Soy-Roasted Tofu with Asian Greens

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Here, I’m starting the tofu on top of the stove and finishing it in a hot oven, a technique often used in restaurants for meat and fish. You can also prepare it on the grill, or solely on the stovetop, but you’ll need to watch it carefully, as the sugar in the marinade can burn. The greens are available in Asian markets and in many large supermarkets. You can certainly substitute other greens, but try these if you can find them. The Garlic Stock is very little effort for great flavor. It’s best if you start with a good homemade Vegetable Stock.

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu

Marinade

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sake or dry white wine
  • ¼ cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion (white and green parts)
  • 3 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (also known as Shanghai bok choy), washed and cut diagonally
  • 1 cup shelled, blanched fresh soybeans (edamame), either fresh or fresh frozen
  • 1 pound washed fresh pea shoots or pea leaves
  • Garlic Stock
  • Sea salt
  • Hot pepper sesame oil

Method

WRAP AND PRESS the tofu to remove excess water. Slice into 4 rectangles and set aside.

Combine the marinade ingredients, except the lemon slices, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add the lemon slices, pour the cooled marinade over the tofu, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8, depending on your preference and schedule. (The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor will be.) Turn the tofu occasionally so that the pieces absorb the marinade evenly.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in an ovenproof sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Remove the tofu from the marinade and quickly sauté the slices on one side until lightly browned and “lacquered” looking. Turn the tofu over and place the pan in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes or until the tofu is just warmed through and nicely colored. Be careful not to burn.

While the tofu is cooking, in another skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and soybeans and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the pea shoots and stir-fry for a minute longer. Add 1 cup stock and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time. Season the vegetables to taste with salt and a few drops of hot pepper sesame oil.

Place the vegetables and broth in the center of shallow warm bowls and top with the tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and sprouts, if desired, and serve immediately.

Garnish

If you like with toasted sesame seeds and fresh daikon radish sprouts or onion sprouts