Tofu Marinade

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tofu. Exciting stuff.

Exciting stuff that you most likely stay away from. Am I right? “Meh, whatever. I’ll have the chicken,” is what you’re saying.

The best tofu I’ve ever eaten was takeout from this hole-in-the-wall Chinese place in Ithaca, New York, about 18 years ago. It was a bit spicy with a shockingly crisp texture. No idea what they did to it but I can still remember how tasty it was.

While trolling the Web in search of what to do with tofu, I came across a fabulous marinade. And by fabulous I mean I had all the ingredients on hand and it was super-simple to make. The recipe has been on a Post-It Note on the fridge for about 8 months now, and before I lose it down that mysterious gap between the icebox and the counter, I thought I’d post it to Dainty for safekeeping.

Okay, so … you marinate this tofu baby. Then what? The cooked marinated tofu slabs go well with an Asian-style slaw. Put both in a wrap or on top of brown rice. A little added soy sauce is a good addition for the latter, as well.

marinating tofu

marinating tofu

Ingredients*
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tbs minced ginger (a heaping tsp of ground ginger works, too, and gives it a tiny bit sweeter flavor)
1 tbs minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

*This recipe easily doubles BUT think twice before doubling the cayenne. A double recipe will more than adequately cover a standard block of tofu cut into 1/4-inch slices.

-Combine all ingredients in a tall-sided container and whir up with a hand-held immersion blender. Or, put in a regular blender. Blending isn’t totally necessary, but I feel it gives the marinade more body than just a simple whisking. It then holds onto the tofu better.

-Brush overtop 1/4-in. tofu slices, and the sides, too, if you wish. You may have extra marinade – keep that around to pour on top of your wrap or tofu rice bowl.

-Let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Then place slices bottom-side down in a medium-hot pan. Flip after 3 minutes. Flip again after three minutes—this helps get the marinade onto the side that wasn’t brushed.

We used the marinated tofu in a brown rice bowl along with a raw corn-cabbage slaw and some leftover sauteed mushrooms that we reheated in the same pan used to cook the tofu. A sprinkle of nama shoyu or regular soy sauce gave the dish a nice pop.

marinated tofu overtop brown rice, mushrooms and corn slaw

marinated tofu overtop brown rice, mushrooms and corn slaw

What’s your favorite tofu marinade? Please share below – it’s good to have more than one in your recipe book!

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Fish Tacos Fast and Easy

February 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

Without a doubt, the best fish tacos in Boston can be found at La Verdad on Landsdowne. I am right, people. If you beg to differ, please speak up. But I’ve had my share of fish tacos from coast to coast (actually, only on the coasts), and Ken Oringer’s are tops.

Now, I’d love to head on down to La Verdad every single day and have a plateful of those delicacies, but that’s not possible. And we’re still trying to nail down ingredients and technique to replicate those at home. Meanwhile, to satisfy the fish taco craving, we’ve taken a turn at a Boston Globe fish taco recipe. It’s tasty and pretty darn easy.

Slaw

fish taco

Fish taco with red cabbage and carrot slaw and spicy cream

  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt/pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let it sit for about an hour.

Spicy Cream

  • 1/4-1/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • zest and juice from half a lime
  • hot sauce of your choice

Whisk together yogurt, zest and juice. If it’s too thin/watery, add a touch more yogurt. Add in a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.

Fish

  • 1+ lb. firm white fish. We use tilapia for our fish tacos. We’ve used cod and that’s fine, too. Tilapia is less expensive. So sue me.
  • evoo/salt/pepper

Cut fish into 1/2-in. pieces and place into a small bowl. Add a swig of evoo – about 1 TBS – and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss. If you want to add another level of flavor, go ahead. The original Boston Globe recipe suggests about 1 tsp of cumin. We tried that. It’s fine. Although it gives the fish an off-putting grey-brown color when prepared.

To cook the fish, we take about half of the fish, place it on the tray that comes with your toaster oven, and just broil it in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes. And that’s it – done!

To Assemble

Heat a whole-wheat fajita wrap (the 8-in. size) in a dry pan of medium heat. Fill with about a third of the broiled fish. Top with the cream sauce and slaw. The first batch of broiled fish will make about three tacos. For a dinner for two, have one each, share the other (no, there’s nothing gross about that), and have a side of something like caramelized onion and mushroom quinoa.

While you’re cleaning up the dinner dishes, pop the other half of the fish in the toaster oven for 5 min. It heats up well for a lunchtime fish taco the next day.

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