Aztec Spinach and Teriyaki Tofu

 At one time I considered doing a "Meat free Monday" event, but then figured I didn't need any more things with deadlines in my life.  Just eating less meat, semi-consistently will be enough, besides which those events are being done now.

I try to have tofu on hand, as an easy meatless alternative.  If you have a block, slice into about 3-4 equal sized wedges, slip them in a small freezer bag, and  freeze;  it will be ready whenever you are, and no need to worry about it going stinky in your fridge.  Mainly though, freezing alters the texture (for the better), and makes it more absorptive.

When you're ready to use the tofu, get a large pot of water boiling.  I use a big pasta pot.  Turn off the heat, then slip in your tofu slices.  After about 15 minutes, they will be thawed, so you can lift them out with a slotted spoon and remove to a colander to drain.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water.  Now you have some little protein sponges, ready to soak up whatever marinade you want. Keep that pot of hot water for a quick blanch of some Aztec Spinach, chard or regular spinach in a bit.

Aztec Spinach - until now another veg I'd never heard of.  It was in our CSA box last week, and what fun!  I love trying new things.  This was not only beautiful, but so tender and delicious.  It reminded me of Swiss Chard more than spinach.

While the tofu is cooling, stir up the marinade in a bowl, and the dry coating on a bit of waxed paper:

Teriyaki Marinade
1/3 cup shoyu
2 tablespoons Mae Ploy or similar sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons Ume Plum Vinegar, Mirin, or wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 garlic clove, crushed

1/3 cup tapioca powder or cornstarch
1/4 cup sesame seeds, or you might use macadamia nuts, peanuts, or coconut, finely minced
1 teaspoon Ginger Salt

Additional Ingredients
1 bunch spinach or chard, blanched and drained
4 tablespoons palm oil
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

Return the water to a boil, then blanch and drain spinach.  Turn the tofu (cut into cubes) over in your marinade until it is all absorbed, on all sides.  Now coat with the dry mixture. Heat about 3 tablespoons palm oil in a frying pan on medium high, then fry the tofu until lightly crusty and caramelized on all sides.  Remove to a warm serving dish. Add another tablespoon or two of oil to the skillet and quickly stir fry the onions, just until softened, add the blanched and drained spinach and sauté til heated through.  Plate with the tofu and serve with rice.  I use a mixture of wild, brown and white basmati.  A really yummy way to serve tofu, especially for people who think they don't like the stuff.  Bob says it's the best tofu I've made yet.

I am submitting this meal to Chaya at My Sweet and Savory, who has an ongoing Meatless Mondays event on her blog.


Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Claudia, this looks great! i've never considered using Mae Ploy in a marinade before... must add wonderful flavor! I love this recipe!! :)

Lisa said...

What a flavorful looking dish. I love how you incorporated spinach into it.

Joanne said...

I too love having tofu on hand. In fact, I'm going to throw the package I have into the freezer! This stir fry sounds delicious!

Sweet and Savory said...

This is such an interesting recipe. I love spinach but I am not sure about the tofu. That means, I should try this and find out for myself. It certainly looks delicious.

Thanks for linking this to My Meatless Mondays. I thought, I had left a comment before but I guess, I just visited.