I will warn you straight up that you need to start this a day ahead - you won't be cooking for 2 days straight but the tofu needs to freeze over night to get the right texture so you need to plan a day out. Other than that - easy, healthy, delicious about sums it up. Thanks to Arielleclementine and the Fantastic Henry for helping me fine tune and taste!!!! —aargersi
2 entrees or 4 apps
Spicy Baked Tofu
extra firm tofu
smoked paprika (I used sweet but hot would amp it up just that much more)
finely minced ginger
finely minced garlic
ground white pepper
thinly sliced red bell pepper
(2 heads) thinly sliced baby bok choy
julienned sugar snap peas
super thinly sliced savoy cabbage
shiso leaves (or sub mint, cilantro or basil if shiso is unavailable)
This is the day before part: Cut the block of tofu into two slabs and wrap them in either a big tea towel or a lot of paper towels. Place that on a plate and put a wide flat weight on top like an iron skillet or a cookie sheet with cans on top. The idea is to press out the water without smashing the tofu. Allow it to sit for about 30 min. Remove the cloth or towels, wrap it in plastic and stick it in the freezer.
Next day - defrost the tofu, then wrap in towel or tea cloth again and press it again. More water will come out. While you are pressing it, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Unwrap the tofu. Brush both sides of both slabs with the marinade and allow it to sit for another 30 minutes. You should have extra marinade.
Heat the oven to 350. Cover a cookie sheet with foil (SO much easier to clean that way) and either brush with oil or spray with no-stick (I am a sprayer). Put the tofu on there, give it another brush of marinade and bake for 30 min. Flip after 30 and brush one more time with that last bit of the marinade. It should be getting dark and sticky and crusty. Bake for 30 more minutes.
Remove the tofu from the oven and set it aside to cool. I make double or even triple batches of this to keep in the fridge and slice over whatever salad I happen to be eating ....
Lightly steam the edamame and set aside to cool. Put the olive oil, garlic and ginger in a small sauce pan and heat until just warm - you don't want to saute them, just poach the raw off them. Whisk that in a bowl with the mirin, vinegar, honey, tamari and white pepper. Taste for salt, you may want a dash more tamari. Put the dressing in something you can shake and put it in the fridge.
Chop the remainiing veggies as thinly as you possibly can. Chiffonade the shiso - just roll the leaves the long way into a tube, then slice super thin. Toss all of that together with the edamame.
Go get the dressing and shake the dickens out of it. Pour over the salad - don't do it all at once, you might not want it all. Toss the salad, let it rest a few minutes, then toss again and decide if you need additional dressing.
Slice the tofu into strips and serve atop the salad on one big communal plate or individuals - up to you!
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage https://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbiesGarage?ref=search_shop_redirect