Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sweet and Sour Tofu

We love tofu. It's cheap, it's healthy, and it's an easy way to make a hearty meatless meal. I decided to take advantage of soy week by making a second tofu dish, something new. Enter this recipe for sweet and sour tofu (which came from the same site as the other Week 17 tofu dish, coincidentally). The original recipe used bok choy but we had just bought a gigantic bag of snap peas from Costco, so I decided to switch it up and make sweet and sour tofu with snap peas instead.

The dish ingredients were:

- 15 oz package of firm tofu ($0.99)
- 1/4 cup flour ($0.15)
- salt ($0.05)
- 2 tbsp canola oil ($0.20)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice ($0.40)
- 1/4 cup honey ($0.50)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.35)
- 1 tbsp minced ginger ($0.10)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic ($0.10)
- sriracha, to taste ($0.20)
- 1 lb of sugar snap peas ($2.50)
- 3 scallions, white and green parts separated ($0.40)

The tofu part of dinner cost about $6, and the rice was another $2 or so. Not a bad price for dinner for 2, but we could probably also order a tofu dish from a Chinese restaurant for the same price. That said, I think our version was probably much more healthy, knowing what was in it and that I could control the oil amount.

The dish was pretty easy to make:

1. Press water out of tofu and cut into 1 inch square cubes. Toss with flour and salt until thinly coated.
2. Mix the sauce - lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic and ginger - and add a tbsp of water.
3. Brown the tofu.
4. Add scallion whites and sugar snap peas and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add sauce. 
6. Bring tofu and sauce to boil. Lower heat and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickly coats tofu and vegetables (at least 10 minutes).
7. Add green parts of scallions and mix together.

I liked the way the dish turned out, although my attempt at lightly flouring the tofu wasn't great and much of the "breading" ended up stuck to the pan instead of crisped around the tofu. I'm just not good at that step, I guess. But I liked the sweet and sour sauce, and I liked the way that it thickened up around the tofu. A didn't like this dish as much as I did, but it wasn't because of the breading. He felt something was missing from or off with the sauce, but couldn't put his finger on what it was.

Between the two tofu dishes for Week 17, we both preferred the Mediterranean tofu with the white wine, mustard and dill. With so many tofu preparations out there and my propensity to try new dishes all the time (with few exceptions), I'd probably make a different one before going back to this one.

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