Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From Our Table: Gilled Tofu and Garlic Broccoli

Since Stephanie has given up the meats of the world, we have always been looking for a proper substitution for that portion of our meals. This easy tofu recipe brings tons of flavor to a meat substitute that is usually disregarded because of its lack of flavor. But like a great steak, Tofu can be just as delicious if it is marinated carefully and served accordingly.

We usually cook sauteed broccoli for the Asian Greens in the epiurious.com recipe, but to each his own. For additional sides, bring some sticky sushi rice into your meal for a complete Asian themed dinner. Don't forget to save your reserve marinade for saucing after you're done, it really brings everything together to cover your plate with the sweet and salty concoction.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 25 min
Servings: Makes 2 main-course servings.
1 (14-oz) block firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large broccoli

Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices. Arrange in 1 layer on a triple layer of paper towels and top with another triple layer of towels. Weight with a shallow baking pan or baking sheet and let stand 2 minutes. Repeat weighting with dry paper towels 2 more times. (Helpful Hint: Pressing excess moisture out of your tofu will increase its firmness and its ability to absorb the flavors of the marinade).

Stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, dried hot red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a glass pie plate. Add tofu slices in 1 layer and marinate each side for at least 5 minutes.

Place tofu in a lightly oiled pan over moderately high heat, and cook until heated through, approximately 3 minutes per side.

While tofu cooks, heat remaining teaspoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add broccoli and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved marinade and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

To Serve: Divide tofu and broccoli among two plates.  Best served warm over sticky rice.