This dish was definitely developed with my wife in mind. She really likes tofu. I, on the other hand, have not been a big fan of tofu but as I expand my vegetarian palate, I thought I would try it again. I actually thought it was pretty good. I am not running out to eat it at every meal but I am willing to work with it some more. What I really have to learn is how to cook with its texture. In this Crispy Marinated tofu, I wanted to sear the tofu in the wok. I learned that the tofu really ends up sticking to the wok.
The scraped up parts of the pan added really good texture and flavor to the dish but that certainly was not my plan. If you have worked with tofu and can share some of your experiences with cooking with it, that would be most helpful. I can tell from this experience that one cannot sear tofu like one sears a piece of chicken. I see that a lot of people bake the tofu. If so, how does one create the crust on the outside of the tofu?
The tofu in this dish is there for texture and to add some heartiness. The flavor is from the sauce I created which is a traditional mixture with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and Chinese spices including Chinese Five Spice. The vegetables add a great crunch and a lot of healthy vitamins to this dish. The rice was the perfect vehicle to mop up all the flavors. This crispy marinated tofu was a pretty solid first attempt at a tofu dish for this slowing changing carnivore.
The cast of characters.
The herbs in the bowl, and then, the lime squeezed in; followed by the reserved herb sauce.
The cubed tofu and then in the marinate.
The tofu sauté.
The tofu removed and the herbs added.
The vegetable tofu plated.
- 1 package firm tofu, cubed
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sesame oil
- 1” ginger, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 3 serrano peppers (2 green, 1 red), seeded and diced
- ¼ onion, chopped
- ½ lime zested and squeezed
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon Chinese Five spice
- 6 ounces Green Beans
- 1/2 Green and Red Pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 6 ounces button mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 Cup brown rice.
- Cube the tofu into 1" cubes and place in a dish to marinate.
- Add the soy sauce and hot sesame oil. Place in the fridge for at least an hour an up to four hours.
- Cook brown rice according to box instructions.
- Cut and wash the vegetables and set aside.
- Combine the ginger, garlic, cilantro, pepper, onion, lime, cumin and coriander in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
- Take the tofu out of the fridge and let warm up some.
- Heat oil in the wok on medium high heat.
- Add in the tofu and cook until crispy. This should only take 3 - 4 minutes. Turn so all sides get some crispness. Remove from pan.
- Add a little more oil if need and then add the herb sauce. Cook for 1 minute to release the flavors.
- Add in the vegetables and cook for a few minutes until tender and the mushrooms loose there moisture.
- Add in the Chinese Five Spice and stir well.
- Add back in the tofu and let the flavors meld for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve over the brown rice.