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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen Photo by: Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Crisp Genmaicha Tofu with Shiitakes and Savoy Cabbage

Genmaicha, a combination of green tea and toasted rice, crisps up beautifully as a crust for tofu when combined with polenta and fried. Savoy cabbage, with its gentle sweetness, pairs well with meaty shiitake mushrooms; both simmer in brewed genmaicha, absorbing the delicate, toasty flavors. This recipe is from Bay Area cookbook author Eric Gower.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2012

  • Yield: Serves 4 as a main course
  • Total:1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. genmaicha (toasted-rice green tea)
  • About 4 tbsp. grapeseed or other vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sel gris or other coarse sea salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced savoy or napa cabbage
  • 1 block (about 1 lb.) medium-firm or firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons polenta
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced green onions

Preparation

1. Combine 2 tsp. genmaicha leaves and 1 1/2 cups boiling water; let steep 5 minutes, then strain into a bowl.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add mush­rooms and ginger; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until mushrooms begin to shrink. Add brewed tea; cook 5 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook until slightly wilted but still green and most of liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside, covered.

3. Slice tofu in half horizontally and set on paper towels. Cut an X through each half, forming 4 triangles per half, or 8 total. Blot tops with paper towels.

4. Pulverize polenta and peppercorns in a spice grinder. Add remaining 1 tbsp. tea and 1 tsp. salt and pulse just to combine.

5. Brush tofu on both sides with some oil. Liberally sprinkle oiled sides with polenta mixture and press on with your fingers.

6. Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook tofu until deeply golden brown on one side, about 8 minutes. Flip and brown other side lightly, about 3 minutes more.

7. Arrange 2 tofu triangles on each of 4 warmed dinner plates. Reheat mushrooms and cabbage in pan, stir in green onions, and spoon mixture around tofu.

Note:

Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 289
  • Calories from fat: 60%
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • Fiber: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 644mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.4mg
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Crisp Genmaicha Tofu with Shiitakes and Savoy Cabbage recipe

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