Friday, August 12, 2011

Orange Scallion Pan-Fried Tofu

The first time I tried tofu was at a Thai restaurant.  A friend ordered it and I was feeling brave, so I tiptoed on the tofu bandwagon too.  I discovered its not so scary and in fact, I liked much so I have been ordering it ever since.  It didn't occur to me until recently to make it at home.  It's super affordable, versatile, and boasts great health benefits.  I've discovered tofu really takes on the flavors of whatever you add to it.  It's a blank canvas just waiting for some creativity and innovation.  There are lots of ways to prepare tofu but right now I'm enjoying it pan-fried.  I like to get a good sear or crust to the tofu, blackening the edges of each piece.  It's a nice contrast against the softness on the inside. 

In this dish, I've used orange juice, scallions, and ginger as some of the main flavors.  I like to serve it over brown rice and top it with additional fresh scallions and roasted sunflower seeds.  I also reserve the marinade and spoon a little over the finished dish.  There are some different flavors and textures going on in this one and it's really satisfying.  The tofu is crispy and soft and there is a nice crunch factor from the scallions and sunflower seeds.  Best of all, it's a great weeknight dinner requiring minimal preparation. This is one big bowl of nourishment you can feel good about eating.

~Orange Scallion Pan-Fried Tofu Recipe~

1 lb pkg extra firm organic tofu
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
1/2 tsp sesame seed oil
2-3 scallions chopped
toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

Place a few paper towels on a cutting board.  Place the tofu on top.  Add a few more paper towels on top of the tofu and lightly press down to remove liquid.  Let the tofu continue to drain while you make the marinade.  You want the tofu to drain for about 20 minutes to ensure you get as much liquid as you can from it.

In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, zest, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, ginger, sesame seed oil, and one of the scallions.  Once the tofu has drained, give it another good press.  Cut the tofu into 1/2" slices.  You should get 7 slices total.  Place the tofu slices in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over top.  Let the tofu marinate overnight if possible, or at least for a few hours, turning the slices to let the other side marinate also.  The tofu can stay marinating in the refrigerator at this point for a few days too.  

Heat a skillet or cast iron pan to medium heat.  Sear the tofu on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until you get a nice golden crust and the edges turn a deep brown/black color.  Serve on top of brown rice.  Garnish with remaining chopped scallions and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.  Spoon some of the reserved marinade on top of the dish.  Serves 2.


Anonymous said...

Mmmm I love asian-inspired flavors with tofu or tempeh. This reminds me of what Heidi Swanson calls "deconstructed sushi bowls"--healthy and quick and delicious! Yours looks great!

By the way, are you vegetarian Stephanie? I haven't thought to ask but I realized I haven't seen a meat dish on your site yet!

Stephanie said...

Glad you like the looks of this. It's super easy. Aren't Heidi Swanson's recipes the best? I got her latest cookbook and couldn't put it down. The baked oatmeal is fabulous! And yes, I am ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh I love her new cookbook too! This morning I just made her multi-grain pancakes I think for about the 6th time haha. And the baked oatmeal is amazing, of course.

Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks great, and it's unlike anything I've made at home. I like the combination of orange and scallion and your photograph really brings it alive.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Sue-and I appreciate the comment about the photos. Isn't photographing food fun? You have some great photos on your site too by the way :)