Tofu is a protein that I think is easily overlooked if you aren’t very familiar with it. People might think it’s easier and better tasting to broil a chicken breast or throw a steak on the grill but I would argue that tofu can be just as easy and just as delicious. Definitely healthier anyway. If you often skip to tofu thinking you don’t know what to do with it or that only crunchy granola eaters like it, this is a good place to start with tofu and most of these ingredients should be pantry staples (or at the very least, are sold at your local grocery store). Also, feel free to add your own favorite ingredients like fresh ginger, scallions, or nuts!
Ingredients you will need:
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 package firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced (use fresh!)
1/8 cup (about 1 oz) soy sauce — we use low sodium
1/8 cup (about 1 oz) rice wine vinegar
1 bag frozen broccoli thawed in microwave (or microwave fresh broccoli in some water) — NOTE: You can substitute any other vegetable for broccoli like sauteed spinach, or carrots, or mix a few vegetables! Use your imagination. I just always have broccoli in the freezer.
sesame seeds (optional)
sriracha (optional, but so delicious)
How to cook it:
1. Drain the firm tofu and then wrap in paper towels. When paper towels are damp, change them and try to remove as much liquid as possible because this will help the tofu brown better. If possible, drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels in the morning for cooking that night. If you don’t have that kind of foresight (I didn’t for these pictures), just do your best to get as much liquid out as possible.
2. Preheat your fry pan or wok to medium high heat.
3. Slice the tofu into cubes and mince the garlic.
4. Add the 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil to the preheated pan. Allow about 30 seconds for the oil to heat and shimmer. Add the tofu carefully so it doesn’t splatter the oil.
5. Continue to stir-fry the tofu so it doesn’t stick and try not to break up the cubes. If it sticks, you can add a little more oil. When the tofu begins to brown, add the minced garlic.
6. When the garlic has browned, add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Continue to stir-fry so that the tofu can soak up the liquid. Continue to cook so that the liquid reduces.
7. If you have sesame seeds that you would like to add, scrape all the tofu and liquid to one side of the pan and add about a tablespoon of sesame seeds to the dry side of the pan to briefly toast them. Once they are toasted, stir everything together.
8. Once the liquid has reduced some and everything is mixed, add your thawed (or pre-cooked) broccoli to the pan. Stir everything together because the broccoli will also use some of the liquid in the pan.
9. Taste a cube of tofu and if it doesn’t have enough flavor, add soy sauce or rice wine vinegar if you’re like me and enjoy vinegar. Of course you can always add salt and pepper or even fresh grated ginger if you like that flavor (did you know the best way to keep fresh ginger is in your freezer? Grate it from the frozen root and you’ll always have it on hand). Serve over brown rice or noodles with sriracha on top.
10. Eat up!