Sautéed Tofu and Vegetables with Tamari or Teriyaki Sauce
Tofu is the ultimate fast food! I preprep the ingredients and this dish is quick to prep for dinner.
Some peole do not like tofu. I think it is because they have not had well prepared tofu. One of the secrets to success is to press the liquid out of it. I have experimented with dozens of methods and tools and finally found the best and easiest!!
Plan time for removing the liquid from the tofu. One hour at least. I typically do mine at least 6 hours. And it doens't hurt the tofu to do it 24 hours. I have found I prefer it pressed longer.
Optional garnish: If you want to get fancy, take green onions, use this scallion shredder tool and make a pretty garnish.
One package of firm or extra firm tofu
2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
One bunch Green Onions, the white and green parts, cleaned and cut into one inch pieces
3/4 pound cremini mushrooms cleaned and sliced or quartered (If they are large mushrooms cut them in eighths)
Tamari sauce, to taste or 6 Tbsp Trader Joe's Soyaki or Island Soyaki sauce.
Garnish with shredded green onions or Toasted Sesame Seeds or sliced almonds
Open tofu package and drain the liquid. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean towel and put it in the refrigerator. After about an hour replace the towel with another clean dry one. Or instead use a tofu press like this. I have experimented with many and this one actually works.
Cut up all the vegetables and put in a bowl or bowls like I show here. This can all be done earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated.
When you are ready to prepare this dish, cut the tofu into 1 inch squares and place that in a heated large non-stick pan over medium high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Distribute the squares evenly, leave them alone and let them get browned for about 4 minutes. Then, stir, and let sit for another 3 minutes until browned on at least two sides of the squares. Remove the tofu from the pan and cover to keep it warm. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the plan heat it up and add the green onions and mushrooms. Saute 2 minutes then add the tomatoes. Cook until they are done to your liking but careful not to overcook. Add the tofu back in and stir. Pour some tamari sauce evenly all over the tofu and vegetables and stir to warm. Taste it and add more if needed. Serve and garnish if you'd like with toasted sesame seeds.
Pre-prep To Save Time
Pressing liquid out of tofu is a common practice that serves a few purposes:
Improved Texture: Tofu has a high water content, and pressing helps to remove excess moisture from the tofu. By removing the water, the tofu becomes firmer and denser in texture. This allows it to better hold its shape and absorb flavors when cooked or marinated.
Enhanced Flavor Absorption: Tofu is known for its ability to absorb flavors from marinades and seasonings. By pressing out the liquid, you create room for the tofu to absorb the flavors more effectively. The reduced moisture content allows the tofu to soak up the marinade or sauce, resulting in a more flavorful end product.
Better Cooking Results: Pressing tofu can improve its cooking properties. Excess moisture in tofu can cause it to steam or become mushy when cooked, especially in methods like stir-frying or pan-frying. By pressing out the liquid, you create a drier surface, which helps to achieve a crispier exterior and prevent excessive moisture release during cooking.
To press tofu, follow these general steps:
- Start with a block of firm or extra-firm tofu. Silken or soft tofu is delicate and typically not pressed.
- Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any liquid.
- Place the tofu in the tofu press.
- Allow the tofu to press for at least an hour. Drain the liquid from the press
The tofu and it is ready to be used in your desired recipe.
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