Tag Archives: Tofu

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

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Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

Soba noodles, also known as buckwheat noodles, are a traditional New Year’s food in Japan. It is thought that the length of the noodles symbolizes longevity in life, which of course is a good thing to hope for going into a new year. Aside from the length of the noodles, this dish may help contribute to a long life because it’s really good for you. I know a lot of people make various healthy eating resolutions starting January 1st and this recipe won’t derail you. Over the next few weeks I’m planning to feature a number of nutritious and lower calorie meals that will help you to achieve your resolutions. I’ll put the nutrition information at the bottom of the recipe. If there’s not nutrition info, more than likely you just don’t want to know (or my 15 month old son just wouldn’t go to bed so I didn’t have time to calculate everything, which is a distinct possibility these days)!

This dish is satisfying thanks to delicious sweet and spicy Asian flavors. The distinctive flavor of sesame oil is enhanced by the sweetness of brown sugar and orange juice, and spiced up with some chile paste, ginger, and garlic. The salad is served cold, but I really prefer cooked tofu so instead of “raw” tofu as called for in the original recipe, I seasoned and broiled it to crisp it up a little and add more flavor.

Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

This salad contains tofu and long soba noodles for a long life. Other than cooking those, which requires minimal hands on time, this is a quick weeknight meal to put together. The salad veggies include napa cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots and provide a nice crunch in contrast to the noodles and tofu. A bagged coleslaw mix could be substituted for the napa cabbage if you’re really in a rush. I’ll share another use for napa cabbage soon too so any leftovers don’t go to waste.

Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

I want to wish all of The Dinner Pages readers a safe New Year’s celebration and a happy and healthy 2014! For this blog, which has only been around for 2 months, I hope to continue to bring you delicious, family friendly, and (mostly) healthy recipes. Let me know what you’d like to see more of and I will get cooking!

Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

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Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu (adapted from Cooking Light Complete Meals in Minutes)

Yield: 4-5 servings

Dressing:

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (or finely minced fresh garlic)

1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic

Salad:

1 package (12-14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes

nonstick cooking spray

salt and pepper

1 8-10 ounce package of soba noodles (can substitute whole wheat spaghetti)

half a head of napa (Chinese) cabbage (about 3-4 cups), thinly sliced

2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Prepare the salad dressing by placing the first 9 ingredients (under dressing) in a small mixing bowl and combining with a whisk. Set aside.

2. To prepare the tofu, coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the cubes of tofu in a bowl and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste. Transfer the cubes to the baking sheet and broil on high for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning the cubes over once halfway through.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil then add the soba noodles and cook according to package directions, about 4 minutes. Drain the noodles, rinse in cold water, then drain again.

4. In a large bowl, combine the tofu, noodles, cabbage, sprouts, carrot, and cilantro. Top with the dressing and toss together to combine.

Nutrition Information:

For 1/4 of the salad: 371 calories, 9 grams of fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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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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Tofu Pad Thai

Thai food ranks among my favorite genres of food and I crave it. Often. I love the spices and flavors and also that there are always lots of tofu options on the menu. Massaman curry and spicy tofu stir fries with basil are my typical choices when we order Thai. Mmmmm. We recently introduced our son to Tofu Pad Thai and he really loved it, which made us so happy! I have a homemade version that I’ve made several times in the past and decided to make it again, now that my son could join in the yum. It’s not exactly authentic (I’m pretty sure “real” Pad Thai does not contain ketchup) but it sure is good. This is not a complicated recipe but takes some time due to the multiple steps. I think it’s worth it every so often though; I can still get it made faster than I can pick up Thai take out!

I drained a standard 12 ounce package of extra firm tofu and cut it into inch-sized cubes. I placed the cubes on a paper towel on a plate and then covered them with another paper towel and another plate with a weight on top to get as much liquid out as possible to allow for crispy tofu. I let the tofu sit for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I tossed it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to help with the crispy outer coat when stir frying.

I cooked the rice noodles according to the package–in this case it entailed putting 6 ounces of noodles in a bowl and covering them with very hot tap water and letting them soak for 25 minutes. While they were soaking, I cooked the tofu. I heated a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in the wok and sautéed the tofu for 7 minutes until it was light golden brown. I removed the tofu from the wok. I then scrambled 2 whole eggs and an egg white in the hot wok with a little more oil and removed them as well.

The sauce included ketchup, sugar, Sriracha, and soy sauce. The original recipe calls for fish sauce instead of soy sauce and I know that real Thai contains fish sauce but I find it unappetizing to cook with so I usually sub in something else. I then added the soaked and drained noodles to the wok and cooked them for 3 minutes. I added the sauce and mixed it with the noodles, then the scrambled eggs. I stirred in half a cup of chopped green onions and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, added the tofu back to the pan, and garnished with chopped peanuts. Thai craving fulfilled. For now…

DSC_0485

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Tofu Pad Thai (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010)

Serves 4

1 (12.3 ounce) package of extra-firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons cornstarch

6 ounces flat uncooked rice noodles

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)

1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, chopped

lime wedges as garnish

The Recipe

1. Drain tofu and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes on several layers of paper towels, layer with additional paper towels and put a plate on top of them, pushing down lightly occasionally. Let sit for 30 minutes, then toss the cubes with the cornstarch.

2. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Do not add salt or fat. Drain the noodles and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until lightly golden brown on all sides, approximately 7 minutes. Remove from the pan.

4. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the pan. Add the eggs/egg white and scramble for 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from the pan and set aside.

5. Combine ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the wok. Add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes then stir in the ketchup mixture. Add the eggs and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, then add the onions, cilantro, and tofu to the pan. Garnish with peanuts and a lime wedge.

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