Sunday, July 29, 2007

Marinated Thousand Layer Tofu with Ginger-Sesame Chard

Kid tested, mother earth approved.

The traditional practice of freezing and pressing tofu ("thousand layer tofu") is excellent for marinade recipes, enhancing flavor absorption and imparting a meatier texture. I brought my leftovers to school, and three 10-year olds oogled the hippie masterpiece, vocally lamenting their cheese curls and Jello. 10 year olds! Chard! This recipe is clearly a powerful force for Good.

Note: when I make this next, I will marinate the shiitake mushrooms (separately, in a sesame, soy sauce, ginger-garlic mix) to boost their flavor; I may also throw in a fresh hot pepper to bring in another layer of spice.
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 package frozen extra firm tofu, defrosted and drained
  • Canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups Swiss chard, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
To prepare tofu, combine the first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Cut tofu lengthwise into 4 equal slices. Carefully place tofu in a baking dish. Pour the soy sauce mixture over tofu. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, turning once. Preheat broiler.

Remove tofu from dish; discard marinade. Place tofu on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Broil 10 minutes on each side or until tofu is lightly browned.

To prepare greens, heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chard and sesame seeds; cook 3 minutes or until chard wilts, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 teaspoons soy sauce.

Place 1/4 cup chard mixture on each of 2 plates; top each serving with 1 tofu slice. Repeat layers with remaining chard and tofu.

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