Look for water-packed when you need tofu to hold its shape. Weighting the tofu with a plate for at least 20 minutes releases some of its water, giving it a firmer texture. Cooking it in this sweet and tart sauce infuses it with flavor.
1 pound water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
4 heads baby bok choy (about 1 1/2 pounds), each cut in half lengthwise
Place tofu between several layers of paper towels. Place a heavy plate on top of tofu, and let stand 20 minutes. Cut tofu crosswise into 4 pieces.
Combine mirin and next 8 ingredients (mirin through garlic) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu pieces; pour mirin mixture over tofu. Bring to a boil; cook 4 minutes. Turn tofu pieces over; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
Bring broth to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add bok choy; cover and cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Place 1 cup soba noodles on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tofu piece. Spoon about 1 tablespoon sauce over each tofu piece; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Arrange 2 bok choy halves on each plate.
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The tofu itself had the perfect, dense texture - like store-bought baked tofu - and a great sweet glaze to the outside. The rest of the dish needs definite improvement. Make extra soy sauce mixture, and toss with the soba noodles, which were dry and plain. 1 tablespoon of sauce per serving is no where near enough. Cook the bok choy longer so it is more tender. The green onions as garnish had too much of a bite - saute them in a little sesame oil first.
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