Friday, January 18, 2013

sesame roasted tofu

I'm always trying to eat healthier, especially after the holidays, just like everyone else. More vegetables, less meat. More fruit, less cookie. Etc. Of course, lately all I can think about is pork fried rice. It's just one of my comfort foods, you know? The one remaining dish that I still order from Americanized hole-in-the wall Chinese take-out joints. I love me some MSG and grease.

I had a come-to-Jeezus talk with myself:
"Steph, what is it about pork fried rice that you crave?" 

"It's overall deliciousness and healing powers, duh." 

"But WHY is it delicious?" 

"I don't know... it's got... I mean it's got UMAMI!"

"I'll give you umami. IN YOUR MOUTH!"

Just a note, in case you are not a long-time regular reader, I love tofu, and I hate when people try to replace meat with it. I feel like it got a bad reputation because people tried to pass it off as a meat substitute. Eat it because you like tofu, not because you can't/won't have pork and it's the next best thing. PORK HAS NO EQUAL YOU GUYS. I could have made a healthier pork-fried rice, but I figured out it wasn't the pork I was craving this time. That said, this roasted tofu hit the umami target on the bulls eye. BONUS: it's nutritious.

Sesame Roasted Tofu

-1 block firm tofu
-3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
-4 Tablespoons soy sauce
-5 or 6 drops sesame oil
-2 teaspoons fish sauce
-dash of white pepper
-dash of granulated ginger
-roasted sesame seeds to garnish

Slice tofu into 8 even slices. Lay flat on a stack of paper towels (like 3, doubled over) then place another stack of paper towels on top, followed by a cookie sheet and something heavy (like 1 lb. bag of sugar or a few canned goods). Let drain for about 20 minutes.

Mix the rest of the ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in a small bowl. Score the tops of the  drained tofu (not too deep!) Brush some marinade on the tofu slices and let sit for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Flip the tofu slices over, brush them with more marinade and let sit another 20 minutes. Use the remaining marinade to dress some steamed greens (like bok choy or napa cabbage) to serve with the tofu. 

Place the tofu pieces on an oiled cookie sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning once about 10 minutes in. The ones pictured were roasted a bit longer, about 30 minutes... and I really like them this way, though some people might find them too chewy. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds. Serve with brown rice and steamed greens dressed with the marinade.

1 comment:

Laura @FoodSnobSTL said...

I love tofu too. I always pan fry it though. I am going to try roasting it like this next time though.