Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salt and Pepper Tofu, Baby Bok Choy and Jasmine Rice

I love the asian supermarket. 
There are few places you can purchase durian, green bean popsicles, mayonnaise in a squirt bottle and fifty pound sacks of rice.
I walk in with a ten dollar bill and walk out with an arm load of babybok choy, a brick of tofu, scallions, chilis, ginger and a huge bag of jasmine rice. 
Two words. Bargain shopper.

I am one of those people that prefer to use a few dishes as possible when I cook, but sometimes you have to fill every single burner and dirty every pot in the house.  You will dirty three pots, some bowls and couple of plates. You will also love every single bite.

This recipe is adapted from the awesome ladies over at

Salt and Pepper Tofu (serves 3-4)

1 15 oz. block extra firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes*
1 T. mirin
2 T. tamari
1/4 c. arrowroot
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2" piece of ginger, minced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 t. coarse salt, kosher is good.
1 T. brown rice vinegar
1/3 c. scallions
grapeseed oil  (or another neutral oil) for frying

*To press tofu: wrap in a tea towel, cover with a plate and place a heavy object (something in the 3 lb. range) on top for 30 minutes. Pressing the water out will allow your tofu to take on a nice marinade and will give it a nice firm texture.

Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large bowl mix together the mirin and tamari.  Add the tofu to the marinade and let it sit 20 minutes.  Place the arrowroot in a seperate bowl large enough to hold the tofu.  After 20 minutes, drain any excess marinade from the tofu and gently coat with the arrowroot.
Heat a swirl (appx. 1 tablesspoon) of grapeseed oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, gently slide the tofu into the pan and fry a couple minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. 
Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
In the same pan, add another swirl of oil.  Add the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Sautee for thirty seconds then stir in the tofu.  Sautee the tofu for one minute, then add the brown rice vinegar.  Cook another minute then add scallions.  Cook one more minute and serve hot along side some jasmine rice and baby bok choy sauteed up with a little ginger and garlic. Top with some scallions and a spinkle of sesame seeds.

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