Monday, July 7, 2014

My very first TOFU recipe I tried!

I found this recipe on another blog when I first started trying this whole vegan/vegetarian change!  The link to that persons blog is: TheCozyApron

This is a more complicated recipe and it costs a little more than what I was expecting but it is really good and worth the money as long as you don't do it very often.

(Serves about 6)

1 (1 lb.) block “extra firm” tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press, divided use
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided use
¼ cup flour
• Vegetable oil
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cored and seeded, and sliced into strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded, and sliced into strips
1 small orange bell pepper, cored and seeded, and sliced into strips
½ onion, halved again and sliced thinly
• Sweet Chili-Hoisin Sauce (recipe below)
½ pound brown rice pasta (I used spaghetti-style), cooked according to package instructions, then rinsed well and drained (*see note)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
¼ cup peanuts, minced

(*Brown rice pasta can be a bit more starchy than normal pasta, so use a big pot with a lot of water in it; when you put the pasta into the boiling water, use tongs to move the pasta around to keep it as separated as possible, stirring occasionally during the cooking process; cook until soft but with a slight bite.)


-Place the cubed tofu into a large bowl, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, 2 cloves of the pressed garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of the cracked black pepper, and toss to coat; allow the tofu to marinate while you prep/slice the rest of the ingredients.

-Once marinated, add the flour to the tofu cubes, and toss to coat them as evenly as possible; to crisp the tofu, place a large non-stick skillet or pan onto medium-high/high heat, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and allow it to become hot; once hot, add the flour-coated tofu cubes to the pan in an single layer (working in two batches, if necessary), not moving them to allow them to crisp up on that side for about 2 minutes; turn them over once they're golden on that first side, and don't touch them again for another 2 minutes to allow them crisp on that second side; next, shake the skillet/pan a bit to move the tofu around to crisp on all remaining sides, for about 1 more minute; turn the heat off once the tofu cubes are golden, and slide them into a bowl or onto a plate, setting them aside for a moment and keeping them warm.

-Next, saute the veggies by placing the same large non-stick skillet or pan over medium-high heat, and adding about 1-2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to it; once the oil becomes hot, add in the sliced mushrooms and chopped Roma tomato, and saute them for a 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms become golden, and the tomato begins to soften and become juicy; slide them out of the pan and onto a plate, and set them aside for just a moment; next, drizzle just a touch more oil into the hot pan if necessary, and add in the sliced bell peppers and the sliced onions; leave them undisturbed for about 2 minutes, to create a nice char/caramelization on one side, and then toss them a bit and allow them to char a little more, again undisturbed, for another couple of minutes; next, add in the remaining 2 cloves of pressed garlic and stir, and then add the crisped tofu cubes back into the pan, along with the Sweet Chili-Hoisin Sauce, the brown rice noodles and about half of the julienned basil; turn off the heat, and toss everything together to evenly coat.

-To serve, spoon equal portions of the brown rice pasta and tofu/veggies into a bowl or plate, and garnish each portion with about 1 tablespoon of the minced peanuts.

*Sweet Chili-Hoisin Sauce ingredients:

½ cup Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar


-Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl

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