Awesome Welcome

Welcome to The Awesome Vegetarian! We hope you enjoy one of our many fantastic recipes! We're still pretty fresh in the blogosphere so bear with us a bit as we continue to build our site and offer you more and more awesome content.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Balsamic Tofu Steak

Tofu is something we vegetarians eat an awful lot of, but sadly it is often discounted by meat eaters.  It is low in fat, a good source of protein and goes with an endless variety of dishes, both sweet and savory.  Tofu is a great meat alternative, and though it is a processed food, it is far healthier than all the highly processed meat substitutes you can find in the freezer section.  If you buy organic tofu you can avoid those heavy chemicals sprayed all over the soy beans.

I did two versions of this recipe, one with a breaded/asiago crust and one without (pictured above).  Both were delicious, it all depends on if you want to do the extra step of breading the tofu. 

  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 fresh red chile pepper, minced
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon muscavado or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (for optional crust)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (for optional crust)
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese, or any hard cheese (for optional crust)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional garnish)
1) Slice your tofu block in to 1/2 inch slabs.  Lay them in a single layer over a clean towel or several layers of paper towel.  Place another clean towel over the tofu and squeeze water out of the each piece by applying pressure.  I do this one piece at a time with the palm of my hand, but you can also use whatever heavy object is handy and effective.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and place tofu in an 8" by 8" baking dish.
2) Now make your marinade.  Whisk together the vinegar, red onion, chile pepper, garlic, lemon juice, salt and sugar and pour over the tofu.  Flip the slices a few times to make sure they're evenly coated.  Let marinate for at least an hour, flipping every so often.  When you flip the tofu apply pressure with the flat side of a fork (or your hands).  This will help it will soak up the marinade like a sponge.
3) (Skip this step if you're opting out of a crust) Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and scramble gently.  Mix the bread crumbs and grated cheese in another shallow bowl.  Coat each slice with the egg (don't worry about chunks of onion sticking to the tofu, this will just add flavor to your crust), then press both sides of each slice into the bread crumb mixture.
4) Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the tofu steaks (as many as will fit without over crowding) and cook each side until golden-brown, 5 to 10 minutes per side.  If you're not using the crust, it will take closer to 10 minutes per side to brown because of all the moisture in the marinade.
5) Serve each slice sprinkled with a bit of chopped cilantro.

No comments:

Post a Comment