Not everyone is a tofu lover. Our household doesn't have any confirmed tofu "haters" but there are times that tofu for dinner isn't met with vast amounts of enthusiasm.
I'm one of those weird people that could eat tofu plain from the package. Its subtle soy-ishness (a word, I'm sure) and texture are pleasing. But for many, tofu needs seasoning. And lots of it. You can purchase pre-seasoned and baked tofu, but it tends to be expensive. Besides, baking your own fills your house with such a sumptuous smell!
I developed a profound love for Umeboshi when I delved into Japanese cooking techniques. The delectable play between salty and sweet is so enticing! And when I found Ume Plum Vinegar! Well, dressings and marinades will never be the same around here.
That's where this all plays out-----the enticing, "stand-up-and-take-notice" flavor of Ume Vinegar with the subtle "season-me-please" tofu. Add the savory depth of toasted sesame oil and nutritional yeast, with the hearty flavor of almonds and your tofu will win over the hearts of those "it tastes like nothing" tofu haters.
The recipe ingredient list may look long but if you do much Asian cooking, you will find many of the ingredients in your pantry.
These savory little squares would be perfect chilled from the refrigerator and tucked into a lunchbox or tossed on a salad!
2 pckgs. extra-firm tofu
2 T. water
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
2 T. nutritional yeast
2 T. almond meal (or grind your own whole almonds)
3 T. ume plum vinegar
Method: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with oil. Rinse and cut the tofu into large squares.
In a blender, food processor, or a large mortar and pestle, blend the remaining ingredients until smooth.The mixture will taste salty and intense but when spread out over the tofu it blends nicely.
In a large bowl, toss the tofu with the coating mixture. Spread the coated tofu out onto the sheet pan, allowing space between squares. Bake until the coating is dry, approximately 40 minutes, or until the coating is dry and the tofu is heated through.
We served our tofu with a stir-fry of broccoli, red pepper, and carrots, over rice. Mmmmm.