I’ve been on a tofu hiatus lately. Its estrogen-mimicking qualities had me a little nervous, and I hadn’t been craving it much anyway, so I took a tofu timeout. Then I was at the whole foods near work and some baked pressed tofu caught my eye. I can’t remember the brand, but it’s the kind that comes in thai, teriyaki, and lemon-pepper flavors. I usually buy regular organic extra firm tofu, and do the pressing and marinating myself. But don’t kid yourself — that process takes time. Ideally, you’d put the tofu in a bowl, cover it with a paper towel, rest a heavy can on top, and let the liquid drain out over at least half an hour. Then you’d marinate the tofu for half an hour more, replacing the plain liquid with flavor. But whole foods, the blessing that it is, carries ready-made-and-marinated tofu for only eighty times the price! Actually, this stuff was under 2 bucks — not bad at all.
With the tofu flavored and ready to go, I was able to make this entire meal, start to finish, in 23 minutes. People, that’s faster than our not-so-favorite thirty-minute-meal star. And it was delicious to boot! Even D thought so.
As always, I used what I had in the fridge, which last Tuesday night amounted to ten brussels sprouts. Feel free to substitute cabbage, bok choy, peppers, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, spinach, you name it. Just be sure not to overcook the soba; they’re best when they still have a little bite to ‘em.
Teriyaki Tofu with brussels sprouts and soba
- 1 block tofu (I used pre-marinated and baked, but feel free to start from scratch; I’ve included my teriyaki marinade recipe below.)
- ten brussels sprouts or about 2-3 cups of any other vegetable
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 an onion, sliced
- Olive oil
- 1/3 pound soba noodles (about half a package or a bit more)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup teriyaki marinade (recipe below)
- If tofu is not pre-marinated, follow my instructions above to drain and then marinate the tofu.Then chop tofu into a large dice.
- Cook soba in well-salted water, according to package directions. do not overcook. Drain over the sink, rinse with cold water to stop cooking, and set aside.
- chop brussels sprouts into 4-5 slices each, then break into layers with hands.
- Over medium-high heat, add olive oil to a saute pan and when hot but not smoking, add tofu to the pan. Do not disturb much; turn each cube of tofu just once or twice, letting each side cook a good 2-3 minutes. This will develop a nice crust on the tofu. When tofu is browned on all sides, drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
- Add another Tbsp. of olive oil to the same pan, and toss in garlic and onion. Let cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then add brussels sprouts. Toss the mixture for about 3-4 minutes, until sprouts are cooked but still firm, and start adding teriyaki sauce by the spoonful, tossing to coat the sprouts.
- When you’ve added a few spoonfuls of the sauce, add the tofu back into the pan and toss quickly to coat with the sauce. Add more if needed.
- To plate: first arrange soba on the bottom of the plate; then add sprouts and tofu on top. Pour extra sauce overtop, if desired. Toss around to mix, and eat!
adapted from The Bold Vegetarian Chef
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider or sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. mirin
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. cane sugar or brown sugar
- 4-5 dashes Tabasco sauce or 2-3 shakes of chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- combine all ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.
- uh, yea. That’s it!