tofu

tofu

tofu is one of those things i’d been wary to try cooking for a long time. i still remember the first time i ate good tofu: it was in high school at a friend’s birthday party, and it was amazing… crispy on the outside, silky on the inside, and flavorful. my only prior experience with tofu was my mom’s attempts, where i think she usually just chopped it up and threw it in a stir fry where it fell apart and stayed pretty bland… especially because she never really did stir fries at a hot enough temperature and the entire thing was usually soggy.

a couple years ago, i went for it myself, and i’ve had various success. i think the main thing to know is that you need to get some of the natural moisture out of the tofu first if you expect it to soak up anything else (which it will do quite well).

today, i want to try to grill tofu. so it’s midday, and i got a block of firm tofu and sliced it about 1/2 inch thick. i squeezed each piece between some paper towels, then laid them on a paper towel and sprinkled both sides pretty liberally with salt. then i got a small, nonstick pan over low heat (no oil) and put the pieces in. in the past i’ve just stood there pressing with a spatula to get some moisture out, but today i laid a small plate on top and put a weight on it so i could walk away for a while. i did each side of each piece until it was light brownish and the whole thing seemed drier. then i placed them on paper towels again and squeezed them out before putting them in a shallow pan to marinate.

for the marinade, i mixed together chicken broth, sriracha sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic powder, cumin, honey, and a dash each of fish sauce and soy sauce. i’m going to let them marinate in the refrigerator at least a few hours before i toss them on the grill later.

(a few hours later… the grilling!)

so i heated the grill to a high heat for ten minutes or so, then removed the tofu from the marinade. i took a little of the marinade with me outside to baste with, and the rest i threw in a saucepan over medium-high heat to reduce into a sauce while i grill the tofu.

i let the tofu grill on each side until it was pretty well grill marked, basting with some of the marinade throughout. it only took 10 minutes overall probably. when i finished reducing the marinade, there was probably like… 1/2 cup or so left, and i threw in a little butter to thicken it. i tasted it and decided to add some more honey to balance it out because it tasted really vinegary.

i just tried it and it was pretty good, and a different way to have tofu. i kind of just threw the sauce on top, but you could thicken it more (more reduction, corn starch) and make it more of a dipping sauce. it was quite tasty and the tofu had a good texture, especially the pieces that were the most well-done on the grill.

i didn’t really have the appetite or energy to make a side dish for this one, but i’d imagine some rice noodles with some of the sauce would be good, or just some rice plain, or some sort of grilled vegetable (eggplant would probably be nice).

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~ by agent229 on September 16, 2009.

One Response to “tofu”

  1. […] into the kitchen! i still had tofu from last night and i had the miso. so i started boiling about 2 1/2 cups of water and put in about 4 teaspoons of […]

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