Monday, March 10, 2014

orange sesame tofu with rice

Brielle told me about this dish she had at her friend's house, she said it was the best tofu she'd ever had. I called her friend's mom and she told me what she did. The original recipe calls for fresh orange juice but I use a good quality oj and it works just fine.

1 block of extra firm tofu
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp cornstarch
2 egg replacers: 3 tsp ener-g and 4 TB warm water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds plus extra for garnish
vegetable oil
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TB brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
8 green onions, finely chopped

white or brown rice for serving
broccoli or another vegetable for steaming

Press the tofu by wrapping in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, place between two cutting boards and place something on top of the cutting board that weighs a few pounds, such as a tea kettle or a couple of cans. Leave to drain about 15 minutes. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Whisk the egg replacer and water together until frothy, add the corn starch, salt, sesame seeds, and 1 TB water and whisk to blend well. This will resemble a loose pancake batter. Add the tofu to this mixture and toss to coat.

I have cooked the tofu two different ways.  The original recipe calls for frying it in a pan, in batches. I was curious as to how it would be to bake the tofu, if the coating would become crispy, and it does. Flavor wise, we couldn't tell the difference. The tofu won't brown as it does when cooked in oil, but it gets mixed with the sauce so that doesn't matter anyway.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, turn over and cook another 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam a couple cups of chopped broccoli and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the oj, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, and sesame oil until combined. Pour the mixture into a skillet and turn up the heat to medium high. Once the sauce boils, reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until the sauce thickens a bit to a syrupy consistency. Return the tofu to the pan, along with the green onions, and cook for another minute or two to heat everything. The sauce will thicken some more once you add the tofu. Serve over rice and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds. I also added some chili flakes for a bit of spice.

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