Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tofu Teriyaki

If you invite a vegan to dinner, this is a great meal to serve. The brown rice and greens make it healthy, and the teriyaki sauce makes it yummy. Your friends and family will think you ordered out, until they taste the food and realize how good it really is.

The teriyaki sauce is complex -- a little sweet, a little salty, with good depth of flavor. It transforms the tofu, and there'll be enough to pour over the rice as well.

You can find brown rice syrup, mirin and tamari at any health food store. The brown rice syrup gives the sauce its sheen and a slight sweetness. Mirin is a rice wine that is cheap and lasts for years in the cupboard. Tamari is a wheat-free soy sauce with less sodium than most national brands.

Start the meal prep by putting brown rice on to cook - a rice cooker makes this easy because you can set it and forget it.

While the tofu is pressing, wash and coarsely chop the greens (removing any tough stems) and make the teriyaki sauce.

Start the tofu cooking, then the greens. I used kale, but any green you like will do. For one bunch of greens, sauté 1/2 onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add 1 clove minced garlic and a sprinkling of chili flakes if desired. Add the damp chopped greens and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well, then cover and let cook for 5-8 minutes before stirring again. Cook until they are the consistency you like. Add extra water if they start to stick on the bottom. They will be ready at the same time as the tofu, but if one is finished first, cover and keep it off the heat until all is ready to serve together.

This is a simple meal that looks fancy and tastes great. Give it a try!

Tofu Teriyaki
1 lb firm organic tofu
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce)
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Place the tofu on a shallow plate. Put a second plate on top of the tofu with a jar of beans or other heavy weight on top. Press for at least 15 minutes. Drain off the excess water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown rice syrup, tamari, mirin, apple juice and toasted sesame oil.

Cut the tofu into roughly 3/4 inch slices. Cut each slice into triangles. Pat dry.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frypan. Add the tofu and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Add the sauce and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is syrupy and coats the tofu, about 15 minutes.

Serves 4

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