It is a gorgeous day here today so I’m putting this post up as quick as I can in the hopes that we can go outside when the kids wake up from their naps. I hear lawn mowers running and I can see a gentle breeze pushing the trees in our front yard to and fro. Plus, most of the trees are blossoming now, just in time for our annual blossom festival this weekend. I love this time of year :D I hope you’re having great weather too and if not I hope it gets better for the weekend
I know it’s been said before but tofu is all in how you prepare it. It can be nasty stuff but it can be really good too. I know if my in-laws read this they’ll be laughing(maybe because they remember me feeding my firstborn plain soft tofu from the package – sorry Verne!), but honestly, don’t knock it till you try it done right. Even my husband enjoys tofu when it’s cooked properly. For some very helpful tips in making good tofu check out Averie’s Tofu Tips.
I’m not a nutritionist of any kind, but I’ve read a lot about the controversy that soy may not be very good for us and found that there are no definitive answers. As a result we try to limit our intake of it by not buying processed food which a lot of the time contains soy. Plus, it’s always good to check ingredients lists for soy because soy allergies and intolerances are fairly common and soy can be found in so many different things. Of course it’s a personal decision, but we also always buy organic tofu to be 100% sure that it’s not genetically modified or sprayed with round-up and other pesticides. I also always wait for a sale so that it’s not any more expensive.
- Juice of one lime
- Juice of one lemon
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
Press tofu very well while wrapped in a towel. I usually do this using my two cast iron pans on top of the tofu block wrapped in a towel for at least an hour. Then slice the tofu in about 1/4″ thick slices. Mix the marinade in a small container and then place the tofu slices inside. If needed to cover the tofu add more liquid(either citrus juice, soy sauce, or a little bit of water). Make sure the marinade is getting in between the pieces of tofu as well. Cover and place in the fridge overnight, or at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the tofu slices and place on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping once just past halfway through the baking time. Be careful not to burn any thin edges. When done, remove from the oven and let cool while assembling the rest of the ingredients or serve immediately with a different meal.
Napa Cabbage and Tofu Stir Fry
Serves 4 or more as a side dish
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large napa cabbage sliced fairly thinly(or bok choy would be great too)
- 1 onion very thinly sliced
- 1″ piece of ginger, grated or the juice squeezed for the juice
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin(or 2 tsp sugar and a little water)
- 1 recipe Citrusy Tofu, thinly sliced(recipe above)
- Sesame oil and seeds to serve
- Rice noodles or rice to serve
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Once hot add the onion and turn the pan down to medium. Cook for a few minutes then add the grated ginger and stir around(if using just the juice, add later when adding the soy sauce). Add the napa cabbage and stir(if you separate the large stalk pieces from the bottom of the head of cabbage from the more leafy pieces at the top, add those first and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the rest). After it’s been well stirred add 2 tablespoons of water and put a lid over the pan to steam the cabbage.
Only leave the lid on for a couple minutes as you don’t want it to overcook. Once it’s cooked for a few minutes, add the soy sauce and mirin and the cooked tofu that has been sliced again into thin strips. Mix well and heat through then serve over rice or rice noodles or just by itself with a small dash of toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds over top.
Note: This dish may seem like it’s going to be very salty, but I purposely don’t thicken the sauce with cornstarch or any other thickeners so some of the sauce is left behind in the pan and only a small amount is left to flavor the dish.