Monday, October 25, 2010

Tofu-riffic Dinner

Tofu: You either love it, or you hate it.

Or maybe you've never even tried it.

"Tofu, Kylie? Really? You expect me to eat a spongy white block of protein? Thanks, but no thanks. You keep your hippy-granola-bird food, and I'll keep my stick-to-your-ribs goodness."

Oh, no you don't. You're not going to get away with that kind of talk around here, friends.

I'll admit: Tofu was never my favorite amongst health foods. I always enjoy it in restaurants (thinly sliced, marinated, and baked or fried [!] until crispy). And of course I've always loved it in desserts (Whipped with melted dark chocolate? Tofu pudding here I come.).

Unfortunately, I always flopped when I tried to re-create the tofu-rrific dinners I gobbled up in restaurants. My fatal flaw? Not pressing the liquid out first. How foolish of me.

For tonight's dinner, Adam re-created the tofu sandwich he ordered at the Quiet Storm on Saturday. For the first time in the Hungry Spoon kitchen, we pressed our tofu. The result? Thinly sliced, perfectly marinated, sesame-seasoned tofu. While it still doesn't match up to the fried stuff (and in what alternate universe would it?), it provides a scrumptious, nicely textured, protein-rich addition to to a mile-high sandwich.

The non-optional condiment for this sandwich? Homemade guacamole with lots of garlic. That's right: mashed avocado, minced garlic, and a dash of lime juice. So simple. So necessary.

Friends, give tofu a try. As the queen of massive, messy, fork n' knife vegetarian sandwiches, I promise you won't go wrong with this one.

But then again, you can't go wrong with tofu n' chocolate either :)

Do you like tofu? What's your favorite way to eat it?

Sesame-Soy Tofu-rrific Sandwich
(Adam's recipe)

Marinating the tofu in a sesame-soy marinade transformed it into a flavorful protein-packed sandwich filler. Top with all your favorite sandwich fixins'. Just don't forget the guac!

Tofu and Marinade:
  • One 12 oz. package of tofu, extra firm
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP diced onion
  • 2 TBSP diced tomato
  • splash of lime juice
  • sprinkling of cumin
Sandwich Stackers:
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • a little olive oil
  • Sliced tomato
  • Bread or buns
  • Optional: Swiss cheese

1) To prepare the tofu, slice thinly (about 1/4 inch thick). Place tofu on a clean kitchen towel and gently press to eliminate extra liquid. Repeat again with another clean towel (until tofu is dry to the touch). Combine marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Place tofu in a single layer in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (we left it all day while we were at work).

2) When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees (or higher? We did 375 degrees today, but next time we may go up 25 degrees), and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet (discard marinade/extra liquid). Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the tofu onto the opposite side, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and continue baking for 10 additional minutes.

3) To prepare guacamole, peel avocado and mash in a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.

4) To prepare pepper and onions, heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and saute until softened and lightly browned ( about 5 -8 minutes).

5) Slice bread. Top each piece with one slice of Swiss cheese (if using) and toast bread in a toaster oven.

6) To assemble sandwiches: Layer your bread with guacamole, sliced tomato, tofu slices, and sauteed pepper and onions.


  1. I want to love tofu...but other than in creamy dessert form, I can do without! I have tried cooking it and have never pressed it! So, I will be trying this! And homemade guac is a must.

  2. can you believe I have never had tofu? Im scared to death of making it. I want to go out and order it, because I know a restaurant will make it the most tastiest. I aso dont have a tofu press, so I have a feeling if I tried working with it at home it would be too watery and icky

  3. I looooove tofu! I like it best fried in a stir-fry or just dipped in peanut sauce, or marinated and grilled.

  4. OMG. With Kat. I've never made it before and I'm a little bit scared-to-death to try. I think I just have to bite the bullet and do it, especially since everyone raves about the way that they prepare it.

    I like eating it in restaurants, so at least I know that I'm over that hurdle :)

  5. This sandwich looks delicious. My husband has always been a big tofu fan, and only recently have I begun to appreciate the white block. It's all about learning how to prepare and cook the stuff. Thank you for sharing this delicious sandwich, love!

  6. I also discovered pressing tofu a few months ago and it's the ONLY way I eat it now. You cook it in a pan with a bit of oil and it turns out nice and crispy. ALMOST as good as the fried stuff. :)

  7. I'm not a huge tofu fan -- I've only prepared it once and after a few bites I was ready for something else :) I'm sure if it is prepared well and seasoned well it would taste great.

  8. i'm with you, kylie! pressed tofu is the way to go! i've only prepared it at home crispy in a pan but maybe i'll try baking it next.

  9. I love it in restaurants (especially fried), but I always flopped at home too!
    Maybe I'm not pressing it out enough? Probably.

    You are motivation to try it again, but the real test will be getting my boyfriend to eat it haha

  10. Thanks for this recipe! I don't press out my liquid either...oops.

  11. I love using soft tofu in Ma Po Tofu and miso soup, but I just bought my first block of firm tofu this past weekend, with plans of squeezing out the liquid just as you say and frying it. I've never added garlic to my avocado--I'm making a mental note for the next time I buy avocado. =) Thanks!

  12. this looks so fantastic.. thank you for sharing this.

  13. a lot of people dont get the tofu either. tofu was every part of my life growing up so it's no stranger to me at all. i would definitely enjoy eating adam's sandwich!!

  14. I've cooked with tofu a few times, but had never tried pressing it. Now I'm eager to give that a try! The last time I made it, it was marinated in similar ingredients as Adam's and then broiled. That sandwich looks so satisfying! :)

    btw, we make the same guac except I use cilantro and no cumin. Will have to add some cumin next time!

  15. I'll say it loud and proud, I LOVE tofu! :)
    And guac on a tofu sandwich? Genius.

  16. hmmm.. i came back to look at this sandwich again haha!

  17. I love Quiet Storm (and tofu)! Definitely going to have to try this one!