Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Three Cup Tofu

I haven't been inspired to cook much of anything as of late.  After long hours sending out resumes and pounding the pavement looking for an ever elusive job, all I've had energy for is eating for sustenance rather than for the usual hedonist frenzy of flavors.  If I never eat another pre packaged Indian meal, spinach salad or pan fried piece of fish when this job search is over I will be that much happier.

So when the urge for Asian came over me I wasn't going to resist.  There was massive amounts of basil in the fridge from the farmer's market so I thought Three Cup Chicken would be delightful.  But that would be cheating so I went crazy and made it vegan with a little help from someone else who had obviously already had the same idea.

I changed things up by adding some spinach so I could feel like I was getting my vitamins and some cashews to add a better mouthful to what tofu lacks versus the chicken thighs in the original version of this dish.  It worked out delightfully.  Craving satisfied in a matter of minutes.

Pan fried tofu is actually pretty tasty and does a great job of sucking up the flavor of marinates.  So if you avoid it for texture issues, try it this way and see if you change your mind.

Three Cup Tofu

14 ounce container firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, diced
3 inch nob garlic, grated
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoon sake or rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable stock

2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
1 handful of basil leaves

1 handful cashews

In a non stick pan over high heat fry the tofu until browned (about 5 minutes each side.)  Set aside.

Lower heat to medium and place oil in the same pan.  Cook garlic and ginger until browned.  Add soy sauce, sake and tofu to pan and cook until liquid reduces slightly.  Place vegetable stock in pan and reduce further until sauce is thick and sticky.

Add spinach, basil, and cashews to pan and toss briefly to coat.  Serve over brown rice.

Recipe adapted from original at Table for 2 or More.

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