Author Notes: There are those who love tofu and those who hate it. And then there's a small minority who fall somewhere in the middle. For me, wok-tossed, golden tofu with a feisty sauce is good eating. Because tofu is pretty bland, it needs a flavorful sauce to get my attention. This tofu is lightly pan fried in a hot-sesame-honey-glaze. It's finished with lime juice making it sweet, hot and tangy, a combination that's usually loved by all. These crispy morsels are served piping hot straight from the pan with more juicy lime wedges on the side.
The holidays are about indulgence and rightly so. I'm having my share of cream puffs and cannolis from the wonderful Italian bakery near my home. I'm telling myself that I'll get back on the wagon soon, like we all do. This recipe can help balance the splurging. If you're on the fence about tofu, I think you might find yourself enjoying it in a whole new way with this preparation. If you're like me and you've eaten too much heavy fare lately, take an exodus with this savory plant based recipe.
A simple dinner can be had with some freshly steamed jasmine rice and a few sliced cucumbers tossed with a little lime juice and sea salt.
The addition of a few chopped scallions and fresh Thai basil after the tofu comes out of the pan makes this dish even tastier.
The paprika gives the crispy tofu some smoky back notes. Don't be shy with the honey and lime either, especially at the end of cooking. Be careful not to add too much honey while the tofu cooks to avoid burning.
Serve with more sriracha sauce on the side and lots of fresh lime wedges.
1 15 ounce package of extra firm tofu, I use organic.
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
A couple of good drizzles of honey
1/2 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika
Small drizzle of sriracha sauce or chili oil or a pinch of ground red chili pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds, I use a mixture of blond and black for interest. But all blond will work fine too.
1 tablespoon of neutral tasting oil, plus more for cooking
Sea salt to taste
Serving suggestions: steamed jasmine rice, sliced cucumbers, lime wedges, fresh mint, fresh Thai basil, diced scallions, sriracha sauce (see notes above)
- Slice the block of tofu in half and press it to remove some of the water. I press tofu by putting it between paper towels and placing a plate on top of it. Then I put some of my heavy cookbooks on top of the plate. Press the tofu for about 5-15 minutes to remove some of the water in it. Remove the paper towels and chop the tofu into small cubes. Put the cubed tofu in a bowl with the sesame seeds, one tablespoon of oil, a small drizzle of honey, the smoked paprika and the sriracha sauce or ground chili pepper. Season with salt and toss. Let stand for 5 minutes. Preheat a wok or a nonstick pan with some oil on medium heat, for pan frying the tofu. I use my non-stick scanpan for this recipe to prevent the tofu from sticking. Pan fry the tofu until it's golden brown on all sides. Adjust the heat and toss the tofu as it cooks, keeping a watchful eye so that the heat is not too high causing the sesame seeds and honey to burn. The tofu cooks pretty quickly. Once the tofu is golden brown on all sides, put it into a bowl and toss it with more drizzles of honey and a couple of squeezes of fresh lime juice. Serve with suggestions and enjoy!