Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sesame Tofu

Tonight for dinner is Sesame Tofu and weight watchers Hot and Sour Soup. Each recipe uses a 1/2 block of tofu so it works out well together. If you've never had tofu and it freaks you out, don't let it scare you, give it a try. The irst time I ever had tofu was when we lived in Japan, and I thought it was a very moist and tender chicken for the first several bites when it finally clicked- "hey, I think this is tofu".

1/2 lb. firm tofu
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry or marsala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
6 green onions
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced carrots (thin sliced coins, or shredded, or however you want 'em)
10 mushrooms, cut in thick slices
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (I don't use fresh ginger, and I don't use much of the powdered stuff...just not a ginger fan)
2 cups cooked Chinese vermicelli (I have never actually seen Chinese vermicelli in any store. I either use a couple of packs of Ramen without the seasoning, or a pack of these thin Japanese noodles I can find at the commissary, or even angel hair pasta works)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Cut the block of tofu into 3/4 inch thick slices. Line a cookie sheet with several paper towels and place the tofu in a single layer on them. Cover with another layer of paper towels, and a second cookie sheet. Recipe now says to press it and slice into matchsticks, but what you really need to do get it drained well is place some heavy stuff on top of the 2nd cookie sheet- a few large canned goods, a few books, a brick if you have those laying around....whatever. Let it sit about 20 minutes or so while you prep all your other stuff. Then proceed to the rest of the recipe as such: Cut your drained tofu into 1/2 inh matchsticks and place in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sherry or marsala, and the garlic together and pour over the tofu. Let marinate for 10 minutes. Drain tofu and set aside 2 tbsp of the marinade. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter and sesame oil over medium heat. Finely slice the white ends of the green onions and saute' for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and carrots, and stir-fry til tender. Add the mushrooms and ginger, and stir-fry til tender. Slice the tops of the green onions on an angle and add to the pan along with the tofu. Stir-fry til heated through. Add the vermicelli, the reserved marinade, and the sesame seeds. Stir gently, heat through, and serve.

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