• Amanda

Citrus and Chilli Tofu



Ingredients:


Half a block of tofu cut into thin slices

2 lemons juiced (or you can use pre-prepared bottled lemon juice but fresh is nicest

The Zest of the lemons

1 fresh chilli sliced into rings (its up to you if you want the seeds or not)

1 tbsp of tamari sauce or soy sauce (optional)

Mixed salad of your choice - go wild,- the more colours the better

Pine nuts (optional)

Pumpkin seeds (optional)

Sunflower seeds (optional)




So many people seem to freak out when they hear the word 'tofu'. I must admit, I used to too, but tofu is all about learning how to cook it and how to prepare it, and honestly, its actually really lush and now its time to face the fear and give it a go. I guess if you haven't used it before you're thinking that maybe its bland, or chewy, or just plain nasty, and sadly often it can be - but it doesn't have to be. Like anything we cook whether we eat meat, are veggie or vegan it can take a few goes to find how you like something cooked - so experiment and enjoy trying new foods and new textures.


This is one of my favourite lunch time meals - citrus and chilli tofu with a lovely salad and some seeds and nuts - tons of protein, lots of fibre, next to no fat and a bucket load of flavour.


I'll do another post on the different types of tofu - there's loads of them and depending on the type you can use it for different things. The type you need for this kind of dish is firm - not silken, it'll just go mushy (its more for dessert or creamy sauces).


The first thing you need to know is that tofu is stored in water - it's how it's kept fresh so when you open a block of tofu you'll find it soaking, and that's how you need to keep it when its uncooked. Cut off the block the amount you require, get a Tupperware style box, pop your remaining tofu in and fill it with cold water, put the lid back on and pop it in the fridge.


Now, if you don't get the water out of tofu you're going to end up with a soggy mess. You can buy all manner of expensive tofu presses but you don't need them. Get some folded kitchen paper towel (3 or 4 sheets folded should do it), put the block of tofu you're preparing onto the paper - get another couple of sheets of paper towel and place them on top and then put a heavy pan, or big book, (something with some weight) on top and leave it for a while - maybe half an hour to an hour checking that the paper towel isn't completely saturated and leaking all over your kitchen.


Once you've pressed your tofu its time to slice and marinade it. Tofu will take on the flavour of its marinade and the longer you marinade the better - all the space that had had water will soak up your marinade like a sponge. For this I used:


Half a block of tofu cut into thin slices

2 lemons juiced (or you can use pre-prepared bottled lemon juice but fresh is nicest

The Zest of the lemons

1 fresh chilli sliced into rings (its up to you if you want the seeds or not)

1 tbsp of tamari sauce or soy sauce (optional)


Place your tofu slices in a ziplock bag which you can wash and use again, or, if you'd prefer, a flat plate to make sure all of the tofu is in the marinade and cover. Add the marinade ingredients and give it all a swoosh around to make sure your tofu is well covered. I like to leave mine overnight, but you can leave it an hour or two, you just won't get quite the intensity.


Heat some oil in a wok or frying pan until its sizzling hot then add the tofu pieces - let them sit for a minute or two on one side, then, when browning nicely, turn onto the other side - try not to move it around too much or you'll end up with scrambled tofu! Once the tofu is browned and crispy on both sides pour in your marinade and let it sizzle and caramelise for a couple of minutes to let the flavours really come through.


Pile it all on top of your prepared salad, sprinkle over some nuts and seeds of your choice and enjoy!


Let me know how you get on - lots more recipes to follow


Amanda

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