Taking Tofu Up a Notch

Tofu is the Meryl Streep of the food world.  I love Meryl Streep so this is not an insult at all.  Meryl’s brilliance is her ability to lose herself in any role.  I remember watching her as Julia Child in the movie Julie & Julia and there were moments when my mind would shift back and forth – “It’s Meryl on the screen as Julia Child, no it’s really Julia Child, no it’s Meryl…”  Tofu is just like Meryl in the way it can completely take on the flavours that are added to it.  I have grilled tofu and served it with a satay sauce, put it in a broccoli cheese dip, added it to lasagna, and all to great success.


But, one of my favourite tofu dishes are these pan fried tofu dipped in a sauce of mirin-ginger-sesame-orange-soy-honey and topped with black sesame.  It is similar to agedashi tofu that is served in Japanese restaurants.  My frugal Japanese girlfriend orders this side dish and then orders a bowl of rice and voila, a meal.

The tofu in this dish takes on the persona of the sauce so well that I forget I’m eating tofu – “It’s tofu, no it’s not, yes it is…”   As this dish is versatile, it can be enjoyed as an appetizer, snack, lunch or dinner. With its crispy firm texture, you can even toss aside the cutlery and eat it with your hands!

Kale got inspired to set the table for a fancy meal.  She served the pan-fried tofu on a beautiful embellished glass dish and silver plater, thus elevating its humble status in the culinary world.

Black Sesame Tofu Kake2Kale.com
Superfoods in this recipe:

Black Sesame – High in B vitamins, minerals and rich in mono-saturated fat oleic, which can lower the bad cholesterol. One of the B vitamins it contains is niacin which helps reduce anxiety. It is also rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, protein and vitamin E.  In Chinese medicine these seeds support the kidney and liver meridians (pathways). The adrenal glands sit right above the kidneys, so by nourishing them you also do the same for the adrenals. These glands secrete hormones (ie. estrogen, testosterone and cortisol), and its main function is in helping your body react to stress.

Tofu   –  Rich in protein, iron, copper, selenium, and calcium.  Tofu is also high in isoflavones that behaves like estrogen, which is very helpful for women who are in menopause. In menopause, estrogen levels are in decline and may, for example, cause night sweats and/or weight gain.

Ginger – Anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and an antiseptic.

Garlic – The major player in the allium family ( includes, leeks, onions, shallots, chives, green onion) contains sulphuric compounds that may help with lowering blood pressure, destroy cancer cells.  Allicin, one of these compounds in garlic is not only anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, but research has shown that as allicin helps your body to neutralize dangerous free radicals.

Black Sesame Tofu Kake2Kale.com

Black Sesame Tofu serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package 14 oz organic extra firm tofu
  • ¼ c. black sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1/3 c. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 green onion (thinly sliced)

Directions:

  • Take the tofu out of the package, wrap in a paper towel, place on a plate.  Then put a heavy can on top of the wrapped tofu.
  • This is to squeeze the extra moisture out of the tofu.  Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  • Then slice the tofu into 8 slices.  Coat each slice in the cornstarch.
  • Pan fry the tofu over medium high heat in 1 Tbsp. of oil until golden brown on both sides.

Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. agave syrup or honey
  • 2 Tbsp. *mirin or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¼ c. orange juice

*Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that you can find in most Asian grocery stores.

  • Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan, bring to a boil and then turn down heat to medium high and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until sauce becomes thickened slightly.
  • To serve, pour the sauce over the tofu and sprinkle black sesame and green onion over top.

Eat superfoods, live a super life! {Kake}

Black Sesame Tofu Kake2Kale.com

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