Tag Archives: Soy sauce

Soy Glazed Tofu

This quick and easy Soy Glazed Tofu is one of our favorites! We usually have most of the ingredients on hand so we can have one of our most requested dinners ready to go in minutes. We just introduced our son to this delicious meal too and he approved so it’s sure to stay in our rotation.

Soy Glazed Tofu

I know that a lot of people are intimidated by tofu. I agree that it seems a bit of a challenge as it just comes in a big white block of nothingness in a tub of water. What to do with it? It took me some practice before I was able to cook tofu in a way that I found edible. I’m really not sure why because now I do just fine without difficulty. Maybe it was just a matter of finding the right recipes…this is definitely one of them! Tofu Pad Thai and Crispy Tofu and Vegetables are other popular choices in our home.

I started off with firm (or extra firm) tofu as it stands up to stir frying better. I cut it into 1-inch cubes and laid the cubes on a paper towel-lined plate, covered with another paper towel, then another plate, for at least 15 minutes, pushing down occasionally. This helps to free excess fluid from the tofu, making it crispier when cooked.

In the meantime, I prepared the soy glaze. In a small saucepan, I combined seasoned rice vinegar (you can get this in the vinegar section in most supermarkets, or check the Asian section), freshly squeezed orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and some orange zest and brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered until thick, stirring intermittently while cooking the tofu.

Getting back to the tofu, I heated dark toasted sesame oil in a large wok over medium-high heat, then cooked the tofu until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking/burning. Using a nonstick wok or skillet will help prevent the tofu from falling apart (one of my early problems with cooking tofu). Once the tofu was cooked, I removed it from the heat, poured in the soy glaze, and garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Soy Glazed Tofu

The sweetness from the orange juice and brown sugar contrasts nicely with savory soy sauce and vinegar, and the flavor of the toasted sesame oil resulting in a fantastic dish. We usually serve it with white rice. It would pair nicely with freshly steamed broccoli as well. This is a meatless meal that you can have ready for your family within 30 minutes. So challenge yourself…try cooking with tofu!

Soy Glazed Tofu

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Soy Glazed Tofu (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010)

Yield: serves 4

1 12-ounce package firm tofu

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (for garnish)

1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions:

1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes on a plate lined with a paper towel, cover with another paper towel, then another plate. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and orange zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring intermittently.

3. In a large nonstick wok or skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes to the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes, until light golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the sauce, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, and serve right away.

Per serving: 130 calories, 5 grams fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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Check out these other tofu recipes from The Dinner Pages:

Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Tofu Pad Thai

Check out other recipes submitted to the Cook Your Books link up… cookyourbooks

Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry

Have I mentioned that prior to my blogging (okay, so prior to about a month ago) I took notes in the margins of my cookbooks? At first it felt a little taboo, you know, because you’re not supposed to write in books. But I’ve been doing it for a while actually. I have a cookbook my grandmother gave me in 1988 and I have notes in it from way back then. A little less wordy than here perhaps, but then again the internet has a little more room for words than the margins of that little book. Aside from the fun memories that come flooding back when look at one of those old books, my note taking has come in more handy as an adult actually cooking for myself, because as I’ve mentioned, I have nearly 150 cookbooks and I can’t remember what I’ve made before half the time and whether it was any good and worth making again. This recipe has one of those notations. It was 2009 when we last enjoyed this meal (May 18, 2009: “Veggies were tasty. Smelled like “real” Chinese food, but chicken was a little dry”) and it was worth reviving.

Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry

The nice thing about stir fries in general, and this one in particular, is that they’re a great way to use up odds and ends of produce hanging out in your fridge. When planning our dinners for the week this one was particularly appealing because it helped clean out the produce drawer and we already had all the ingredients on hand. This time around the chicken wasn’t dry, maybe because we used chicken thighs instead of breasts (or because I’m more comfortable with cooking chicken now such that I don’t overcook it to avoid giving my family Salmonella). Anyway, this meal is quick and really very healthy so I’m thinking I probably won’t wait 3 1/2 more years before serving it again. Next time I’m going to add some sautéed garlic and ginger to the veggies to boost the flavor further.

Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry

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Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons orange juice

4 teaspoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4-6 cups cut up vegetables (such as broccoli, bell pepper, onion, carrots)

minced garlic and ginger to taste

rice, for serving

Directions:

1. Cut the chicken into small strips or cubes. Set aside.

2. Make the sauce by combining the honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add in the cut up vegetables (plus garlic and ginger if using) and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still crispy. Remove the vegetables from the wok.

4. Add the chicken to the wok and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the sauce thickens and bubbles slightly. Then add back in the vegetables and cook together for another minute.

5. Serve over rice.

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Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

The weekend totally got away from us with rainy weather, Gymboree class, work, and a birthday party and we never did make it to the supermarket. So I tried to plan our weekly menu around what we already had on hand, which included tofu and several bell peppers. This recipe is a longstanding favorite of ours. It’s quick and easy to make, even for tofu beginners. The tofu crisps up nicely and the soy sauce marinade with the cornbread crust has a great salty tang to it. The vegetables are crisp with mild flavor from the soy sauce and sesame oil, but you still enjoy their natural crunch and taste. Plus this is really nutritious and low in calories and fat so it’s a great light dinner.

