Transitioning to a full-time work schedule after spending months daydreaming about said schedule when one is unemployed is difficult at best and absolutely exhausting at its worst. It’s not the content of my days but rather the adjustment of getting up at 7:00 in the morning and trying not to stay up past 10:00 at night. Needless to say, my weekday approach to cooking has moved from complicated to utilitarian and quick recipes such as this one provide a springboard for something memorable but very simple both in terms of preparation and ingredient selection. The tofu is simmered briefly in hot water and then kept warm until ready to serve; this might sound contrary to any other way you might have prepared tofu but as of right now it is my new favourite way to prepare it. I used asparagus the last time I made this for dinner (out of season but on sale), but you could use any vegetable or combination of that you like. Lastly, I would highly recommend you use low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe as I found the sauce too salty when I used a regular soy sauce.
sesame soy tofu
1 package of medium-soft tofu, drained and cubed
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted*
5 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 bunch of scallions, snipped finely with scissors halfway up the dark green part of the plant
1 tsp. of chili flakes (I like to add more if I’m the only one eating)
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 lb. of asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
2 tsp. canola oil (I think that peanut oil would be a good choice here because of its high smoke point, but I’m allergic to peanuts so this is all based on speculation)
1 cup of jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions
1. Place the tofu in a pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a simmer; turn the heat down to low and allow to sit for as long as you need while you prepare the sauce and asparagus.
2. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and let rest while you cook the asparagus.
3. Heat the oil over high heat and stir fry the asparagus until bright green but still crunchy.
4. Mound the rice, tofu, and asparagus on a plate and generously drizzle with the sauce. Do not let the fact that this sauce is uncooked deter you because once you’ve made it you’ll want to put it on everything.
*To toast the sesame seeds spread them evenly across a frying pan over medium-high heat and watch carefully shaking every 30 seconds or so to prevent burning. The seeds will be done after a few minutes when they begin to emit an intense sesame scent and turn golden brown.
The Psychedelic Furs are so good to play really loudly while you’re cooking and trying to reimmerse yourself back into your own brain after a long period of sustained extroversion. I think this band has a really interesting stylistic evolution: post-punk, new wave, art rock, etc., etc. – listening to music that always sounds different is an invigorating antidote to an over-abundance of sameness. Besides, I like Richard Butler’s sunglasses in this video.
The Psychedelic Furs – Until She Comes