I like to try to have at least one meatless meal a week, and I usually substitute beans, quinoa, or tofu for that meat component. Chris will do the beans and quinoa without complaint, but tofu is a slightly different story. Although he will eat it, he likes to have it disguised. I discovered the best way to disguise it was to cut it up into small pieces, and then to stir fry it in homemade teriyaki sauce. My result? No leftovers :).
Tofu is not nearly as scary as many people think. Also, it’s much cheaper than your average meat product! For anyone that’s a beginner with tofu, I definitely recommend making it this way! To make my Tofu and Broccoli Teriyaki, you need the following: 1 block of extra firm tofu, 1 12 ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets, 1 cup of brown rice (dry), 3 tablespoons of lite soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of water (plus extra for rice), 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (plus extra for the tofu), olive oil cooking spray, and salt and pepper to taste.
Begin by combining 1 cup of brown rice with 2 1/2 cups of water. You can also add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, but this is optional. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover, allowing to simmer for about 40 minutes — or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. Remove from heat, and set aside.
While the rice cooks, we can start pressing the tofu. Cut open the container, drain, and remove the tofu to a cutting board. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half. Here, pictures make more sense:
I like my tofu thin, so I cut the four blocks in half one more time. It’s okay if they’re not beautiful; they’re going in a stir fry! Once the blocks are to your liking, lay them on a thick layer of paper towels.
Then cover the tofu with 3-4 more sheets of paper towels. Next, go grab any heavy books or pans and place them on top. (I’m a Hungry Girl fan, if you can’t tell!) Let the tofu sit like this for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the the books and the top layer of paper towels. Put a few spoonfuls of cornstarch on a plate along with some salt and pepper. Dredge the tofu in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess.
Place finished tofu on another plate.
Since we want tofu pieces, instead of tofu steaks, cut each piece in half lengthwise, and then cut it into small squares. You should get 8-10 pieces per tofu steak.
Place a non-stick skillet over a medium-high burner. When the pan is hot, spray it with some olive oil cooking spray. Place the tofu squares on the skillet, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. If this is your first time, work in small batches. I did my tofu in two batches, but the first time I made tofu I did 3 or 4. Remove the tofu to a plate or paper towel after browning on both sides.
Once the tofu is cooked, microwave the frozen broccoli in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove and roughly chop. Turn the burner down to medium, place chopped broccoli florets in the pan, and spray with olive oil cooking spray.
Cook the broccoli for about two minutes, and then add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. After adding the soy sauce, throw the tofu back into the pan.
Stir the tofu in, making sure it gets coated in soy sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to make sure everything gets incorporated, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Combine 1/4 cup of cold water with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir to combine.
Slowly pour the cornstarch and water into the pan with the tofu and broccoli. Stir to incorporate before adding more. We just want to thicken the sauce, so use your best judgement. I didn’t use very much at all, just one 2-3 second pour.
Cook for about two more minutes, until the sauce is thick and the broccoli and tofu are warm throughout.
Scoop brown rice onto a plate and top with the Tofu and Broccoli Teriyaki. Serve with additional soy sauce if desired.
This is a very quick, healthy, and delicious meal! The sauce has a kick from the red pepper flakes, and is tangy and sweet. It can be on the table in about 40 minutes, and is filling and satisfying! I definitely recommend it for all tofu lovers and skeptics!
1 block extra firm tofu
1 12 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
1 cup dry brown rice
2 3/4 cups water (divided)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch (plus more to dredge tofu)
3 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Begin by adding 1 cup of brown rice and 2 1/2 cups of water to sauce pan (1/2 Tbsp. olive oil optional). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover, and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the tofu from packaging. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut those pieces in half lengthwise again. Cut the four steaks in half lengthwise one more time so that you have 8 steaks. Lay tofu on 3-4 layers on paper towels. Top with more paper towels, and then set heavy books on top. Allow tofu to press for 15 minutes.
Remove the books and paper towels from tofu. Place a few spoonfuls of cornstarch onto a plate, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge each tofu steak in the cornstarch, adding more salt and pepper or cornstarch if needed. Shake off excess and set tofu on a plate. Cut the tofu into small blocks. Cut each steak in half lengthwise, and then into 8-10 small squares per piece.
To cook tofu, place a pan over a medium-high burner, and spray with olive oil spray. Place a layer of tofu in the pan and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Once the tofu is browned, remove to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium. Microwave frozen broccoli for about 2 minutes, and then roughly chop.
Place broccoli florets in the pan, and spray with cooking spray. Cook for about 2 minutes, and then add 3 Tbsp. of soy sauce, followed by the tofu squares. Stir to combine. Add 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. of honey, 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to make sure all ingredients are incorporated, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Mix 1/4 cup of cold water with 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch. Pour a small amount in the pan, and stir to combine. Add more cornstarch until you reach your desired thickness, you shouldn’t need much! Cook for 2 more minutes, and remove from heat.
Serve tofu and broccoli teriyaki over a bed of brown rice. Serve with additional soy sauce if desired.