27 October 2013

Orange Tofu with rice and broccoli

We bought a tofu press this week. This one to be exact. It is essentially two plastic cutting boards with screws on two sides to compress the tofu. It is amazing. I looked at the reviews for both this one and the Tofu Xpress and decided to go with the simpler gadget. It took about 20 minutes to press the block of tofu down to dense deliciousness. For the first go with the press, I decided to use the resulting tofu in an orange sauce over rice with broccoli. I used a combination of three recipes for the orange sauce (Food52, Vegetarian Ventures, and the PPK).

1 16 oz package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
olive oil

zest from 1 orange
juice from two oranges
2 - 4 T rice wine vinegar (I think the higher amount balances out the sweet and salty well)
1 T maple syrup
1 - 2 T soy sauce
2 inch chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
Sriracha (or a fresh chili, or red chili flakes)
1 T cornstarch


1 head broccoli
olive oil

green onions, chopped

Press tofu using whatever device you fancy until it is firm, dense, and dry. It took about 20 minutes with our new gadget.

Cook rice in whatever way you fancy. We have a cheapo rice cooker and I'm not sure how I cooked rice without it.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F. Chop broccoli into pieces and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put on a small pan in a single layer and place in the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes until the florets are a bit burnt and the stalk is tender.

While the tofu is pressing, rice is steaming, and broccoli is roasting, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust sauce, although not too much, the character changes a bit when it is heated. Make sure there are no clumps from the cornstarch.

When tofu is done pressing, cut into slices. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat and add slices. Cook on each side until crispy, about 10 minutes all together.

Once the tofu goes into the pan, add the sauce to a large high sided skillet. Heat the sauce over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken and turn off the heat. Stir every so often to keep the sauce from becoming too stiff. Add the broccoli and tofu to the sauce when they are done and stir to coat. Serve over rice with fresh green onions.

We both loved the texture of the tofu after pressing it and the sauce was delicious. The tofu was chewy and not mushy at all. I am a tofu press convert. I cut the tofu into cubes and because I didn't marinate the tofu before cooking, the tofu was a bit bland in the middle. I suggest cutting thin slabs for this dish or marinating in the sauce before cooking. I am eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow and perhaps the sauce will soak in by then.

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