What The Dickens Do I Do With Tofu?! - Part Three
And we have now concluded what the dickens you should do with tofu. But no need to fret over the end of this series! I enjoy putting tofu into a lot of what the hubby and I eat, so you'll be seeing this ingredient often. I promise to do it justice.
We've marinated and barbequed, fried them into nuggets and now we will be baking tofu. Out of all three ways, baking the tofu is the easiest with the most texture change. She might've gotten a new outfit, but her delicious soul is still the same.
To bake the firm tofu, you only need vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Not even the salt and pepper if you want a blank canvas. For the stir fry, get Hoisin sauce, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), soy sauce, sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar and your favorite vegetables.
To have the tofu cook faster and have better texture, press the liquid out for 30 minutes with a heavy pan or can of food on top of it. Wrap the tofu with a couple paper towels first.
You'll see a LOT of liquid come out. After 30 minutes, take it over to the sink, drain the liquid and toss the drenched paper towel (wring the paper towels out in the sink before putting it in the trash).
Cut the tofu into thirds lengthwise, then in half lengthwise, then into about 1/2" cubes. Really any size you'd like is fine, just make sure they're about the same.
Take note that I'm baking two packages here in this image. I'm reserving half for a salad or something else. They keep well in the fridge after baking, and if I have room, why not. Anywho, coat the tofu with vegetable oil. Gently toss the tofu without breaking the cubes.
Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet lined with foil. There should be enough oil on the tofu so you don't have to grease the foil first. Spread them out so they are not touching each other. Sprinkle these babies with salt and pepper and pop it in the oven at 425°F for 35 minutes.
While the tofu is baking, get to chopping the veggies. Use any vegetables you'd like. Like for serious. Any vegetables. Cut root veggies, like carrots, thinner so that everything softens evenly.
Get the onion and garlic chopped up, aka the aromatics. I cut this spring onion three ways: the bulb sliced thinly, most of the tops into 1 inch pieces, and a little bit of the green tops into small bits for garnishing.
I. Love. Garlic. Some might say that I have a problem, and to those people I say I can not hear you because I am busy eating garlic. Even with my obsession talking, it's worth it in this stir fry.
Tofu is baked! Look at these beauties! You can flip these midway through baking ... but you could also not do that and just have one side crispier than the other. Let these cool a little so they get even more firm.
Get your wok or large pan hot on medium high. When it's heated up put in the vegetable oil with the white part of the onions. Let these cook for a little bit to soften, then toss in the garlic to get the lovely smells going. Cook for another minute or so then ...
... it's ready for the veggies! Throw in the broccoli, snow peas, carrots and onion tops. Add in a couple Tablespoons of water to help stem the vegetables a bit. With the high heat and steam, everything should get tender in about 8 minutes. If you go 9 minutes, and all will be ruined.
Make a space in the wok to get the sauce started. I've made many a stir fries in my day. This combo of seasonings works in this household for the amount of sauciness and depth. If you want something a little more simple try just the soy sauce, sesame seed oil and salt and pepper.
Back to this sauce. Soften the Hoisin sauce and doenjang (fermented soybean paste). After a couple minutes, mix it in with the veggies.
Add in the rest of the spices: gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Yes, the soy sauce is in a shot glass. Moving on.
Stir everything and let it all harmonize together for about 3 more minutes.
Add in the tofu nuggets of joy, and stir it in.
I wish you could smell this. Deeeeelicious.
Serve this up with some rice, and you'll have a happy tummy when you're at the bottom of the bowl. Enjoy!
About 4 servings with rice
1 (14 ounce) Firm Tofu
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Stir Fry Vegetables
1 cup snow peas
1 Spring onion (or 1 small white onion and 3 scallions)
2 garlic cloves
2 cups broccoli
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
1 Tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) optional
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Wrap tofu in a couple paper towels and put on a plate. Press liquid out of tofu by placing a heavy pan or can of food on top of the tofu. Let stand about 30 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into thirds lengthwise, half again lengthwise, then into 1/2" cubes.
- In a large mixing bowl, coat the tofu cubes in vegetable oil, gently mixing them.
- Put the tofu on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put into oven for 35 minutes.
- After tofu is done baking in the oven, set aside to cool. Cooling them down helps them firm up a little bit more.
- In a wok or large pan on medium high heat, start cooking the onions for about 3 minutes or translucent. Add garlic and cook additional minute.
- Add in the broccoli, carrots and snow peas with 2 Tablespoons of water, and cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables soften.
- Turn down the heat to medium and push vegetables to the side and make a space in the pan. Put Hoisin sauce and doenjang in the space and cook for about a minute, until it softens.
- Stir the sauce with the vegetables, and add gochugaru, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and rice wine vinegar. Cook about 3 more minutes.
- Turn heat off and mix in the baked tofu. Serve with cooked rice.