Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tofu Satay with Warm Brocolli Stem Slaw

Marinating the pressed tofu slices is essential in developing flavor for the Tofu Satay. If you haven't planned ahead for at least 4 hours marination in the fridge, an hour or so at room temperature will suffice.

Roasting tofu in the oven completely transforms the bean curd's texture.

Pre-shredded, packaged bags of broccoli stems are widely available at most supermarkets as well as Trader Joe's and natural food stores. Try to find one that also includes slivered carrots. To make the slaw, heat over a high flame, 2 T. vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok. When the oil is shimmering but not smoking, add 1 T. of sesame seeds along with 1-2 t. crushed, dried red chilies. Allow to sizzle for a minute before stirring in 1 bunch of sliced scallions. Now add the bag of shredded broccoli stems (or even pre-packaged coleslaw) and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly over the highest possible heat. Add 2 T. soy sauce or tamari, 1 T. sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for only a minute more and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. If you have them, a cup of mung bean sprouts added in the last minutes of cooking add another level of flavor and substance.

Cafe Drake HRV serves our Tofu Satay Skewers over brown rice, with broccoli stem slaw and roasted sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

Be sure to serve plenty of satay sauce for dipping. Alternately, the sauce can be drizzled over the tofu skewers themselves for a more dramatic presentation.

As with pretty much all Cafe Drake HRV recipes, the tofu skewers, satay sauce and broccoli stem slaw make superb leftovers and reheat easily.


TOFU SKEWERS WITH SATAY SAUCE

To start, drain and wrap in a kitchen towel one 14-oz. block of extra-firm tofu. Allow to rest for 30 minutes; the towel should absorb plenty of water from the tofu. Pat the tofu dry and cut into slices or cubes, squares or rectangles, whichever you prefer. It's worth noting that thinner slices of tofu will absorb more flavor from the marinade. 

Make the marinade by mixing together 1/2 t. ground turmeric powder and 3 T. soy sauce or tamari. Carefully toss the tofu with the marinade. The bean curd's delicate texture makes it easy to crumble and fall apart. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. If not, cover and let rest at room temperature for at least one hour, gingerly stirring the tofu now and then.

When ready remove tofu from marinade and thread the pieces along wooden or metal skewers, at least 4 per skewer. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the skewers on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Now flip the skewers and roast on the other other side for another 20-25 minutes. The time you choose to bake the tofu will depend upon your textural preferences; a longer cooking stint, for example, creates a chewier, denser tofu skewer.

While the tofu bakes make the satay sauce by heating in a small saucepan 1 cup coconut milk (canned kind), and 1-2 t. red curry paste (Thai style, available at all supermarkets in Asian food section) and 1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth is best here). Stir very well until all is dissolved together and then add 2 T. brown sugar, 1 t. salt, 1 minced hot green chili and 1 T. lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat until slightly thick, the consistency of heavy cream. remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature along with the skewers.

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