Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet & Sour Tofu

My latest cookbook acquisition was The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of The Joy of Vegan Baking. It's a really nice book with lots of color pictures of the dishes. It took me a while to get used to the format, which organizes the dishes according to what sort of dinner party you'll be having and not necessarily by course, but I got over that and have been enjoying it for the past few months. My most recent recipe trial was for the Sweet & Sour Tempeh, only tempeh and I don't get along. I don't like it, and it makes me sick. We've decided to call a truce and tempeh is no longer part of my life. The recipe suggested tofu if one isn't a tempeh fan, so I went that route. The other change I made to the recipe was leaving out the red pepper flakes because spicy doesn't agree with me either, though I can see how they would go well in the sauce. I also used more green beans than the recipe called for because I have them coming out my ears from the garden... and I left out the onion and used a small pattypan squash instead. That's pretty much the same thing, right? I tossed the tofu around in some rice flour and pan fried it to give it a nice crispy crust before mixing it with the veggies and sauce. Overall, I was very happy with this dish! The apricot sweet and sour sauce was very yummy and it went well with the tofu and vegetables. I thought it was going to be too much sauce, but it worked out well over rice. I think my main criticism would be the number of pots and dishes it took to make this!! But I just hate doing dishes.

Sweet & Sour Tofu
1 lbs tofu, cubed
1/2 cup rice flour
Canola oil for pan frying
1 cup + 3 tbsp of water
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups of green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small summer squash cut into bite sized pieces
7 oz of apricot preserves
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water
5 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp light miso
Black sesame seeds for garnish

1. Toss the tofu cubes around in a large bowl with the rice flour until the cubes are well coated.

2. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Brown the tofu cubes on all sides, then take out of the pan and drain on brown paper/paper towels.

3. In a small pot, combine the preserves and water and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. While that's going on, heat the remaining 3 tbsp of water in a skillet (I just wiped out the one I made the tofu in and used that again) and sautee the veggies and ginger until they are tender-crisp.

5. Add the cornstarch dissolved in water to the apricot mixture and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the vinegar, tamari, and miso, and continue to cook until the miso is dissolved and the sauce is thick.

6. Toss the tofu in with the veggies, pour the sauce over the whole lot and turn over gently to coat, then sprinkle with black sesame seeds for garnish. Serve over rice.


Jeni Treehugger said...

LOL! Onion and pattypan squash.
That looks delicios!

Pescatarian said...

I have this book as well as apart of my collection given to me as a gift - and we made this recipe awhile back after another friend borrowed the book to make the original recipe as you have made it. It was very good.

The one thing I did differently and what I'd found very helpful was dry frying the tofu to remove the excess water content and to allow it to absorb more of the flavors before continuing with the cooking process.

Next time I think I'll even take that method a step further and use my fried tofu (I freeze it first then I use Olive Oil to fry in)... as that really absorbs the flavors as well if you let it sit a bit in the sauce as a marinade and then cook it up; plus it gives a delightful crunch to the recipe. I've found those alterations very helpful to mix up traditional "softer" tofu recipes, and makes it more palatable for the other half who hates tofu. When I make it this way he doesn't consider it tofu anymore, LOL.

Megan said...

I tell you there are times I WISH the boy didn't like tofu. He will eat an ENTIRE pound by himself if I don't take out my share fast enough. Seitan is even worse!!

I don't know where abouts this giant spinning ball you live, but up here in the North East there's a local tofu maker out of Middletown, CT called "The Bridge" who makes the most amazing tofu ever!! Normally, as you described, I'd go through procedures to get the extra water out of the tofu, but with this stuff there's just no need. It's just so dense and creamy and fresh tasting... man, now you've got me wanting tofu!