Ain’t Your Mama’s Tofu

Tofu is an acquired taste. It has a silky, moist texture followed by an almost nutty, yet can’t quite place the taste kind of taste. It was also my arch food enemy for about 25 years.

That is until I tried it at the Top of the Hub. Doug was still a vegetarian at the time and the only veggie entree the restaurant offered was a thai tofu dish. I tried it and was pleasantly surprised.

But that’s where it ended until about two months ago.

Tofu popped up in my new favorite cookbook America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. Tofu runs rampant in the book, and they do it right with a crisp fried coating.

Now I’ve been able to branch off of that by baking and broiling the tofu. Remember, it’s an acquired taste, so start with it fried. Everything good is fried. And don’t think of it as meat. It isn’t. It can never have the taste or texture of meat, but it can add a terrific source of non-animal protein.

This recipe is simple. The tofu cooks no longer than 5 minutes. Really, all you spend time doing is cooking rice and prepping. I served with quinoa because that takes about 35 mins. less to cook than rice. I have no patience when waiting for dinner.

And if this picture doesn’t convince you to at least try tofu (only $2.00 for a package), then there is no hope.

Broiled Tofu and Snow Peas
from Everyday Food Magazine
serves 2
one package firm tofu, drained (see note)
1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
4 oz snow peas, trimmed (see note)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
pinch red pepper flakes
coarse salt and black pepper
1 cup cooked rice or other grain

1. Heat broiled with rack in top position. Cut tofu crosswise into thirds. In a small bowl stir ginger, soy sauce, honey and 1 tsp oil. In another small bowl, toss together snow peas, scallion, pinch of pepper flakes, and 1 tsp oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange tofu in a single layer; drizzle with half the sauce and reserve remaining. Broil tofu 2 mins then add vegetables and broil 1 minute more. Serve with rice and drizzle remaining sauce.

To drain tofu: Slice the tofu according to directions and drain on a rimmed baking sheets with several paper towels. Place a sturdy cutting board or another baking sheet on top of paper towel lined tofu and weight with a heavy object. Let drain for 20 mins.

To trim snow peas: Using a paring knife, carefully trim end and pull back the string along the “rib” of the pea. Rinse snow peas thoroughly.

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