Hello blog world! This is D (AKA Big Daddy Veg) with a guest blog post! As a teacher I have summers off, and this inevitably leads to a daily “honey-do” list every morning from S. It also usually leads to me having a lot of free time on my hands, and so I get to spend a lot more time flexing my culinary muscles in the kitchen!
For last night’s dinner, I was inspired by a block of tofu that was already pressing in the fridge just begging for a marinade. We always have a section in the fridge full of Asian condiments, but I wanted to do something a little different. S has been making smoothies in the morning and so we had a container of pineapple in the fridge… light bulb! This marinade is full of the natural sweetness of the pineapple and it makes for an excellent char on the grill. The best news is since the tofu isn’t raw meat, the marinade can do triple duty by dressing the soba noodles after they are cooked and the rest can go on top of the tofu as a sauce after it comes off the grill!
Grilled Marinated Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed for a day to remove water, then cut lengthwise into three “steaks”
Sambal, or other Asian chili sauce
Pineapple, canned or fresh (we used canned)
Demarara or brown sugar
Combine all ingredients except tofu into a small blender or mini-chopper and puree until a smooth marinade forms. Put tofu in a zip-top bag just big enough to hold it, then add in all the marinade. Put the bag in a container to prevent leakage and place the container in the fridge. Flip the tofu every few hours to marinate evenly anywhere from one to two days (I did two). When you are ready to cook, get a grill as hot as possible and grill the tofu on both sides until a nice char and crust forms (it helps to leave the cover down to heat the whole piece through). When done cooking, remove the tofu from the grill and serve topped with extra marinade and over noodles and baby bok choy (recipe to follow).
For the soba noodles, cook in boiling water according to the directions on the package. Drain, then return to the pot and add in enough marinade to coat while tossing.
Steamed Baby Bok Choy
3 baby bok choy
Ginger, grated or thinly sliced
White miso paste (to taste)
Slice each of the baby bok choy in half lengthwise. In a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, add water, ginger, garlic, and miso paste and whisk to combine. The mixture in the skillet should still be watery, and come up to about halfway up the pan wall. Place the bok choy in the skillet, put on the lid and raise the heat to medium. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until bok choy is tender.
S and I put the noodles in the base of a bowl, topped them with a few pieces of bok choy and then put a tofu steak on top. The flavors in this are explosive! The sweet and spicy sauce, the perfumed bok choy, the base of the noodles… we scarfed this one down! The best part is you can customize the marinade to suit your own tastes: less spicy, less sweet, more ginger… happy eating!