Monday, July 18, 2011

Teriyaki Tofu

Japan is on my top three list of favorite places in the world. In college, I minored in the language and studied abroad in Tokyo as well as lived with a host family in a small suburb two hours south of Tokyo (my host mother was a radio chef and they chose me specifically as a host daughter in order to cook vegan food to try something new - how lucky was I!). That being said, Japanese food is my favorite type of food. Hands down. I've been eating sushi so long, I don't even remember the first time I had it. As a little girl, my parents and I would go to the same little Japanese restaurant, Taka Sushi, just by our house in the Bay Area at least once a week, if not twice. Early on, I knew the names of various Japanese foods. The sushi chef at this restaurant (his name was Roni) would let me stand off to the side of the bar in order to watch him make sushi and explain to me about how to prepare it and the words in Japanese. I don't really miss what I chose not to eat anymore because of being vegan, but it's sure cool to take old favorites and spruce them up in a cruelty-free way. :D

Teriyaki Tofu
* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 30 minutes
* Ingredients (for teriyaki sauce):
  • 1 cup soy sauce or tamari*
  • 1 cup brown sugar*
  • 2 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp mirin*
* Ingredients (for teriyaki tofu):
  • 1/2 package (14 oz.) of firm tofu, cut into 1/2 in. slices
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted (optional to toast)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp nori, ripped apart or cut into fine strips
* Recipe (for teriyaki sauce):
  1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil in small sauce pan.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the sauce boil over.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.
* Recipe (for teriyaki tofu):
  1. Press tofu of any water before starting.
  2. Bring oil in frying pan to hot heat.
  3. Put the flour on a plate and dredge each side of the tofu completely in it.
  4. Add the tofu to the frying pan and fry each side to a golden brown color.
  5. In a new frying pan, put the tofu in there and add the teriyaki sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduse and let simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn tofu over periodically in order to coat each side.
  6. Remove from pan and serve on top of hot rice. Top with sesame seeds, scallions, and nori.
* Note: One could probably use Bragg's Amino Acid in replace of soy sauce or tamari. Make sure your sugar is vegan. Mirin is a sweet rice wine cooking liquid. I modified this recipe from Japanese Home Cooking by Shunsuke Fukushima.

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