The rain brings out my creative cooking juices. I refuse to get drenched by walking to the grocery store, so I’m stuck making meals with whatever is sitting in the fridge or pantry. It normally comes down to either (a) strange pairings like lentils and salsa or (b) cooking whatever is about to mold. Even though my lentil-and-salsa bowl didn’t taste half bad, I thought that it was time to stop treating the big block of tofu in my fridge like an elephant in the parlor and make my first vegan tofu dish.
I don’t like tofu. I’ve been scrupulously avoiding it for two weeks since going vegan. And I only bought it at the store because I told myself I had to try every vegan protein at least once. (Don’t ask me why I bought a huge hunk with 5 servings instead of the teeny one with only 2…)
My expectations were about a -2 on a scale from 1 to 10, but I pulled out a pan and tried dry-frying the tofu. I read about this super simple cooking method on some random website: Heat up a non-stick pan (very important), place the thin slab of tofu in the pan, and let ’er cook. No oil, no braising liquid, no nothing. Just beautiful golden and crispy tofu skin that perfectly sops up whatever sauce suits your fancy.
Okay, I admit it. I’m converted.
I polished off the whole plate.
Tofu and Broccoli with Lemon-Rosemary Sauce
If you aren’t a fan of sour citrus flavors, substitute freshly squeezed orange juice instead. Or simply use your favorite pre-prepared sauce from the store. Serve over rice.
1 slab of extra-firm tofu, ½“ thick (mine was about 3” x 4.5”)
1 c. chopped broccoli
½ lemon, juiced
3-4 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp dried rosemary
pinch of salt
1-1½ tsp cornstarch
- Place the tofu between two paper towels, and set something heavy on top to squeeze out the moisture. Let it sit while you prepare the sauce.
- Whisk together lemon juice through cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat a small pan over medium-low heat. Lay tofu down in the pan, and cook for 4-6 min or until it turns golden and crispy on one side. Flip and cook another 3-5 min on the other side.
- Remove tofu from pan, and cut into ½” cubes once cool enough to handle.
- Turn down heat to low, and add sauce to the pan, stirring constantly. While the sauce thickens, steam broccoli, either in the microwave or in boiling water. If using the latter, drain.
- Once sauce thickens (it may take a while, so be patient!), add tofu and broccoli back to the pan, stirring to coat everything. Plate, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.