Spicy Glazed Tofu
dinner, goto, vegan, vegetarian
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 1/4 cups soy sauce
1 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground dried Thai bird's eye chile
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Sauteed Leeks (page 114) or Swiss Chard (page 131), for serving
1. Place the tofu in an airtight container so it all lies flat in one layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sugar, ginger, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, and ground chile, then pour enough of the sauce over the tofu to cover it (cover and refrigerate the rest to use for cooking the tofu). Refrigerate the tofu for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Remove the tofu from the marinade. Heat a nonstick skillet over low heat. Pour about one-quarter of the reserved marinade into the pan and once it starts to sizzle, add about half the tofu, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Pour a little marinade from the container into the skillet so the tofu is covered. Cook the tofu, occasionally spooning the marinade over the tofu, until it is nicely glazed and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the tofu strips over and cook on other side, occasionally spooning marinade over the tofu, until it is caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining marinade and tofu.
3. Serve drizzled with the sesame oil with steamed rice and sautéed leeks alongside.
Marinated with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, then seared and basted in a skillet, this tofu is all about caramelized edges and a deep, nutty flavor. It develops a soft bitterness as the sugar in the soy sauce concentrates and even burns a little in the hot pan. You can serve this with just about anything — we usually opt for sautéed leeks (page 114) or Swiss chard (page 131).