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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Broccoli Tofu for One

This simple little dish tastes like a ray of sunshine. Well, that was a bit of hyperbole, but it’s really very good. With broccoli and tofu as the star attractions, you know you’re getting your vitamins and proteins with the maximum amount of joy.

         2 TBLSP water
         1 TBLSP mirin or dry sherry
         2 ½ teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
         2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided
         2 teaspoon granulated sugar
         4 ounces (about a third of a 14-ounce package) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
         Pinch of salt
         1 ½ TBLSP canola oil, divided
         1 clove garlic, minced
         1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
         1 ½ cups broccoli florets
         1 TBLSP water

  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 TBLSP water, mirin, tamari, ½ teaspoon cornstarch, and sugar, and set it aside.
  2. Once your tofu has been pressed and drained, cube it into 3/4-inch cubes (or so). Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. In a cereal bowl, put the remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and a pinch of salt, and toss the tofu in it gently, to coat it.
  4. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 TBLSP of canola oil and add the tofu. Don’t stir it for a couple of minutes, to allow it to form a slight skin. Then turn the pieces over to form a skin on another side, and leave it undisturbed for another two or three minutes. Keep gently turning the cubes until they’re browned all over, perhaps another five minutes, less if you have small cubes. Transfer the browned cubes to a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil.
  5. Reduce the heat slightly, and add the remaining oil, if needed (or dump out excess oil. You’ll only need there to be about a tablespoon in there). Add in the garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and water and cover the pan. Stir it a couple of times while it cooks, until the broccoli is tender but still crisp, about four minutes.
  6. Add the mirin/tamari sauce (from step 1) to the pan, and cook until the sauce thickens, perhaps two minutes. Add the tofu to the pan and combine with the sauce.

Serve over rice or noodles, or even shredded cabbage. Or, if you’re really feeling wild, just eat it unaccompanied.
  • Add 2 TBLSP raw cashews when you return the cooked tofu to the pan.
  • Decorate the completed dish with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Add a little rehydrated wakame (seaweed) to the top or around the edges.

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