Another busy week means another quick and easy recipe. This one has actually been on my “to try” list for a really long time so I’m really glad that I finally got around to making it. This will be in a regular rotation FOR SURE. I often struggle with vegetarian recipes since I often miss the meat quotient but after making this dish, I now have the perfect meat substitute.
Also, I discovered why I never liked tofu before, I never pressed it! Long gone is that mushy, slimy texture that I could never stomach.
The best part about this recipe? You need 5 ingredients:
- 1 (14-ounce) block firm tofu, drained
- 3 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce (or reduced-sodium tamari to make it gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (I didn’t have it so used apple cider instead)
- Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels, and place it on a dinner plate. Set a very heavy pot or pan (e.g., cast iron skillet) on top of the wrapped tofu and let stand for 30 minutes to press out all the extra tofu.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the chili garlic sauce, maple syrup, soya sauce, and rice vinegar. Whisk together until combined and set within reach of the stove.
- Carefully unwrap the tofu. Slice it widthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Then, lay each piece flat and slice in half lengthwise and then widthwise, yielding four small rectangles from each.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat until hot. The heat will sear the surface of the tofu and prevent it from sticking, which is why it’s important that the pan is thoroughly heated.
- Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer (you’ll need to do this in two batches). Use the back of a spatula to lightly press down on the tofu (you should hear it sizzle and steam). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the pan-facing sides are golden-brown. Flip, and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Reduce the heat to low, return all the tofu to the pan, and add the sauce. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly and begins to cling to the tofu, stirring frequently
- Transfer the tofu and sauce to a medium mixing bowl and allow it to rest and marinate until ready to serve. Serve on its own or alongside steamed vegetables and/or brown rice.
I actually was making stir fry that same night and it was the perfect addition. Can’t wait to make this one again.