January 13, 2011

I Love Tofu

Have you ever visited the Foodgawker website?  It is a serious collection of food photography from many talented food bloggers.  I spend hours searching through the images and coming up with lists of foods I want to prepare, and it has introduced me to many creative bloggers.  This recipe and blog post from Beyond Kimchee, invited me to fall in love with tofu again.  Such a simple, perfect, delicious recipe.  Karl and I have made this at least five times.  We always eat so quickly, briefly pausing between our next bite, to remark how perfect the tofu tastes, and how delicious and fresh the sauce tastes.  It’s made of soy sauce, garlic, red chili, sesame oil, chives, and sesame seeds, but it makes you feel like you are eating so much more.

This is perfect to serve as a starting appetizer, or to be served over rice as the blog author suggests, or really however you wish. We cook up some Chinese-style noodles, then saute red bell peppers, mushroom, snow peas or Napa cabbage, and add the golden pan-fried tofu on top and spoon the sauce over all of it.

First we were ga-ga over Mainly Veggie's spinach veggie burgers, now it’s all about Korean-style pan-fried tofu.  Click the links to take you to the author’s sites. I will write what I did with the recipe here, but the pictures should be pretty obvious, eh?
Korean-style pan-fried tofu with veggies
Pan-fried tofu served with some sauteed vegetables on top of noodles. 

Tofu hits the pan
Tofu waiting to be golden. 

Pan-fried golden tofu
Golden pan-fried tofu

Chinese-style noodles
Chinese-style noodles
1 block extra-firm tofu
3 tbsp soy sauce (I used 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp water)
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp red chili flakes
½ tsp shrimp powder (I used ½ tsp Thai panang curry paste)
2 tbsp peanut oil to fry up tofu

Prepare these ingredients with directions from Beyond Kimchee’s blogpost. Her pictures are really wonderful.  

I followed her directions exactly, but I served them with a vegetable stir-fry over noodles. 
More ingredients:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 cup mushrooms, wiped clean and cut up however you want
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup snow peas, or 2 cups Napa cabbage chopped (or include both)
12 oz uncooked pasta (such as Chinese noodles, or linguine), or prepare rice instead of pasta.
water for pasta

  1. First, you can toast the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan without any oil over medium heat. Watch them closely so they won’t burn.  While you are cooking the sesame seeds, prep the tofu (drain, cut it up, then salt it lightly).
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the noodles to the boiling water once you start cooking the tofu. The veggies will take about 15 minutes or less, and the tofu will also take about 15 minutes or less.  This way you’ll have hot noodles.
  3. Remove the seeds and add them to the sauce.  Turn heat up heat to medium-high, and add 1 tbsp of peanut oil to the pan. Once hot, add in mushrooms and saute 5-7 minutes.  Jerk the pan in small controlled horizontal movements to toss the mushrooms around. Continue doing this when you add a new ingredient to the pan. You can also stir them around, but it looks more sexy doing it this way (especially if you are wearing an apron).
  4. Next, add in bell pepper strips, and continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes. Add in cabbage and snow peas and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes. Then remove to a plate, and prepare the same pan to cook up the tofu.  You can start heating up 2 tbsp of peanut oil while you go get the tofu, and start pan-frying it up.
  5. Once you have cooked the tofu, you can add the sauteed veggies to the pan to heat them back up. Remove all of this to a plate. Meanwhile, drain the pasta, reserve ½ cup of boiling water.  If the noodles stick, add about a teaspoon of oil to the noodles along with the water. Divide them up between 4 plates and add about 1 cup of veggies plus 4 pieces of tofu on top. Pass the sauce at the table.
This is a super fast weeknight meal and I’m sure it will be among your favorites.


  1. Mmmm eiermie van Soubry! So authentic!

  2. I adore tofu in everything. I'll have to try this recipe out.