Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Recipe: Spicy Tofu Griddle Cakes with Jasmine Rice and Soy Aioli

© Constantine William Spyrou

Tofu is a really under-appreciated ingredient in the modern cooking world. People tend to avoid it because it is bland, really watery, and doesn't taste too great on its own. To me, however, tofu is a great canvas for flavor. Just like rice or bread, tofu can absorb flavors extremely well and become quite delicious if done right. I tend to eat tofu a lot, especially marinated or in stir-fries with bell peppers and green beans. My mom also makes a good tofu and edamame (soybean) stir-fry with rice. This is a new spin, however. This takes tofu and really amps up the flavor through a length marination to really let the flavors combine. Add in some crunch from pan-frying the tofu, and you're good to go! Served with a savory sauce and rice, this makes a great vegan dinner.

Recipe will make about 18 cakes and serve up to 6.

For the Tofu:

3 packages soft/silken tofu, drained and mashed up
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon togarashi (Japanese red pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon white pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sriracha hot sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

For the Rice:

8 cups Jasmine Rice, washed and cooked
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons Mirin
1 tablespoon curry powder


1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients for the tofu cakes with the tofu and mix well, letting the tofu mash up and get to an almost ground meat consistency. The tofu will naturally bind to itself, so you don't need to add breadcrumbs. Let this mixture sit for at least 1 hour to let the flavors marry
2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, ground ginger, Mirin, and curry powder for the sauce (seen in the Rice section). Whisk well and let sit for 30 minutes before using. since this is technically an aioli, you may want to mix again in 30 minutes so the sesame oil is not separate from the rest of the sauce.
3. Form small cakes of tofu like patties out of the mixture. You should get a minimum of 18 cakes out of this recipe, possibly more. Cook for about 90 seconds on each side so the sides get nice and crispy in a nonstick pan.
4. Place the tofu cakes over your cooked Jasmine rice. Drizzle the sauce over the top.

The heat from the Sriracha goes quite well with the Asian flavors of the marinade. Since there is so much going on in the marinade as well as tofu and rice to balance out the heat, this won't be too spicy, but it will have some kick for sure. The aioli also adds some richness that can cut down the spice.

If you try making this at home, let me know what you think! Enjoy! =) 

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