Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jerk tofu to the rescue

Okay, this was one of the most amazing tofu dishes I've ever had. Get the recipe here.

I guess what attracted me to this recipe was the fact that it had the word jerk. I love exploring new recipes and using spices I don't normally use in savoury dishes -- such as allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, usually found in fall / winter desserts. I may've tried cinnamon in a curry, but usually in combination with cumin, cardamom, coriander, etc where you can't almost detect it. I was pleasantly surprised with the results of this dish -- spicy and sweet, totally different from anything I've tried. Am now a fan of Carribean food, even though this Jerk Tofu isn't a traditional dish.

The recipe calls for maple syrup. Instead, I used a muscovado-ginger syrup from Tindahang Sakto, a brilliant liquid sweetener for the maple syrup-, agave nectar-deprived. I've used it in brownies too, and it's great because it's got this deep earthy taste, perfect for baked goods that don't call for butter but need a little more depth. BTW these guys sell vegan-friendly, earth-friendly bath soaps (one soap has honey, so avoid if you don't use honey) and eco-friendly cleaning agents! They sell super fragrant coconut oil which I've purchased and can't wait to try in baking. And I love reading the blogs by one of the owners (Yapak / Yakap and Gardencore) :)

Anyway, do try this recipe. It also calls for jalopenos, which you can't really find here; you can sub with sili labuyo or just add more cayenne pepper.

Also don't be scared about all the prep time. I usually keep some blocks of tofu in the freezer. You can defrost them in the fridge during the day (give it 24 hrs in the fridge); if it's still partially frozen, dunk it in hot water for a few minutes. To remove excess water I wrap it in a dish towel and put a heavy mortar and pestle on top -- let sit 15-30 min. I marinade usually for 15-20 min before I fry it.

Oh and quick tip, use a non-stick skillet. The marinade with the onions tend to burn if you use a regular skillet. Also, tofu will stick to the bottom of a regular skillet unless you add copious amounts of oil.

AND, play around with the spices! I've tried this without the allspice, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and instead added dried rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and sage.

AND AND AND, it makes a lot of marinade. After frying up the tofu, cook the marinade a bit (it's chunky due to the chopped up onion). Pour it over the tofu or mix it up with rice -- instant fried rice!

1 comment:

Jeni Treehugger said...

DAMN! That looks goood!

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