I’ve been having trouble with tofu. It falls apart when I cook it. Once or twice I’ve gotten it right, but the last few times have been terrible. So I started to read up on how to cook it better.
First the sauce!
- half cup of soy sauce
- splash of mirin (rice wine vinegar) or sherry
- teaspoon of date or palm sugar – brown will work in a pinch
- 1/4 teaspoon of chili sauce – I used Vietnamese hot chili sauce
- if your sauce had no garlic, add maybe a clove
- Ginger – add as much as you love. I did a tablespoon.
Mix all that together and put in a shallow pan.
Next cut your tofu into one half inch slices. I cut them again into triangle wedges, but next time I think I’ll cut them in half so they’re less fragile. Once cut, spread them on paper towels and gently press to get the liquid out. I let it sit for a while.
Prep your pan. Use nonstick or a ‘well seasoned’ cast iron. Is there any other kind? I used cast iron. All my plans are cast iron. I love cast iron. In a dry pan, cook the tofu on medium/low until light brown. I had some trouble here, breaking them as I flipped them, and not getting the right sear. I believe this was a heat issue. Still. Do them in batches, so you have room.
Once they’re cooked, put them in the pan with your sauce and marinate for at least half an hour. More is better. More is always better.
While that settled, I tossed some onions and butter into the pan to cook down. Once they got limp, I turned on the rice cooker with brown rice. Cook your onions as you like them. I love a good fond, so I crisp mine a bit before turning it down to a simmer. Next I tossed in mushrooms. I had a bag and an eighth of dried shiitake, so I rehydrated them and put them in with the onions and salt and pepper.
Finally I sliced some baby bell peppers and, when my onions were done, tossed them in the pan.
At this point, it had been an hour. Time for the tofu!
The second cook is really a re-heat more than anything. You can see in the photo that one batch was lighter than the other. The darker one is the (IMO) better one.