A note from Jaclyn:
My recipe to share with you today, is what I call the Tofu Broccoli Bowl. It’s a recipe I’ve picked up during the Covid pandemic and has become a regular in my recipe rotations.
The first time I made this dish, was the first time I ever made tofu. It was an ingredient I always felt intimidated by, as I didn’t have much exposure to it growing up. However, I’ve come to really enjoy it and feel way more comfortable cooking with it now.
This recipe is pretty simple and allows for adaptations quite easily – the recipe itself is an adaption of two different recipes, one from the original “Thug Kitchen” cookbook and the other from vegetarian cookbook my mum has called “The Engine 2”. I’ve landed on my own version of these recipes, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (:”
- Toasted sesame seeds are optional. If you decide to use them, do them first when you start making the marinade. Instructions: in a skillet on medium-low heat, toast sesame seeds until light brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- If you have time, you can store the marinaded tofu in the fridge for 1-2 hours, so it soaks up more flavour (the longer the better but do whatever you have time for).
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1.5 cups of brown rice (any long grain rice works fine!)
3 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
2 tsp brown sugar (maple syrup or honey works too)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp sriracha (or red pepper chili flakes)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ginger, minced or grated
1/2 cup of tamari
Squeeze of lime (approx. 1 tsp)
Salt & pepper to taste
- Start with the prep! First, drain your block of tofu, then wrap it in paper towel. Place the tofu between two plates and add some weight on top, like a can of beans. This squeezes out the excess water, which makes room for flavour! Squeeze your tofu for about 45 minutes. When you come back your paper towel will be soaked through. While you’re waiting for the tofu to squeeze, make the marinade and prep the broccoli.
- For the marinade: in a small bowl, stir together the tamari, sesame oil, tomato paste, brown sugar, minced garlic, sriracha, ginger, lime and toasted sesame seeds *if using, see note above. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside until you are ready to add to the tofu.
- Rinse and cut the broccoli head into small florets. Place florets in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread the florets on to a baking sheet. Set aside.
- After 45 minutes, return to the tofu and discard the paper towel. Cut the tofu block into width-wise planks (about ¼ inch thick), you should have about 8-10 planks. Then, cut each plank in half, you should have about 16-20 tofu squares. Next, line the tofu squares in a shallow rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top. Make sure each one is fully coated in the liquid. Let sit for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425℉ for the broccoli. While it is heating, prepare the rice as directed on the package. Roast broccoli in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Check with a fork, they should be tender. Charring is normal and adds flavour!
- Next, fry the tofu. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil (approx. 1-2 tbsp). Once the oil is hot, cook tofu squares for 3-5 minutes on each side. Repeat until all are cooked. Save the marinade.
- To serve, place a scoop of rice, broccoli, green onions and 4-5 squares of tofu in a bowl. Spoon left over marinade on top. Enjoy!