Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snapshot: tofu with spicy scallion and sesame sauce

tofu with spicy sesame and scallion sauce
i spend a lot of time cooking
intricate, million-step dishes that
make me very proud,
and usually, very tired.
the other times? i want quick
and simple options, that allow
me to sit for a few minutes when
i get home from work, and not
have to run into the kitchen,
crossing my fingers that we
eat before 10 pm.

this korean tofu is exactly
that - the longest part comes
from draining and blotting
the block of firm tofu,
which involves patience,
not skill or good form.
that's when i usually rest
(i.e. change my clothes
and watch ellen on dvr).
next, the tofu can be pan-seared
or boiled gently in water.
it's up to you and your mood.

while that's happening,
i sprinkle 2 large cloves garlic with
a large pinch of salt and let it sit 5 minutes,
before mashing them together until a paste forms.
then, in a small bowl, i whisk the paste
with 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds
that have been crushed with a heavy knife,
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions,
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce,
1 tablespoon asian sesame oil,
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.*

when the tofu is ready, i spoon the spicy,
garlicky and nutty sauce over the tofu
and serve it next to some greens or
brown rice. if i'm feeling ambitious,
both sides make it to the plate,
but really, that's not what nights
like these are about.

*this sauce is yet another reason - on a very, very long list - why i am so sad to lose gourmet. the original, unadapted version of this recipe can be found here.
spicy sesame and scallion sauce


Caviar and Codfish said...

I'm allergic to tofu, and while that usually doesn't bother me much, I'm sad not to be able to try this (sad too, because of Gourmet---but did you know that Francis Lam is now at and Barry Estabrook writes a food blog now called Politics of the place? Don't know if any other Gourment writers have found work elsewhere..)

brooke said...

i'm a huge fan of tofu, but for this recipe, i believe it's the sauce that makes the whole thing work. i bet it would taste just as delicious on shrimp, vegetables (like zucchini and eggplant) or chicken. i've never tried before, but i think i would marinate with half the mixture (without the suar) before cooking, then stir half the amount of sugar in and drizzle with the rest.