Tofu is oftentimes a vegan’s best friend! I remember in my early years of being plant-based, my husband wanted to do something special for our anniversary. He planned a very fancy dinner at a 5-star restaurant. Being a thorough person, he called the restaurant beforehand and spoke directly with the chef. The chef said he was great at making plant-based dishes and not to worry, he would prepare something memorable. We sipped on our pink champagne and the waiter brought the supposedly magnificent vegan dish! An entire block of tofu, on a bed of greens, was his specialty. No dressing, no seasoning, no cooking, just plain out-of-the-carton tofu, cold!
It was beyond disappointing and also disgusting enough that it turned me away from tofu for several years. I am happy to say, however, that I now make it dozens of different ways but have been trying to master a crispy coating that would be the base for numerous seasonings. Use your imagination! Try using Mexican flavors like Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Cilantro, and Salt. Or if you are feeling like something Italian, how about Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, and Salt? Indian seasonings like Turmeric, Garam Masala, Cumin, and Coriander also work well. The possibilities are nearly endless!
I think, after much trial and error, I have come up with something spectacular.
Eggplant is one of those fruit-based veggies that you either love or not. Most people only ever eat it deep-fried and smothered in sauce and cheese but, believe it or not, eggplant takes the stage as a key ingredient in many traditional Eastern dishes.
My creation has some sherry in it, which burns off so you don’t need to worry about the alcohol content. However, you can always substitute a mix of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water.
This recipe makes an ample amount of sauce but if you want more, I would suggest doubling it. The dish is best served warm, although it can be eaten cold, and keeps in the refrigerator for about 4 days. When reheating, add a small amount of water to help rehydrate the noodles or rice.
NOTE: Make sure you salt your eggplant pieces and set them aside on paper towels for 15 to 30 minutes. Pat dry and remove excess salt before cooking. This will ensure that the eggplant cooks properly without absorbing too much cooking oil.
Growing up I always loved family barbeques. There was always something special about cooking and eating outside, surrounded by happy people. I always loved the taste of barbeque sauce and wanted to create a Korean option using tofu.
This BBQ Korean Tofu is great by itself, or as a topping for rice, noodles, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower mash. It is also a delicious option to toss in a salad or to simply eat straight out to the pan!