• Asian Twist Tofu

    by Ellen on February 3, 2008 · 17 comments


    I love this tofu dish. For years, even before I began traveling a slow path towards vegetarianism, I’d been trying to find a way to eat tofu that I found palatable. I’ve successfully found a few other tofu recipes, but this one beats them all, hands down. Two years ago, shortly after my Celiac diagnosis, when I had the Chicken in Lettuce Wraps at PF Chang’s (one of their gluten free options), I decided to try and replicate it, only I wanted to use tofu. It took awhile to figure out the ingredients needed to match the taste at PF Chang’s. Now, at this point, it’s been so long since I’ve had it that I’m not even sure if it’s exactly like the aforementioned appetizer. But this is what I know: I’ve been making it this way for about a year now, and every time I make it, I love it more. By the way, the cornstarch is an important step, as it helps make the tofu crispy, which is how I prefer my tofu, at least in this recipe.

    I always serve it with jasmine rice which I make in my trusty rice cooker. Last night, I also served it with sautéed brussel sprouts (thanks to Heidi at 101 cookbooks), sautéed in my new Lodge cast iron pan. I don’t serve the brussel sprouts with the parmesan cheese, as I’m trying to eat dairy-free, but I’m sure it would take them to a whole other delicious level if you decide to do so. Every serious cook needs to own one of these cast iron pans, whether it’s an old one passed down from a loved one or a new pan like the one I recently acquired. There’s something old-fashioned and wonderful about cooking in one of these. Not to mention how great it is as a cooking tool. The brussel sprouts came out crisp and almost mustard tasting. And these three things (tofu, rice, brussel sprouts) make great leftovers, always a plus in my book.

    Tofu with an Asian Twist
    recipe created by Ellen Allard
    2 hefty servings or 4 medium-sized servings
    (Printable Recipe)

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed (see note), and cubed
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sweetener of choice)
    ¼ cup wheat-free tamari (I use San-J)
    ½ teaspoon chili powder (or less if you prefer it less spicy)

    Dredge the cubed tofu in cornstarch. Heat the oil over high heat. When hot, slowly and carefully add the tofu. Saute it, gently tossing to ensure that as many sides of the tofu get crisp. This will take about 5 – 7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Toss gently to ensure that it is as evenly distributed as possible (if some of it clumps, that’s ok). This will take about 30 seconds. Add toasted sesame oil, agave syrup, tamari, and chili powder. Toss gently and allow ingredients to get hot and coat all of the tofu. Serve over jasmine rice. I’ve also served this in lettuce leaves.

    Note: To press the water out of the tofu, drain it from the package, place on a plate, place a second plate on top of the tofu, place a heavy weight on top of the second plate. Press it for 1 – 2 hours, or overnight in the frig. Drain the water and proceed with recipe.

    { 16 comments… read them below or add one }

    crazyorangeturtle February 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    OH! I’m also trying this. Now you know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night!

    Reply

    Ellen February 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Hi crazy orange turtle – I love your blog. Your recipes look great. I will definitely be visiting often! I’ve added you to my bloglist. Nice to make your acquaintance!

    Reply

    Alisa February 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

    That sounds delicious, I am going to have to try this one out! Thanks!

    Reply

    celticjig February 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Yum yum yum, I love PF Changs chicken lettuce wraps and used to eat their tofu wrap (I think they don’t offer that one GF). One of the key ingredients is…..diced water chestnuts – it gives it that terrific crunch. Plus, if you go to their website, their GF menu lists all the ingredients! http://www.pfchangs.com/cuisine/menu_main.aspx then click on the show info button. How great is that!
    I think I will have to pull those brussels sprouts from the freezer and sautee some up!

    Reply

    Anonymous February 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I have to tell you, this recipe rocked my world! Even my red meat loving hubbie chows down on this! I was diagnosed with Celiac Dec. 2009 and didn't know what to cook! Thanks for your awesome blog and recipes!!!!

    Reply

    Struggling to Stand March 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Amazing! Even my 4-year-old, who won't eat ANYTHING ate this! A real keeper.

    Reply

    I Am Gluten Free March 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    So glad you're all enjoying this. It's still one of our faves!

    Reply

    jesse May 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    thank you… cooked this tonight… very tasty! i used lentil flour because it's what i had and it worked really well! not too bad for my first try!

    Reply

    Leslie Anne Pease May 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    The recipe sounds delicious and am going to definitely try it!

    As for the cast iron pan…. when I was trying to get pregnant, the doctor tested my iron and was impressed with how high my levels were (that's a great thing for women). Since I didn't take iron pills and only cooked with iron pots and pans, it HAD TO BE the reason. In the old days, a tea made with rusty nails was the prescription when a woman's iron levels were low.

    So enjoy your new pan and know that your body is benefitting from your choice!

    Reply

    Annie Nguyen July 23, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Love it. Tofu is a great creation of Asian. I think this dish is a perfect match for Noodle. Especially gluten free noodle. I found my gem in a Whole food store in Oakland called Happy Pho. It's brown rice gluten free noodle. taste more than good. You should try it

    Reply

    sophia January 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    a friend made this for me. i was skeptical of tofu and wasn't sure i if wanted to eat it, but i tried it and it was crazy good! i am now making it for my family and i know theyll love it! :)

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva January 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    :).

    Reply

    Carey V. February 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I made this recipe last night (including the jasmine rice & brussels sprouts), it turned out great! I never knew that cornstarch could make tofu so crispy, and the sides paired very well with the main tofu. Very fragrant and tasty!

    Thanks so much! I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    Reply

    tracey March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Oh, the texture of the tofu was awesome! The taste was good too. I am not a tofu eater. I tried one recipe 20 years ago – big fail. I believe now I had the wrong firmness. I happened to have had hot and sour soup at a Chinese buffet recently and was craving it again. So I found a recipe online, which left me with a half pound tofu and I had to do something with it. This recipe was perfect for me to cut in half and looked so delicious! I could, and would, eat tofu every day if it were this good. Thank you!

    Reply

    Jen September 2, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I made this for dinner and my boyfriend and I loved it, I definitely plan on making it again.
    Thank you for the recipe :]

    Reply

    Ellen September 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Excellent! It’s so great when you find a recipe that is a keeper!

    Reply

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