Tofu lovers, your collective minds are about to be blown; tofu naysayers, you can easily swap this crispy good stuff for something that’s more suitable to your tastes, like shrimp, chicken, chickpeas — whatever. You do you.
All I truly care about right now is the fact that I’m bringing some bright flavors to the blog. Throughout the dark days of winter, we’re so engrossed by deeply-flavored dishes like chickpea curries, smokey chilis and belly-warming bowls of soup. Now that March is approaching and we’re showing symptoms of Spring fever, visions of grilled food and dazzling veggies are dancing through my head.
We are so close to warm weather. So close, in fact, that for the last three weeks my husband and I have enjoyed our weekly Taco Tuesdays on our fave local taco joint’s patio. THE PATIO. Let me remind you that I’m from Southern Ontario, where lake effect snow can haunt you well into April, so to enjoy dinner beneath the stars in February is unheard of to me.
But I’ll enthusiastically take it.
I sure do love North Carolina.
Crispy Lemon Ginger Tofu With Broccoli
When it comes to bright summer flavors, I think of punchy citrus notes like in these Citrus + Soy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps; I also think clean textures, like the ones found in this Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steak recipe. I have so many warm weather-inspired dishes bouncing around in my head with excitement, but for now, we’ll ease into it with this cozy bowl that caters to the chilly weather we’re still enduring while also teasing us with a pop of spring.
Crispy Lemon Ginger Tofu With Broccoli
- Crispy Tofu:
- 16 oz extra firm tofu see notes, pressed
- 3 TBSP potato starch or corn starch
- 1-2 TBSP cooking oil
- 1 cups large head of broccoli cut into bite-sized florets 2-3
- Lemon Ginger Sauce:
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup pineapple juice
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp Sriracha optional
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 TBSP corn starch
- Sesame seeds
- Scallions thinly sliced
Drain and remove the tofu from it's packaging and press (see notes). This will be 30 minutes of idle time. In the meantime, you can blend the Lemon Ginger Sauce.
Place all ingredients for the sauce from the vegetable broth down to the Sriracha sauce into a blender and blend until everything is thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Once you're done pressing the tofu, cut into cubes and place into a freezer bag. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cups of the lemon ginger sauce to the freezer bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
Once tofu has marinated, spoon the potato or corn starch over the tofu cubes in the freezer bag and shake/toss until all cubes are evenly coated. Add more starch if necessary.
Heat oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
Place the tofu cubes into the skillet and fry until they are golden brown and crispy on each side — approx. 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the tofu to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
If you're making rice, now is a good time to start on that; also start to steam your broccoli florets until bright green and tender — approx. 5-7 minutes, or when you can easily pierce each floret with a fork.
Transfer the lemon ginger sauce to the skillet where you cooked the tofu and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.
In a small bowl, mix cold water and corn starch until the starch has fully dissolved. This is to thicken our sauce.
Slowly and gradually add the corn starch mix to the sauce, continuously stirring to blend.
Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, bring down the heat.
When the broccoli is ready, transfer it to the skillet. Add the tofu, and toss in the sauce to coat.
Spoon tofu and broccoli over a bed of fluffy rice and garnish with sesame seeds, thinly sliced scallions and/or extra Sriracha.
Prep Time: Pressing the tofu is 30 minutes of idle time, and marinating the tofu is at least another 30 minutes of idle time. Consider this when planning your meal.
Pressing Tofu: Tofu acts as a sponge and, since it's been sitting in water, it's full of water. You need to press out the water in order to let other liquids in — like your marinade. If you skip this step, you'll end up with a flavorless tofu. Pressing tofu is easy peasy, you just need to sort of plan a head — but just a bit! !Pressing the tofu: Slice the package of tofu open and drain out all of the water. Cut the block of tofu, length-wise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. You should get 6-7 of them. Place a dish towel on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, cookie sheet or tray. Set down a few paper towels on top of the towel. Place the tofu slices on top of the towels and add more paper towels on top. Set some heavy objects on top of the tofu. The best way to go about this is to set another cookie sheet on top, and then set heavy things on top of the cookie sheet — such as a heavy pot or canned goods. Let it be for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme