Sorry to be missing in action again, my loves. I am moving to a new apartment next week with an even better kitchen! I'm so damn sick of this apartment and it's oddly placed kitchen and small counter space that I have not been cooking much lately. Add on PMS and I'd rather burn the kitchen down than cook in it. But that doesn't mean I don't have a back up of recipes that I've made to review.... So here we go!
I'm glad to have foodie friends who are like, "Jackie, what the hell? Where are the recipe reviews?" so here I am talking about probably my new favorite vegan recipe this year. I mean it's so ridiculously easy and silly that I feel bad that it took me this long to actually perfect it. Sesame tofu guys! And I'm talking "Whoa this tastes like it is from Chinese take out" style sesame tofu. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world but there are far worse foods to spend your dinner hour with.
(photo courtesy of LA2DAY.COM)
So the way I make this is kind of a pieced together bastardized version of several recipes. The only "real" recipe I use is here for the Chinese Style Sesame Sauce (and even that I totally tweak the amounts). I looked at this one as well to get a feel for what I should do with the tofu. But I didn't like that she used egg in the tofu prep because I wanted to make this totally vegan. So all I do (and this is my favorite way to fry tofu) is take two blocks of tofu, slice them in bite size chunks, get a Ziploc bag and fill it with about 1/4 c. cornstarch and shake the hell out of it. You obviously don't want your tofu chunks too small or they will just be obliterated in the tossing process but I think you get the point. And I also freeze my tofu and let it thaw before using in this application. I've heard it gives tofu a chewier texture and by Xena, I think the experts are right.
(My own terrible picture!)
Ok, so here we go with the actual cooking. I take a fry pan and fill it with about 1 inch of vegetable oil. I hate using that much oil too but you won't get the great crunchy outside unless you really fry these babies up. Make sure to not crowd the pan otherwise you will just have soggy oily tofu instead of crisp deliciousness. So yeah, this part takes awhile. So be patient. While you are frying, take a small pan and add about 1/4 c. of sesame seeds to toast. Make sure you toss them about as to not burn them (like I did). Once they are done you can set them aside to add later on. When you are about half done with the tofu, you can start making the sauce. I don't know if I need to tell you this but make sure to drain your tofu on paper towel as well.
Here are my tweaks to the recipe above:
-- I only used 1/2 c. sugar and honestly, you could probably cut it down to 1/3 c. and there wouldn't be much of a difference. I find that so many recipes overdo the sugar amounts and I'm glad I didn't put a whole cup in here, it would have been too crazy sweet then.
-- Obviously I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
-- I don't really ever have white vinegar around so I used apple cider and it worked just dandy.
-- Instead of soy sauce, I used tamari because it was what I had.
-- And okay, so I hate kind of hate sesame oil. It has a weird acrid taste that I can't stand whenever I make Indian or Thai food. Because of that I only added about two dashes of the stuff. I liked that there was a hint but not too overwhelming of a flavor.
-- I used hot sauce instead of chili paste since I didn't have any. I added pepper flakes as well because I wanted it spicy!
-- And I didn't use garlic.... I actually just forgot but I honestly don't think it would have added all that much anyhow.
(Photo courtesy of Green Shakes and Giggles)
So whew! A lot of instruction and a lot of changes! So let's piece this bad boy all together. Once the tofu is done, I like to empty out almost all of the oil except for maybe like 3 tablespoons worth. I threw some broccoli in there but you can add whatever you please.... carrots, onions, pineapple, etc. Once those were softened a tad I threw the tofu back in and tossed it with the sauce and sesame seeds and I had a wicked delicious meal. Serve with rice, I like jasmine but any rice will do.
Let me just add that this seriously tastes like take out sesame tofu. It takes a little more time and effort but it is so worth it to know what is going into your food and make it your own.
I give this recipe:
Wow, this was fun to do! I'll be working on more this week. Enjoy!