Thursday, July 26, 2012

Easier Orange Tofu

Back in 2009, I posted my take on Heidi Swanson's orange tofu. However, this never became a regular in our dinner rotation. I couldn't get an intense enough orange flavor without making way too much sauce. Recently, the PCC newsletter posted a link to "Steph's Tofu" and I immediately saw the brilliance of it. To get the proper orange flavor without making too watery a sauce, the key is to use frozen orange juice concentrate!

The only issue I had with the recipe as written is that it was too salty. Turns out, the "hippie" mirin that we use (Eden organic) is missing the high fructose corn syrup that many cooking mirins contain, but does contain salt. I resolved the issue by reducing the mirin and replacing with some chicken stock. Of course, vegetable stock would work just as well for a vegetarian version, I just happen to have small cubes of homemade chicken stock on hand.

I have now made this tofu dish four or five times and it's a hit with the whole family. We most often serve it with brown rice and a green vegetable. It's often accompanied by peanut sauce, as well.
The oven temperature is very flexible, I have found. The original recipe recommends 350 degrees F for one hour, but I prefer 425 degrees F for 30 minutes both to reduce cooking time and also to get a nice glaze on the tofu.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 TBSP unsalted stock
3 TBSP mirin
2 TBSP soy sauce (we use Nama unpasteurized)
1 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 TBSP grated ginger
1 block tofu (15-16 ounces) cut into 16 cubes and blotted dry

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Whisk all ingredients except tofu in a small bowl
  3. Place tofu cubes in a dish large enough so that it can all be in a single layer (but not so deep that the marinade is too shallow)--an 8 inch square dish should work well
  4. Pour marinade over tofu and let sit 30 minutes if you can, turning once halfway through if you have time
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, if desired. As the tofu is already cooked through, doneness is more about the sauce reducing and caramelizing slightly than anything else, so remove from the oven when it looks good to you
  6. Serve with brown rice and vegetables. Would also be nice with noodles

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