Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spicy Tofu with Mushrooms and Spinach

We've been eating a lot less meat lately, and the tofu from the Korean place a block away is terrific: $1.50 for about 16 ounces of firm, white tofu. I don't know how they do it, but I like it. It's not overpackaged and it always seems fresh. This dish has become a staple because its so easy to prepare the night before and cook up quickly after a long day. I've been using spinach and mushrooms from the farmer's market.

Spicy Tofu with Mushrooms and Spinach

12 ounces firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
6 ounces baby spinach, chopped

Slice the tofu into squares that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place the blocks of tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press down gently to try and soak up as much water as possible without breaking the tofu. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, cornstarch, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper. Add the tofu, and gently combine. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. You can marinate for as little as an hour, or as long as 48 hours (I've never kept something marinating for longer than that, but you might try it). When you're ready to cook, take the tofu out and drain, reserving the leftover marinade in a separate blow. Set a wok or large iron skillet over high heat. Pour the 2 tablespoons of the oil in pan and heat until smoking hot. Add the tofu, stirring gently and occasionally until the tofu is browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the tofu and place in a separate bowl. Pour in the rest of the oil, and then add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Stir and cook for about a minute. Add the spinach and the marinade. Cook until the spinach has wilted, and then add the tofu back in. I serve this over soba noodles, brown rice, or if I'm feeling decadent, jasmine rice. Sometimes we even eat it all by itself. This recipe makes enough for two dinners and two lunches for the next day.

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