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

The original recipe calls for snow pea pods and 2 bell peppers; I omitted the snow peas and used an extra half bell pepper to bulk up the dish and add more color and flavor. Teriyaki sauce could be used in place of the soy sauce too, depending on which flavor you prefer. Definitely get everything prepared in advance so you don’t need to worry about cutting/coating/cooking all at once. Top with black or white sesame seeds and serve over rice. I was hoping for some leftovers for lunch tomorrow but no such luck. We love this dinner!

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

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Crispy Tofu and Vegetables (adapted with minimal changes from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)

Yield: serves 4

1 12-16 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained

3 tablespoons soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, divided

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided

2-3 bell peppers, assorted colors, sliced into thin strips

8 green onions, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 cups snow pea pods (optional), with strings/tips removed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon white or black sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Cut tofu into slices, about 2 inches long. Place them in a baking dish and pour 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce over them. Flip to coat with the soy sauce and let marinate for 15 minutes.

2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the cornmeal and red pepper. Coat each piece of tofu with the cornmeal mixture and set aside.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the peppers for 2 minutes then add the green onions and snow pea pods if using and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. They will still be crisp.

4. Remove the wok from the heat and add in the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and ensure the wok is clean.

5. Heat another teaspoon of sesame oil in the wok, as well as the vegetable oil, over medium heat. Cook the breaded tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side; it will be crisp and golden. Serve over the vegetables and top with sesame seeds.

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Lo Mein

One of the fun benefits of this blog (so far) is that I am rediscovering my cookbook collection (that was the point anyway, right?). We received How to Cook Everything for a wedding gift and honestly I don’t think I really gave it the attention it deserves. I have lots of appetizing cookbooks but this one has a really interesting and unique selection of recipes for normal (that is, not fancy) food that I am excited to cook for my family. Tonight’s selection was lo mein. It was a much healthier alternative to the greasy stuff from our local Chinese takeout place and lends itself to lots of modifications depending on what is in your produce drawer and whether you’re serving a vegetarian or carnivore.

My husband made a batch of this tofu yesterday (I’m sure I will write about it in detail some other time…it’s amazing) so I decided to use it for this dish and go vegetarian for the night. Another nice thing about this meal is that a lot of the prep work can be done in advance making it a quick weeknight dinner. I cut the tofu into tiny cubes and soaked it in soy sauce. I sliced an onion into thin rings, then chopped up a pound of broccoli florets and sliced a red pepper into slender strips. I also minced 2 cloves of garlic and grated about a tablespoon of fresh ginger. It was key to get all the ingredients measured and ready to go up front so as not to slow down the cooking. The quantities are definitely not exact. I also ended up adding a cup of matchstick carrots I found in the fridge. Chopped up asparagus or mushrooms would work fine too. Or maybe some snow peas. The tofu didn’t have to be pre-cooked and certainly other proteins like beef or chicken would go splendidly as well; they just need to be sliced into very thin strips so they will cook fully and quickly when it is time. Once I had everything measured and set up…

set up for lo mein

…it was time to cook.

I boiled slightly salted water in a large saucepan and added 12 ounces of linguine. Whole wheat spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles would also work nicely here. Once it was al dente (it took 10 minutes) I drained it and tossed it with a tablespoon of peanut oil.

While the pasta was cooking I heated my wok on high then added another tablespoon of peanut oil. To that I cooked the onion until it was light brown, then I added the carrots, broccoli florets, and red pepper strips. I cooked them for about 6-8 minutes (go less if you prefer crisper vegetables). I stirred in the garlic and ginger and cooked for another minute or two, then removed all the veggies from the pan.

lo mein veggies

I added the final tablespoon of oil to the wok and carefully poured in the tofu (I tried to put the tofu in first, then the remaining soy sauce to cut down on splattering hot oil). I cooked it for a minute more. If using raw meat this might take a bit longer but again, this is why very thin strips are needed because it will cut down on cooking time. I then added in half a cup of vegetable stock, the noodles, and the vegetables and tossed it together for another minute.

The recipe was a keeper. I think it will be added to our regular repertoire given its versatility. For future I’d aim to get all the vegetables cut up over the weekend after doing our shopping so I can just immediately get to the cooking (and eating) part after a long work day. This lo mein was definitely a nutritious and tasty alternative to takeout!

lo mein

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Lo Mein (adapted from How to Cook Everything)

Serves 4

salt

12 ounces dry linguine (or whole wheat spaghetti)

3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

8 ounces tofu, beef, chicken, etc., sliced into small, thin pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 pound chopped broccoli florets

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into strips

1 cup matchstick carrots

(Any other veggies you choose)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock or water)

The Recipe

1. Boil water in a large saucepan and add salt if desired. Once water comes to a boil add the linguine or other noodles and cook per package directions, about 10 minutes. Once the pasta is ready, drain it, toss with a tablespoon of oil and set aside.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet on high. Once it is hot, add the onion slices and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring regularly. Then add the other vegetables and cook for up to 8 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer your veggies. Add the garlic and ginger and stir in for about a minute. Remove vegetables from the wok.

3. Heat a third tablespoon of oil in the wok on high. Add the tofu (or chicken, etc.) to the wok and cook for about a minute (or if using raw meat, until fully cooked through). Then add any remaining soy sauce and the stock.

4. Add the pasta and vegetables back to the pan and combine, then serve.

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