TOFU. Even the name sounds pretty disgusting. And if you’ve ever gone so far as to actually buy and open a package, you’ll know that what’s inside doesn’t look much better–a cold, wet gloppy spongey-looking thing soaked in cloudy water with little tofu chunks floating around.
But before you trade in the tofu for the take-out menu, I want to tell you that tofu can actually be delicious. Sexy, even. The beautiful thing about that cold, wet, gloppy spongey-looking thing is that it can take on any flavor you want it to. Cooking tofu might seem intimidating, but with the right ingredients and some simple instructions, you can show those soybeans who’s boss.
Recipe: Sweet and spicy peanut chili tofu
Ingredients: Extra firm tofu, honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha
*Extra firm tofu works best to get it crispy on the outside. Organic is preferred.
Step 1: The first thing I do with this recipe is to mix together the sauce. Mix together equal parts peanut butter and sriracha with honey to taste. If you like it spicier, add more sriracha.
Step 2: Dun dun dun. Open the tofu package. Yes, it’s going to look awful. Take the tofu out of the water and cut into about 1-inch cubes. Despite what you might have heard, you don’t need to do anything fancy to drain all the water out of the tofu.
Step 3: Heat up your skillet to high with a little bit of olive oil or vegetable oil. Put all of the tofu cubes into the pan. It is very important that the pan is hot when the tofu hits it, or you won’t get that crispy outer edge. Once the tofu is in the pan, season with black pepper (I like a lot of pepper). This will help give the tofu flavor and a nice crust. Don’t mess with the tofu at this stage. Just let it sit and crisp up–about 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Carefully flip the tofu cubes over so that the black pepper side is face-down. The color should be a nice golden brown. Let the tofu sit for another 3-5 minutes.
Step 5: Turn the pan down to medium-low. Pour your sauce over the tofu. Stir in about a 2 teaspoons each of soy sauce and sesame oil. If sauce is too thick, add some water. Slowly stir the tofu until all of it is coated in the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Step 6: Enjoy! I like to have this tofu with quinoa and veggies, over a salad or in a stir-fry.
In one 14 oz. package of Nature’s Promise organic extra firm tofu:
Ingredients: Water, whole organic soybeans, magnesium chloride
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