Tag Archives: mirin

Sesame Tofu

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So I’ve been kind of bummed the past few days. It’s nothing major, but it still has me bummed. Due to class schedules of both REB and my sister-in-law, looks like the Vermont trip won’t be happening this year.

My in-laws have their time share every year during the 14th week of the year, which in normal cases would be April 1-5. That’s what we originally planned for. However, the time share folks consider a week to be a full Sunday-to-Sunday week, which in the case of 2013, was Jan 6-13. So long story short, week 14 of 2013 in their eyes is actually April 8-12. That’s REB’s last week of classes for his first term and my sister-in-law’s professor grades based on attendance and that week is a big one for her, too.

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I think REB and I might go some where else the first week of April though, just he and I, so we can still have time together (although we can’t seem to agree on any destination at this point :\). That part doesn’t have me bummed. What mostly had me kind of sad is that I wouldn’t get to see Vermont in the winter or have a full week with my family-in-law since my parents are overseas until mid-April. I’ve seen the place during peak week in the fall, but I’ve heard winters are just as gorgeous. But the great thing about time shares is we can go any year we want.

So the point of this post? I wanted something delicious to eat for dinner after my workout, and I was bored of wallowing, so I decided to make sesame tofu. REB and I have made variations of Asian dishes before, and we usually replace the meat with tofu. So far we’ve been pretty successful; the General’s tofu being the biggest successor.

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I think the sesame tofu either comes in first or ties for first. I see myself making this recipe more. It was slightly sweet, had a hint of spice and that dark smokey taste of the sesame oil really rounded out the whole dish.

The combination of flavors plus the fact I used a pretty new plate I found at Home Goods instantly made me feel better and stop having first world problems. The hug from REB when he got home from class didn’t hurt either.

Sesame Tofu
 
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Slightly sweet, a hint of spice and a dark smokey taste of sesame oil bring this whole dish together.
Author:
Recipe type: vegetarian, main dish, tofu
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 block 14-oz., extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup Lite soy sauce (or you can use tamari)
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda no calorie sweetener (or regular or brown sugar is fine; agave nectar or honey would be good too)
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon pure sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons whole sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup scallion, chopped (about 2 or 3 stalks)
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2½ teaspoons grated ginger (use less if ginger isn’t your thing)
  • 1½ cups broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili paste (Sambal Oelek brand or similar)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons of tofu marinade
Instructions
  1. For the tofu:
  2. Whisk soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and mirin in a shallow bowl until combined. Add cubed tofu and stir to coat each piece. Set aside and let marinade for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a dry pan, add sesame seeds and heat until toasted and aromatic (about 3-5 minutes). Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. When tofu is ready, reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade, drain the rest and lightly pat the tofu to dry.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large deep skillet and wait for it to get hot. Add tofu cubes in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer to bowl of sesame seeds and toss to coat, and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, add the other tablespoon of oil and cook scallion, garlic and ginger until cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the broccoli, chili paste and water and cook another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Toss the tofu back into the pan with the reserved marinade and cook everything together for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa.
  10. Optional garnish: finely chopped scallion, parsley or sesame seeds

 

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

When I stop to think about how I have something going on every single weekend between now and then end of October, the old me would have freaked out. However the new, positive, hip (yes, hip!) me is looking forward to having things going on during the weekends and people I will get to see!

Of course being busy on the weekends, just means I’m even busier during the week.
Knowing how busy the weeks to come are going to be, I’ve been trying to get grocery shopping done at the beginning of each week so we aren’t scrambling to get certain items each night for dinner. Menu planning is a simple concept, but you know what? It really works!

One of the items on the list was extra firm tofu. Sure, it’s a normal thing in our fridge all the time, but I was in the mood to make something delicious.

Enter tofu lettuce wraps a la PF Changs. …Minus the calories, fat, MSG and sodium.
Making ‘em homemade was ridiculously easy, healthy, spicy (duh), low-carb and full of protein!

The basic recipe is from Isa Chandra (the vegan queen of cooking!) and her cookbook: Appetite for Reduction – a must own! All the recipes in there are healthy, delicious and nothing over 400 calories per serving. Total win. And it just so happens that one of the things I’ve been wanting to do is try to cook from each cookbook I have. Challenge accepted.

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps
 
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Recipe adapted by Isa Chandra
Author:
Recipe type: Low-carb, vegetarian, protein
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz block firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons lite soy sauce
  • Cooking spray (optional)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 small red onion, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (rice vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 12 Romaine lettuce leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat a large, deep skillet or pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the tofu (you can spray some cooking spray if needed) and cook until starting to brown. Add the soy sauce, stir and continue to cook another 8-10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, cook red pepper and red onion over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and Sriracha and stir.
  4. Add the mirin (rice vinegar) and cook 3-5 minutes. If you don’t have mirin, use sherry wine or white wine vinegar.
  5. Lastly, add in the hoisin and mustard and stir well.
  6. Toss the tofu back in and coat well with the sauce.
  7. Serve it up in lettuce leaves and enjoy!

These were so easy to make and so delicious and could be made vegan or gluten-free! You could easily substitute in your favorite protein like beef or chicken or whatever, too. Give it a try, I know you will love them.

Do you do weekly menu plans?