Tofu used to be the vegetarians holy grail, something prized and cooked all the time for protein. Today much controversy surrounds the infamous soybean as companies like monsanto stick their GMO soybeans in just about every processed product. For all the bad rap that tofu gets nowadays in a world with bountiful meatless meat choices, it is still a canvass for flavor and should be treated as such! Tofu itself has relatively little flavor, but when combined with sauces, garlic etc, it becomes a brilliant piece of food porn. Today I am bringing back the little used method of baking tofu! ENJOY
Teriyaki Tofu with Coconut Milk Saffron Rice w/ Carmelized onions
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use Tamari Reduced Sodium, trust me it has enough sodium still!)
1/2 cup Mirin (A Rice cooking wine)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup shallots chopped
1 clove garlic minced
For the Rice:
1 Red Onion (for caramelized top)
1 cup Rice
1 can coconut milk
more water if needed according to rice packaging
pinch of cumin
pinch of turmeric
For the plate:
vegetarian hoisin sauce
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
First set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Take a package of extra firm tofu and put it between two plates. Put something heavy on the top plate so that water will come out of the tofu and you can replace it will the teriyaki sauce!
Next prepare the Teriyaki sauce. Grate the ginger and mince the garlic and have ready. Pour the soy sauce and mirin in a sauce pan and heat until it begins to bubble- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the block of tofu into 1/4 inch strips along the tofo width. Lay these on a baking sheet 9 by 13 and pour the teriyaki sauce over the tofu. cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour, turning occasionally. The benefit of placing the tofu in the freezer is that it will develop a nuttier flavor and a better texture.
After tofu has marinated for an hour take the tofu out and place it in the oven for 40 min to an hour. Make sure to turn the tofu every 20 min to keep it from burning. When cooked the outer part of the tofu should have crusted somewhat and the inside should be like custard.
While the tofu is baking begin the rice. I made mine with organic brown basmati rice from trader joes. I prepared mine by adding a can of coconut milk, saffron, cumin and turmeric for color. I used water for the rest of the rice, look at the packaging of your rice to determine how much more water to add! Combine all these ingredients and place on the stove in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer till the liquid is absorbed.
While the rice is cooking slice the onion into 1/8 inch slices. Heat some olive oil over medium in a frying pan and then add the onions. Stir till caramelized about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the baked tofu on a plate with a 1/3 cup of rice and a handful of onions on top! splash with vegetarian hoisin sauce and sprinkle dried basil, red pepper flakes, and grated ginger. EAT