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Friday, April 11, 2014

Soy-glazed Tofu, Carrots and Snow Peas

Occasionally my mother will ask me for an idea on what to make for her weekly blog post. Cream puffs of course, my all-time favourite dessert!  I have yet to be successful with this suggestion so on to my next idea: “How about something with Tofu?” The answer is often something like this:

“I don’t do toe-foo

So I thought I would take this opportunity to do a guest blog post on a weekly main stay in our household. For those who have avoided this product so far, Tofu is a fermented soy bean product which comes in a variety of textures and flavours.  A healthy and inexpensive meat alternative, its versatile nature takes on any added flavour and is absolutely delicious stir-fried, broiled or even barbequed!

If you haven’t enjoyed Tofu before, Soy-glazed Tofu, Carrots and Snow Peas will be the dish to convert you as it provides an easy introduction to this super food. We’re big on “one bowl meals” in our home especially those which can be prepared  quickly and easily with ingredients often on hand.

If you’ve read this far, I expect you will consider making it for yourself and  look forward to hearing how “toe-foo” becomes a staple in your family dinners.

So do the Tofu mother.  You might like it!

Soy-glazed Tofu With Carrots and Snow Peas

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce (I choose a low-sodium variety)
8-9 medium carrots, cut into –inch length pieces (thick pieces halved lengthwise)
1 bunch of snap peas, ends trimmed.
1 package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 16 pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)p

pinch of fleur de sel  or regular saltw
white or brown rice or soba noodles   
  1. Heat broiler. Set rack 4 inches from heat. In large bowl whisk together vegetable oil and soy sauce. Add carrots; toss to coat
  2. With slotted spoon, transfer carrots to parchment lined baking sheet. Push carrots to one side
  3. Add snap peas to marinade; toss to coat and using slotted spoon, reserve in separate small bowl
  4. Add Tofu, a few pieces at a time to the marinade in bowl; turn gently to coat and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Reserve bowl with marinade
  5. Broil for 15 minutes.  Toss tofu and carrots and add snap peas. Return to broiler for another 10 minutes or until tofu is tender and carrots and snap peas are browned. Keep a close eye to ensure they do not burn!
  6. Meanwhile, cook rice or soba noodles.
  7. Transfer carrots, snap peas, and Tofu to bowl with reserved marinade, vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds if using.
  8. Add carrot/snap pea/tofu mixture to rice or soba noodles. Top with scallions and add a drizzle of sesame oil if desired. Finish with a pinch of fleur de sel.
  9. Serves 3 to 4 as a main meal. 

 Notes, Tips and Suggestions

      •  For this recipe you will need a “firm” or “very firm” tofu.  One of the key steps in using this type of tofu is to drain the liquid from it. This will allow the flavours of the marinade to be soaked up into the tofu in place of the water.   An easy way to do this is to wrap the tofu block in layers of paper towel and place a firm weight on top – I usually grab what’s closet to me in the kitchen, like a can of tomatoes.  Let the tofu drain for at least 30 minutes before using.
      • This dish is an excellent accompaniment to soba noodles.  Look for them in the bulk store as the price is much cheaper than in health food stores!
      • Something tells me swapping the snow peas for some broccoli florets would be just as delicious
      •  Just tell me that this dish isn’t delicious!  

      A special thanks to my daughter Elizabeth, The Cream Puff Girl for this guest post extolling the virtues of Tofu. The question remains "Can Tofu be made in a pizzaiola, ragu or bolonese sauce or does it do well on pizza or in a calzone or focaccia? "
      Now that's speaking my language!

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