It starts with a base layer of some type of grain. I chose spelt berries, they have a nutty chewy texture that is wonderfully addicting. Spelt berries are my absolute favorite grain to cook with, but who knows next week I will probably be raving about quinoa.
The next layer is the vegetables, I chose to leave mine raw for an added crispy texture that would bring bright flavors into this dish. The final layer is the tofu. If you are one of those people who cringes at the sound of soy protein, I urge you to try this method of preparation. I am a firm believer that those who hate tofu haven't actually had good tofu.
Dry Fried Perfect Tofu
Step 1: The press
Tofu is packaged in water in the shape of a block, so the first step is to drain the liquid. Next you want to cut your block into individual rectangles, and then cut those rectangles into triangles. If you need a tutorial on how to cut tofu, here is a good one. Before cooking the soy goodness its important to press the tofu between two kitchen towels to get rid of as much of the liquid as possible. There is my tofu, hidden under a cutting board and a basket of fruit I keep on my counter.
Step 2: The Dry Fry
After your tofu is pressed and cut, it is time to fry those babies up. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and do not add any oil to your pan. Because we are using no oil in this method, it is important that your skillet is non stick! Place your tofu in the skillet, and occasionally press down on the pieces with a spatula to expel any excess liquid. Your tofu will start to become more firm and take on a nice golden color. When one side gets to your desired level of firmness (~5-6 minutes) flip and allow the other side to brown. Here you can see the difference between uncooked tofu (just placed in the skillet) and fully dry fried tofu. Remember to do this on medium heat, you want these babies to become firm throughout, and not to burn on the edges!
Step 3: Add Your Sauce
Once the frying process is complete, add a packaged or pre-made sauce to you pan and watch that baby sizzle!! You will see the sauce become a thick glaze but do not panic! Just add some water to deglaze the pan, although other recipes may use vinegar or wine as a de-glazer.
There you have it. The absolute best way to cook tofu.
Now on to the actual recipe I used for this wonderful meal, stay with me folks!
Incredi-Bowl with Lime Soy Glaze
1/2 cup spelt berries
Julienned raw vegetables
Yellow bell pepper
3 T soy sauce
2 packets of stevia in the raw
1 T lime juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 T minced ginger
1 tsp red chili flakes
First, cut and press your tofu. While the tofu is pressing, prepare your sauce by mixing the soy sauce, stevia, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes in a small bowl.
Next begin to prepare your veggie slaw by julienning your veggies. Be patient, good knife skills (which I have yet to master) take time. I added a drizzle of olive oil, 1 T apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to my veggies, but believe me this recipe is just as delicious leaving them as they are.
Dry fry the tofu and add your sauce using the directions above.
Finally, layer the grain, veggies, and tofu into a bowl....an incredi-bowl.