Asian food is not my forte, nor is it one of my favorite foods, but its something that I continue to try and decided to give cooking it a try as well. I knew I wanted to start off with a tofu dish and the idea of having every single flavor profile in one dish sounds wonderful, so that’s what I was kind of going for here. Something sweet, spicy, a little sour and have a bit of ummami flavor as well. So this dish isn’t exactly per say Asian…or it could be, I just don’t know what it would be called, but I used Asian flavors and ingredients and ended up creating something delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 tsp olive oil
4 dashes of hot chili sesame oil (you could also use regular sesame oil and just add extra hot sauce)
1 1/2 tsp or 1/2 tbs soy sauce
3 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce
2 tsp lemon juice (I forgot this in the picture)
1/2 tsp of sugar
1 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup diced extra firm tofu (you could also use firm)
1/2 cup of spinach chiffonade (cut into ribbons)
1/4 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper or red cubanelle/frying pepper
salt and pepper
Start off by putting the olive oil and hot chili sesame oil into a pan and heating it on medium-high. Once its heated up, add in the diced pepper and broccoli florets into the pan.
Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and sautee until the veggies are cooked. (If you like your veggies fully cooked, lower the heat and cook for a longer period of time.)
Then add in the diced tofu and stir.
Let the tofu cook for a few minutes. (If you turned your heat down earlier, turn it back up at this point.) To achieve the golden brown color on tofu, let it sit for a couple of minutes on the heat, and then flip/stir and continue this process until most sides of most of the tofu has achieved the wonderfulness of golden brown deliciousness!
Now its time for the sauce! Add in the ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and Tabasco into the pan and stir until the tofu and veggies are covered.
Then you want to add in the spinach.
It may seem like a lot at first, but the heat will wilt it down. Just be patient, it’ll happen :]
See. Spinach perfection. Stir/flip around until the sauce has reached a thick syrup-like consistency and has fully coated everything in the pan. (If it gets too thick, just add some water to loosen it up)
Serve with rice or noodles. You can serve it on top OR add it in at this point and mix it all up.
When I started this dish, I wanted to use noodles as the base, but after searching my pantry, I realized I had no long noodles. absolutely none (which is hard to believe if you’ve ever seen my pantry – we usually have everything.) Then I ended finding some day old rice in the fridge, used that and it turned out great. I’ve actually tried it with noodles too, but I think I liked the rice better, but feel free to try both and pick your favorite!