June 1, 2013
Okay, now you probably won’t eat it. But that’s what my kids call it, thanks to a Theophilized pronunciation about three years ago.
But if I tell you that they all fight over who gets the last piece of “toe food,” will you try it then?
So, here’s how I make tofu that my kids fight over:
I usually use extra-firm tofu. I cut it up into whatever-sized pieces I like, and I place the pieces between several layers of paper towels.
Then I put a flat, heavy weight on it.
. . . adding extra weight if necessary.
While it’s being pressed, I get the ingredients for the glaze.
I usually use something salty, something sweet, and something to make it interesting. This time, that happened to be soy, mirin, and miso, but I’m also a big fan of soy, pineapple juice, and garlic.
I use only about an ounce or two of each. (No more than an ounce of soy–otherwise it’ll be inedibly salty.) Sometimes I remember to add minced ginger, too.
So, after the tofu has been pressed for a few minutes, . . .
. . . it looks pretty much exactly like it did before. It’s not even all that much flatter. But it is drier, and that’s a good thing, since I’ll be frying it in hot oil.
This is one of the few things I prefer to use a non-stick pan for.
I heat up the oil (I use a good bit–maybe a quarter cup?) and put the pressed tofu pieces in a single layer (this is important).
I give it a little shake every minute or so, to make sure the tofu doesn’t stick. It is extremely splattery, even if you’ve carefully dried it off, so I 1) don’t let the kids “help” with this one, and 2) don’t cook this on a day after Stephen mops the kitchen floor.
Tofu is like pancakes–you only flip it once.
Once the pieces get good and golden on the one side, flip them all over.
Still in single layers, see? And I still do that little shake-the-pan thing to keep it from sticking.
And then when that side is golden, too, I add the glaze.
It gets bubbly pretty fast.
I don’t worry about flipping the pieces to get both sides coated. I just give the pan a little shake until the pieces are coated.
Soon–three or four minutes, tops–the liquid will be reduced to a glaze-type consistency. You have to pull the pan off the heat as soon as it gets there, otherwise you’ll very quickly find yourself with a gloppy, ugly goop that doesn’t make anyone happy.
And then it’s ready to serve!
You could serve it with, like, double-bacon-cheese fries and ranch dressing, but I think people usually aim for a healthier meal when they cook tofu. I went with roasted broccoli and a nut pilaf.
I’m not saying it gotten eaten faster than cheese fries and ranch, but it did get gobbled respectably quickly.