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Posts Tagged ‘Tofu’

We are working are way through every recipe we can find that uses black limes, having finally found some without having to resort to mail order. It is all such a hassle now that we’re not all Europeans as some of our sources are in the UK. The sauce is truly delicious and you will need flatbreads for mopping it all up. Some rice would be good too but not essential.

Wine Suggestion: Black limes have such an introverted and complex character you can’t just match it with anything, but do look for wines that have either lime flavours or a savoury, umami texture. Combine this with the pickle and we had a conundrum. We solved it with Pajzos’ Hárslevelu dry Tokaji whose lime-leaf, savoury character plus a little residual sugar (despite the dry finish) came to the rescue.

Black lime tofu with spinach and pink pickled onions – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 600ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 blocks of extra-firm tofu (560g), patted dry and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 2-3 dried black limes, grind to a powder using a spice grinder you need about 2 tbsp (if you don’t have a spice grinder you can whizz in a food processor, then sieve)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 20g flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 250g baby spinach

Make the pink pickled onions first by mixing the vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar, the red onion and tsp of salt in a small bowl. Set aside while you make everything else.

Heat the sunflower oil in a sauté pan or wok. Toss the tofu in a bowl with the cornflour until coated. When the oil is hot, fry the tofu in two batches until crispy and lightly browned, about 6 minutes, then transfer to a paper-lined plate.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the onions and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely minced but not puréed. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the cumin, black limes and tomato purée and cook for another minute. Add 400ml water, 1tsp of sugar, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes, until rich and thick. Add the crispy tofu, parsley and more black pepper and stir. Gradually stir in the spinach until just wilted.

Serve in a shallow dish with the pink pickled onions spooned over.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2020.)

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Another fantastic recipe from the master of vegetarian cooking, Denis Cotter, of Café Paradiso in Cork. I (Jules) went there last week and got all inspired by tofu, having never been particular excited by it before. To avoid any confusion, tofu is bean curd and not “a meat substitute that tastes and looks just like meat” as the bewildered person at the table beside  me thought! There is quite a lot to do at the end of the recipe but it’s well worth the effort.

Maple-glazed tofu with rice noodles & kai-lan in a miso broth – to serve 4

  • 200g flat rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300g kai-lan (Chinese kale) or sprouting broccoli
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced at an angle
FOR THE BROTH
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 60g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 whole fresh red chilli
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, including stalks
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp red miso
FOR THE MAPLE-GLAZED TOFU
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chillis sauce
  • 250g firm tofu
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
First make the broth: in a large saucepan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, ginger, chilli, garlic and coriander. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Leave to stand for a further 30 minutes.

While the broth is standing, prepare the tofu; mix together the maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar and chilli sauce.

Slice the tofu into 16 slices about 1cm thick. Place in the liquid and leave to marinade for 20 minutes.

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat brush the pan with vegetable oil. Add the tofu and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until lightly coloured. Pour in most of the marinade and continue to fry, swirling to make sure the tofu is coated, the marinade will stick to the tofu as a glaze. Add more marinade if necessary.

At the same time, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the noodles according to the pack. Drain in a colander.

Finish the broth: strain out the vegetables and return the broth to the pan. Add the soy sauce.

Put the miso in a bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the broth to get a smooth pouring consistency. Bring the broth back to the boil, whisk in the miso and hold at a low simmer.

Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wide pan over high heat. Add the kai-lan and sauté for 4-5 minutes, adding an occasional splash of broth.

To serve, put some noodles in warm bowls. Place the kai-lan on top of the noodles. Ladle over some broth, top with slices of tofu and sprinkle with scallions.

Wine Suggestion: This is a dish which has a lot of competing flavours and components so a wine match isn’t easy. A yeasty beer or ale would work a treat like a Hobgoblin or a Leffe Brun to compliment the yeasty flavours provided by the miso.

(Original recipe from Denis Cotter for the love of food, Collins, 2011.)

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