Here’s the thing: I’m not crazy about tofu. It’s sort of weird and strange and well it’s just not my favorite thing. I’m warming up to it more and more though and making this dish may have finally helped me actually enjoy it. It’s quite like that 90’s classic by The Beets “Killer Tofu”. You know when you think tofu is gross but then you eat it and you’re like it tastes so good. Killer Tofu! I should have named this after that song.
Raise your hand if you’re a true 90’s kid and got that reference. If you didn’t I’m not totally crazy I swear. It’s a reference from beloved Nickolodeon show “Doug.” Every time I eat tofu I think about that song. Seriously. How could you not? I hadn’t heard it in like at least 15 years though so I went back to listen to it as I was writing this. It really is a jam.
Where was I? I swear I didn’t intend for this to be about my love of 90’s cartoons but somehow that’s where it ended up. Oh yeah, tofu. Seriously, if it’s not cooked right it’s disgusting. The texture and the taste. The good news is that because there really actually isn’t much of a taste that tofu absorbs the flavors of whatever you pair it with.
I was inspired to make this after seeing someone post a vlog on YouTube of them eating something similar all the way in good ol Australia. Don’t you just love the internet? Someone can post something about their lunch literally on the other side of the world and you’re like I can make that. So I had this idea swimming around in my head and set out to recreate it.
The trick to tofu is changing the flavor and changing the texture. By adding ginger and soy sauce before baking it you get a leg up on the flavor side. Then by baking it you get a crisp outside while the inside still stays a bit soft. And you can play with the time to get it how you like it.
I also love the idea of a steamed greens salad. It’s good to mix things up and this changes it up from just being a standard lettuce and raw veggie salad. The dressing also took this to another level and made it that much more delicious.
This meal is healthy and filling and full of good flavors and good for you stuff. Perfect for a Monday after you maybe indulged a little bit over the weekend. And if you’re not a fan of tofu and you’re not a vegan or vegetarian you could try this with salmon or chicken as well. Just marinate it in the same thing as the dressing and bake your protein and you’re good to go.
If you do try this or any other recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #modernlittlevictories on Instagram! I’d love to hear what you think and what you create in your kitchen.
Makes 2-4 servings
¼ cup soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic (grated on a microplane)
3 tbsp fresh ginger (grated on microplane)
2 tbsp agave (or honey if not vegan)
2 ½ tbsp. sesame oil
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp sriracha
8 oz tofu
1 tbsp ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
3-4 bunches lacinato kale
8 oz asparagus
6 oz snap peas
2 scallions, chopped
1 red jalapeno
-Wrap your tofu in a clean and absorbent towel and place on a plate with something heavy on top of it to let the liquid press out of it. Leave for about 20 minutes at the least.
-Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together until combined. Letting it sit while your tofu is cooking will give the flavors more time to come together.
-Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. After the tofu is pressed cut into about 2 inch strips. Add soy sauce and ginger to the tofu and let sit for a few minutes to absorb. Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Let cook for about 25-30 minutes. Flipping half way through to ensure even cooking. The longer you cook your tofu the firmer it will be. Additionally the longer you let it sit out after you take it out of the oven it will continue to firm up as well. It’s all about texture and what you like best.
-While your tofu is cooking place a steamer basket in a pot and let the water come to a soft boil. Add in your veggies and steam until tender. About 15-20 minutes.
-This step is optional but after the tofu is done you can brush it with some of the dressing and pop it back into the oven. You don’t really need to do that since you are going to poor the dressing on top anyway but you can if you want.
– One your tofu is done then plate your salad, top with tofu, drizzle on dressing. Add the scallions sesame seeds and jalapeno and serve!