Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sesame Infused Tofu & Snow Peas

Ok, for those of you who are anti-tofu, try this. I know, I know. It's tofu. Most people haven't tried it before and those who have often don't like it. This is why: I never used to eat tofu because it sounded... well, gross. Then I tried to cook it. I hated it--but that's because it wasn't prepared properly. When properly seasoned and prepared, it is the most healthy and versatile protein that is quick-cooking too. I made this dish in about 15 minutes.

Tofu novices: tofu is a block of soybean that has a neutral taste that absorbs whatever seaonings you add. By itself it tastes like potato/egg combined. I like to use marinades to flavor it. I made this yesterday and even my tofu-hatin' sis remarked at how delicious it smelled while cooking. If you've never cooked with toasted sesame oil, please try it. It is absolutely delicious!

Block of firm tofu
1 TB toasted sesame oil
1/4 c soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 TB Mirin (rice vinegar)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame toasted seeds (optional, but they add so much flavor)
Ginger (fresh is best, but ground will work in a pinch)
1 clove garlic (powdered is ok)
1 c snow peas
1 c shredded carrots
1-2 TB vegetable oil (I like canola)
2 TB water

1. Drain tofu and cube. Marinate in soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, & sugar for at least 45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until all nice and crispy golden brown on the edges.

2. While tofu is baking, toast sesame seeds in a pan until golden over low-med heat. When they start to smell all nutty and yummy they are probably done (about 10 minutes, but stir so they don't burn). You can cook your rice now too.

3. Toss garlic, ginger, water, and snow peas into a large pan. Saute for 2 minutes until snow peas are tender-crisp. I like to add a Tb or two of the marinade to the pan.

4. Add tofu to pan and combine. Top with toasted sesames. You can also create an interesting plating for this like I did in the photo using a rice mold. Use a ramekin or a teacup--whatever you've got. Sometimes it's fun to be fancy!

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