nancys-photos-115

I’ve been wanting to bake tofu since seeing it in the store and being inspired by others’ wonderful blogposts and beautiful photos!  I’m kind of new tofu.  I shunned it from an early age based on looks at the supermarket salad bar and always skirted around eating it whenever offered.  The first time I really remember eating tofu is at my first sushi experience at a tiny (and now defunct) sushi bar (literally) in Ocean Beach, FI.  All the cool kids were getting sushi and somehow I tagged along.  I had never seen the likes of it.  First (even though it was about 90F out) they ordered little bowls of miso soup.  There were little cubes of whiteness in it.  I plunged in and loved it.  Since that experience, I’ve been no stranger to miso soup and use tofu in desserts (cheesecake) and some dips most typically.  I also am aware of some of the “health risks” of eating soy (although, do millions of Asian women link certain illnesses to soy?) and I try to limit my exposure to it (no soy milk, just tofu, tempeh, and miso…about once a week).

In any case, this was easy to make and left me with some leftovers which is always a plus.  The flavors were really nice too!

Thai Red Curry Sauce (adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

1 tblsp fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves
1 large handful of cilantro
2 tblsp honey
11/2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp coconut oil
1 heaping tspn good quality red curry paste (I like the Thai Kitchen brand)
½ c coconut milk

Put this all in your food processor or blender and blitz until smooth and set aside.

Baked Tofu
Preheat oven to 375F

1 pkg. Extra Firm Tofu (I used organic and non-GMO) drained and pressed

Preparing the Tofu

  In order to bake or fry tofu with a nice toothsome texture, I have read that it is beneficial to freeze the package of tofu the night before you want to use it and then defrost it in the fridge.  I did this and then drained off all of the liquid.  I then laid the tofu block on my cutting board and cut it into half.  Then I cut the halves into two pieces so that I had four pieces in the end.  I then wrapped each piece of tofu in a layer of paper towels and put them in my cast iron skillet and covered it with a plate and a couple cans of beans.  I put it in the fridge for about an hour before I cooked it.

Baking the Tofu

2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil

Un-wrap the tofu that has been weighted down in the fridge.  Mix the above ingredients in a shallow dish (I used my Pyrex 8×8 dish) and then dip each slab of tofu in this so it is coated on all sides.  Place tofu on a foil lined and oiled (I used a bit of coconut oil) baking sheet.  Bake the tofu for about 60 min,
turning once in-between.  I basted the tofu with the red curry paste when baking to give even more flavor to it.  The tofu should be a deep brown and should be caramelized around the edges.  Mine was a tiny bit crispy too, just the way I like it.

Brown Rice

2 c. H2O
1 c. brown rice
½ tsp salt
2 tsp black sesame seeds

Bring water to a boil, add H2O, and stir.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 40-45 minutes until water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork, adjust for seasoning, and stir in black sesame seeds.  When I plated this, I used a ½ c measurement that I lightly oiled and packed the rice in it and unmolded it onto a plate.

Vegetables

You can be very creative here.  I used a mixture of edamame, asparagus, and spinach.  I blanched the asparagus, cooked the edamame according to package instructions, and stirred some fresh spinach leaves into the hot asparagus and edamame.  I lightly seasoned the veggies with a sprinkling of salt and a bit of toasted sesame oil.

Advertisements