Thursday, February 15, 2007
Golden Fried Tofu & Brocolli + Tara Linda = Perfect Combo for a Thursday Night
That big ol' block of tofu had been waiting patiently in my fridge for more than a week, and it was time to make it feel useful. So I bastardized a recipe I once learned from Cook's Illustrated, and to my surprise, the result was quite delightful!
And speaking of delightful, tonight's soundtrack featured the lovely and talented Tara Linda (and friends!). The recently released Fool's Journey is an engaging collection of songs that take you to faraway places. At time it recalls Alice in Wonderland....such an ethereal quality to these songs, and Linda's voice is as smooth as velvet and cool as an ocean breeze. Delicious, like this recipe:
Cut 1 lb. firm tofu into triangles, and lightly coat on all sides with about 1/3 cup cornstarch.
In a small bowl, combine:
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup water
About 1 t. toasted sesame oil
About 2 T. maple syrup
About 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
Now give the sauce a taste and adjust as you like. You want it to be tangy, a little spicy, a little salty, a little sweet (you might like your future lovers to be like that too, but I digress).
Heat a generous but not crazy amount of canola oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it's good & hot, gently fry the tofu until golden on all sides. Once golden all over, remove w/ tongs and drop onto a plate w/ paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Meanwhile, cut about 1/2 head of brocolli into bite size pieces, and then very gently steam until barely tender. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop it from becoming overcooked.
Once you've cooked the tofu & brocolli, turn the heat back on to medium-high. Drop the tofu pieces back into the skillet and pour in the liquid mixture. The cornstarch in the tofu will cause the sauce to thicken. Gently toss and heat until good & hot. Add the brocolli at the last minute and give it a healthy toss.
Serve immediately, as is or over a bed of rice or noodles. Crank up your Tara Linda record, and give thanks for another perfect evening of music and food.