Monday, April 27, 2009

Sesame Tofu

I made a dish that seemed to be popular among a few vegetarians and a baby at our Seder gathering. I was asked for a recipe and here it is, although I'm totally winging it. If you're going to try it, feel free to contact me with any questions, as I'm an intuitive cook and don't measure anything. This recipe is really easy, delicious and hard to mess up.

Ingredients:
Tofu (you can even mix firm with semi firm or soft or even silken (perfect for babies and old folks with no teeth!)-- whatever works, personally, I prefer the softer - these are easier found in Asian markets, as I've noticed places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods often stocks firm or extra firm.)
Soy sauce (I prefer Kikoman brand)
Sugar (white granulated)
Sesame oil (you can substitute any vegetable oil (corn, canola, veg, etc.), I don't recommend olive but in a pinch I'm sure it's fine)
Sesame seeds (optional - seriously it is even though it's called "sesame" tofu. Sesame to me is kinda of like a flavor and color - ppl are expecting a sweetish kind of brown sauce.)
Scallions (optional)
Corn starch
Onions
Water

Cut up the tofu in cubes and set aside. Cut up the onions in small pieces and set aside. Finely dice the scallions if you're using as a garnish (makes it look a little nicer, otherwise tofu in brown sauce tends to look like you know what) and set that aside. Heat the oil in a pan. Stir fry the chopped onions for a few minutes. Then put in the tofu, stir fry a litle and then add in the sesame seeds. Keep stirring the whole time (makes me feel useful). Add some soy sauce and sugar to taste - season it a little too much as you will then add water to create some liquid. In a small finger bowl, use mix together cornstarch (2 tsp?) and a little water, making sure the cornstarch is "melted" and mixed well with the water by using your fingers. When the liquid and tofu is super hot (boiling over), slowly add in the cornstarch and water mixture and stir as you add. Continue until you run out of the mixture. You can turn off the heat after it's all cooked and mixed through - the cornstarch mixture simply thickens it so it becomes gravy/sauce like.

When you're all done, sprinkle the finely diced scallions on top, if you're using that.

If you want, you can add ground meat to it. Cook the ground meat first with the onions. And if you want something spicy, forget the tofu, use ground meat, all else being the same and then add in Korean Hot bean paste (and other chopped veggies if you want), serve on hot white rice and a fried egg - it's kind of like bi bim bap.

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