sheet lined with 3 layers of paper towels and top with 3 layers of paper towels. Press the tofu between the paper towels with your hands, then leave the tofu dry on the towels while you prep the other ingredients.

Pour 2/3 c. sesame seeds into a small dish. Coat each piece of tofu with the seeds, pressing to coat each side. Heat 1 1/2 T. peanut or sesame oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add tofu slices to the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the seeds are starting to brown and the edges of the tofu become crisp. When the tofu is done, remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe any stray sesame seeds from the pan, lower the heat to medium-low, and add 2 T. peanut or sesame oil to the pan. Peel and mince 3-4 cloves of garlic and a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger and add to the pan until beginning to turn golden brown. Add 1/2 c. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), 3 T. rice wine vinegar, the juice from one orange, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (optional) and 4 T. light brown sugar to the pan. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is starting to bubble. Add the tofu pieces to the pan until coated in the liquid and heated through. Remove the warm tofu from the pan and reserve the remaining sauce.

Amino-Glazed Broiled Carrots

Peel and trim the ends from 1 lb. of carrots. Cut each carrot into 3 sections, and slice the bigger pieces lengthwise into 2 smaller pieces. You want substantial chunks, as they will shrink in size under the broiler. Toss with 2 T. sesame or peanut oil, 2 T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and broil for 5-7 minutes until softened and beginning to brown and caramelize from the heat.

To serve, cook one package of udon noodles according to package instructions and toss with the remaining tofu sauce. Top the dressed noodles with the broiled carrots, freshly steamed broccoli, and tofu. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and lime slices, if desired.


mary said...

everyone needs to make this because it's really easy and sooooooooooo yummy!!

Sassy J said...

I made this last night for my vegetarian friend--delicious! May have to become a vegetarian if food can be this good. Just as good at lunch. I used buck wheat udong--yum!