Tofu is one of my favorite ingredients. I almost always have a pack tucked away in the refrigerator. Because it stays good much longer than any meat, it’s perfect for the running low on groceries portion of the week.
Once you know a couple of tricks, it’s incredibly easy to work with and wonderfully versatile. It really boils down to two pieces of advice.
1. Buy extra-firm tofu and press it before cooking. Pressing is super easy. Simply take it out of the package and place in on top of a folded kitchen towel (leave about a 1/2 inch kitchen towel border). Place another clean folded kitchen towel on top. Now, here’s where you get a little crazy. Place a frying plan or plate on top of this and weigh it down with a couple of canned food items.
The weight of the plate and canned goods will help you get the excess moisture out of the tofu. This makes it much easier to work with and gets rid of the mushy texture. Just be care when you are putting together this balancing act.
I leave mine for about an hour or so when pressing. You can leave it longer—I’ve left it for a few hours before.
2. Be patient and cook on low. You really don’t need to do much when the tofu is cooking. I only use a little cooking spray and occasional turn the cubes to get every side nice and golden brown.
Try to only turn the tofu when it’s needed. Otherwise, you risk breaking the little cubes. And no one likes broken tofu cubes.
Now, let’s talk about this Sweet Soy Glazed Tofu. It’s fantastic. The tofu is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The sweet soy glaze is a wonderful mixture of sweet and savory and perfectly coats every piece of tofu.
This is a perfect and healthy alternative to take-out.
- 1 package extra-firm tofu (pressed)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I always use reduced sodium)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pan spray (I like the coconut oil pan spray from Trader Joe's)
- Begin by cutting the tofu into even cubes. Add the tofu to a frying pan coated in pan spray set over low (to medium) heat. As each side of the tofu cubes brown, turn them to brown another side.
- While the tofu cooks, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili sauce and garlic.
- Once all sides of the tofu are golden brown, add the soy sauce mixture. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken--about 5-10 minutes.
- Serve over rice or a grain of your choice (I like it over bulgur).