Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Exotic Twist with Tofu

Everyone knows that tofu is good for you, but what to do with it is another matter. In Malaysia there is no such problem: it is served in soups, deep fried, grilled, smoked, stuffed in vegetables- you name it- they have it.
I happen to own a beautiful cookbook "Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore" by Robert Danhi, Jay Weinstein, and Martin Yan. It is fascinating book on many levels. It is more a "read" than most cookbooks and yet it is a complete cookbook, full of recipes. So one of them gave me the inspiration for our today's lunch. What captured my attention is the simplicity of ingredients and the ease of carrying it out- and the outcome is surely rewarding.

I did alter a few things in the recipe by slightly adjusting the amount of condiments to fit my taste.

You will need about :
  • 1 pound of firm tofu
  • a few spoons of dark soy sauce
  • about 15 curry leaves
  • 1 red chili (I used a dry one)
  • 6-7 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger

Using a pestle and mortar (Friend No 1 in my kitchen), coarsely grind the condiments.

Transfer everything onto a deep dish, add a few spoons of soy sauce. Mix well.
Slice the tofu into matchbox-sized rectangles and place them into the marinade, making sure all sides are covered with liquid. Let it marinate for about 1 hour. (I left mine in the fridge overnight and the tofu was really soaked it....Good News!)

You will need 2 bamboo skewers for each tofu rectangle. Make sure they are pre-soaked in water for about 10 min, that way they will not burn on your grill.

Slide 2 bamboo skewers lengthways right through each tofu piece and out the other end.

Grill the tofu over hot charcoal or under a preheated hot broiler for 3 min. on each side, until the outside becomes dry and begins to speckle brown; the inside should be soft and moist.

I served them with curried veggies (asparagus, carrot, bell pepper, etc...) and whole grain basmati rice. And guess what- I had made peanut sauce to go with it- and it surely went well- but completely forgot to incorporate it in the picture...
:( Next time.

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