Tofu is a healthy food eaten in both forms raw and cooked. While for many of us it’s not a go-to, it is full of proteins and nutrients (and of course all those unsaponifiables) as well as providing high levels of calcium, proteins and iron. It’s also nothing to be scared of, from a food preparation perspective, if you know how to handle it. If not, the first step is learning how to buy the right variety. It can easily become a staple in your fridge and home.
This recipe is a quick and easy favorite that has infinite variations based on what you may have in your pantry and freezer already. It’s perfect for fall and early winter when you want something warm but not overly heavy to offset those seasonal feasts.
Ingredients (all adjustable to your taste preferences or whatever you happen to have around)
- 1 “block” of firm or extra-firm tofu (around 14 oz)
- 0.5 cup cooked chicken pieces (leftovers are just fine – other ready proteins work here too – beef, fish, etc.)
- 0.75 cup cooked veggies (frozen and microwaved works fine too)
- 2 medium-sized white onions
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 0.25 cup white vinegar
- 0.25 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp chili sauce
- 1 tbsp of almond powder
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- olive oil
- Remove tofu from container (shaking off as much excess as possible), wrap in two layers of paper towels, and place on a plate with a high rim. Place a heavy pan or food cans on top to gently squeeze as much moisture out as possible. Allow to sit like this for about 15 minutes (or longer).
- While the tofu is being squeezed, add some olive oil to a pan and saute the onions until they’re caramel colored. Add the garlic.
- Enjoy the scent
- Add the cooked chicken and veggies and combine until it’s heated up and beginning to mix flavors with the onion and garlic.
- Add the vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, lime juice. Stir to combine and sprinkle on the almond powder and add the black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes so that everything mixes well.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside (pop it in the microwave to help retain some heat and keep it out of the way – no need to turn the microwave on).
- Let the pan get nice and hot again over a medium flame. While that is happening slice the tofu in quarter-inch slices. Once the pan is hot add some olive oil and wait just a minute or so for it to heat up, then add the tofu in a single layer.
- Now here’s the important part if you’re new to tofu – once it’s in the pan, don’t touch for at least 5 minutes. If you start handling it too soon it’ll likely stick and tear. It’ll still taste fine, it’ll just look a bit off.
- After the 5 minutes the tofu slices should be lifting off from the pan and getting brown underneath. Flip and repeat.
- Add the contents of the chicken, veggies, and sauce bowl you’ve set aside and stir to combine everything together.
Be sure to check out our other favorite avocado and soy recipes.