Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Teriyaki Tofu

I feel like everyone has their own favorite way to cook tofu. I know tofu may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm a big advocate of trying everything three times, perhaps in various forms. Whether it's a vegetarian protein, yoga class, sushi roll, or tv show, I've found that by the third try I'll have a good idea of whether or not something's for me. (Side note: I both love and hate the fact that Jay avoids all things tofu... love because it means that there's more for me... and hate because I want him to enjoy its deliciousness and health benefits with me. For me it has become a challenge to try cooking tofu various ways in hopes that one way will tickle his taste buds! I rarely cook it the same way twice!)

Enough rambling. Let's get down to business.
The Stuff:
  • cutting board
  • clean cloth towels or a stack of paper towels
  • several large heavy books
  • shallow baking dish
  • medium to large sauté pan
  • olive oil non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 package firm or extra-firm water, drained
  • 1/4 c. teriyaki sauce (and more to taste)
The Making:
  1. Place the block on a cutting board and cut the tofu into 4 even rectangles. (See diagram below.)
  2. Take the blocks and lay them out on an absorbent towel or a few layers of paper towels. Cover with another clean cloth towel or more paper towels. Place a heavy book or two atop the tofu and allow the weight to press the water out of the tofu for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Once pressed, place on a baking tray lined with wax or parchment paper. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  4. Remove tofu from the freezer. Pour about 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl or baking pan that is large enough to allow for a single layer of tofu blocks. Lay frozen tofu atop the sauce and drizzle an additional 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce over the tofu. Depending on the amount of time you have, you can refrigerate the marinating blocks while you go to work (up to 8 hours) or leave out on the counter for 1 hour. Flip tofu blocks carefully if you are available to do so.
  5. After marinating, tofu is ready to sauté. Place a medium to large saute pan over medium heat. Generously spritz your pan with olive oil non-stick cooking spray. If desired, cut tofu into smaller pieces. Place tofu onto hot pan and do not touch, check, or move for at least 5 minutes. The key to a good crust is not to fiddle with your 'fu! Once at least 5 minutes have passed, check for a dark crust and flip each peice if it's ready.
Serve with stir fry vegetables, noodles (or spaghetti squash for a vitamin-punch) and a drizzle of more teryiaki sauce.

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