Asian Tofu Recipe for Stir-Frys: Prepare on the Weekend and Eat on the Weekdays

Are you trying to be healthy but have a hard time feeling full after eating healthy food?  Tofu will fill you up!  I’ve heard many people complain about tofu being bland and taking forever to prepare.  Tofu can definitely be intense to prepare but it is an excellent source of lean protein and you can buy extra firm tofu to make the process less laborious.  If the tofu is prepared well, it will be full of flavors and anything but bland!

Throw the tofu into your favorite stir-fry or salad.  The recipe below has yielded the firmest/crispiest tofu for me.  This recipe has been modified from: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12651-spicy-tofu-marinade.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 container of extra firm tofu (available at Jewel, Mariano’s, and Trader Joe’s has a wonderful extra-firm sprout tofu).
  • 1 ¼ cup soy sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or rice vinegar if you’re on a budget.
  • 2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced.
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger.
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or chili oil.
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
  • Pan Frying Ingredients:
    • 2 tbsp of olive oil
    • 2 tbsp of corn starch
  • Directions:
  • Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and drain the tofu in a colander with two cans on top of it for at least 30 minutes, though this is on the low end – ideally it should be an hour but who has time to plan meals out?  I certainly don’t.
  • Once the tofu is drained – cut it into 1/2 inch chunks – this is completely up to you though with respect to how you prefer your tofu to be.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together and add the tofu to the marinade.  It should at least marinate for 30 minutes but ideally for an hour.  As I previously said though, if you’re in a rush, then 30 minutes is fine.
  • Once you are done marinating the tofu – you can bake it or pan fry it.  If you are in a rush, I would pan fry it – I am usually pressed for time so I tend to pan fry it.
  • In a pan on medium heat – add 2 tbsp of olive oil and pan fry for about 10-15 minutes turning it over once halfway through.  I would add 2 tbsp of corn starch to give the tofu a crispy texture.
  • If you’re adding this to a dish (I like to add this to my Vegetarian Red Thai curry) add it at the very end when the sauce is ready and done simmering so the tofu can maintain its crispiness.
  • If you do bake it:
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and when it’s ready, put the tofu on a baking sheet that was sprayed with canola oil, and bake for 40 minutes (see if the tofu is golden brown).  Flip over half way.
    • When it’s ready, throw it into your favorite stir-fry or salad!

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