Lots of people don’t like tofu, and I get that. People who love tofu say things like “You can’t dislike tofu–it has no flavor of it’s own” and “It just absorbs whatever flavors it is paired with”. I disagree. Tofu can take on the flavors around it, but it has its own characteristics, too.
Just to be clear, I like tofu. I like it prepared many different ways– some of which people who don’t like tofu would abhor (because the custard-like texture and inherent flavor are left unmasked). But most of all I like tofu turned into meaty, chewy triangles with a crispy crust. And, I have found, so do lots of people who don’t normally eat tofu. This is Tofu for the Reluctant.
The powerfully flavorful salty, spicy sauce adds to its appeal– for both Reluctants and Lovers. And now, I’m going to pull out the really big guns (in case I havent been convincing enough): you can have this dish on the table in about 15 minutes.
Tofu for the Reluctant
1 14-ounce block firm tofu
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1-2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 scallions, green parts only, chopped (about 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1. Drain the tofu and press it; top it with a plate and weigh the plate down with a heavy can.
2. Place the sesame seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds are light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
3. Make the sauce: combine the honey, soy sauce and fish sauce in a bowl; stir to dissolve the honey. Add the sesame seeds, scallions and crushed red pepper.
4. Turn the tofu on its side and cut into four even slices. Lay the slices back on top of each other and cut diagonally across in quarters to form 16 triangles.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over medium high. Add half the tofu and cook 4 minutes per side, or until lightly golden. Keep warm in a low oven or drape with foil while you repeat the procedure with the remaining oil and tofu.
6. To serve, spoon the sauce over the tofu.
Makes 2 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 345 calories, 20 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 23 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1284 mg sodium
Susan Siegeltuch says
This sounds delicious Marge!
I’m goign to try it!
Great Susan– let us know how it turns out!
THIS LOOKS AMAZING. I AM DEFINITELY TRYING IT. THNAK YOU !
I’m a convert lately. Especially with big spicy flavors. Need to add this to our repertoire!
Ed, it’s super tasty. Even when it was cold it was still crispy…
This looks very tasty and presentable thank you very much. Can not wait to take your course on Fish next month as well…
Kamen– I’m looking forward to cooking with you again. I think we’ll be having a mini-reunion– I believe Emily will also be in Simple and Savory Fish.
northern deb says
Do you have a substitute for the fish sauce? My daughters are vegan and I would love to try this…. sounds wonderful.
I have a few suggestions: none of them will produce the same flavor, but I believe all will work with varying degrees of success. My first choice is to hunt down vegetarian “fish” sauce in a specialty Thai market. It exists, but I am not sure how commonly available it is. I realize that may not be practical, so a good alternative is to soak seaweed in some soy sauce. The resulting liquid will have more depth of flavor than plain soy sauce, and even a slightly “fishy” flavor. This should work well. You can also soak dried mushrooms in the soy sauce: this too will add depth to the flavor, but not the flavor of the sea. Finally, my last choice is to try making the dish using all soy sauce– the sauce will have a thinner flavor, but should still be tasty.
Hi Marge, my mom made this for me while I was home for college this summer. She substituted the soy sauce with liquid aminos and chili flakes for cayenne! It was amazing! Now I cook this in my apartment back at school. Thanks for the recipe!