Thursday, January 12, 2006

Baked Tofu with Garlic Chard

Baked Tofu with Garlic Chard
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
My first exposure to baked tofu came surprise! in Berkeley. Smart Alec's has a Tofu Sandwich made with baked tofu. Over the 4 years of eating in the South Campus area, this sandwich became one of my favorites, up with Pad See Ew from Thai Basil and Gypsy's Chicken.
In a quest to recreate this wonderful culinary creation, I set out over the years (with varying degree of success) to make my own baked tofu.

10 Jan marks the day when I accomplished my goal.

Baked Tofu with Garlic Chard

Baked Tofu

1 pkg firm tofu
1/3 c soy sauce (low-sodium for your bp!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon

Garlic Chard (from [Recipe])

1 bunch chard (oooh the colors)
2-3 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced (the more the better)
Preheat oven to 375°F

Slice tofu into 3-4 slices the longest way (through its depth). Place those on 2 layers of paper towel on top of a baking sheet and put two more pieces of towel on top. Put another baking sheet on top and weigh it (I use a lot of cans) down to squeeze out excess water.
In a shallow dish, mix together the soy sauce, garlic, paprika, cumin seeds and lemon juice.

After the tofu has drained from about 20 minutes, put it into the marinade and let marinate for 20 minutes in the fridge, flipping along the way (one, twice, three times baked tofu).

Grease a baking sheet and place tofu on the sheet, put in the oven for 45 minutes.

When the tofu comes out, its done! Its so easy and tastes so good. I ate the leftovers on a sandwich with arugula and olive oil.

To make the chard, boil up a pot of water. Separate the ribs from the green leafy parts and chop up the ribs into 1/2" pieces. Boil the ribs from 5 minutes and take out and put aside. DO NOT DUMP OUT WATER! :) Roughly chop the leafy portion into strips and douse in boiling water for 3 minutes. Take out and put together with the ribs.

Heat up a saucepan to med-high with some olive oil in the bottom. Give the garlic 1 minute on each side, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't burn. Add in the chard which has been thoroughly drained, sqeezed and pressed to remove as much water as possible. Give it 2 minutes in the pan to wilt and gain some flavor of the garlic. The par-cooking on the boiling water gets rid of the bitterness that develops in chard when cooking it quickly over relatively high heat.

We served it with some rice, but the tofu on a bed of the greens would be my plan for the baked tofu v2.0

Make this, it is easy and tasty! Let me know how it goes.

Just looking at the picture, I wish this was my lunch. Instead I get Antonia's Southwest Salad - a post to come....?

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