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Rose's Tofu with broccoli and kale

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a fantastic source of vegetable protein that contains all 8 essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein that cannot be manufactured in the body). It is also rich in important minerals such as iron and calcium.
Tofu is made by curdling soya milk and pressing the curds into blocks. It has a very mild taste and a range of textures, from silken and soft to very firm. Smoked tofu is now also widely available. It is incredibly versatile and acts a great vehicle for carrying flavour. Traditionally found in oriental cuisines, the uses for tofu now go far beyond this. It can be added to soups and sauces to provide a creamy texture and to enrich the protein content of a dish. It can be grilled or stir fried or even used as an alternative to butter in some desserts.
The key to cooking tofu is to ensure you press it beforehand. This removes a great deal of the water content and enables the tofu to take on more of the flavours of the sauce it is being cooked in. Marinating the tofu is another great way to enrich it further.
This dish is a particular favourite of ours. The rich, creamy, crunchy satay sauce makes the dish sing and also provides some healthy fats. The green vegetables help to balance the intensity of flavours and provide beneficial fibre and calcium.

Sesame-roasted tofu with satay sauce & broccoli by Rose Elliot

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients 
500g (1lb) firm tofu, drained
4 tablespoons soy sauce (If you are gluten free use Tamari or gluten free soy sauce as an alternative)
1 tablespoon of mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 heads of broccoli, about 350g (11½ oz) each, trimmed and broken into florets
100g of kale, stalks removed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

For the satay sauce:
4 heaped tablespoons crunchy peanut butter, choose a variety that is palm oil free
(If harder textures are a problem for you or you have issues with chewing or swallowing, use smooth peanut butter)
400ml (14fl oz) can coconut milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
2 teaspoons grated fresh root ginger
¼ – ½  teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
juice of 1 lime
chopped coriander and lime wedges to garnish
chopped peanuts (optional)

 Method

  • Press the tofu by wrapping the block in several layers of kitchen paper. Place a plate underneath it and several plates of top of it. Leave for 30 minutes.
  • Blot the tofu dry on kitchen paper and cut into thin strips about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick. Put the strips on a plate in a single layer, pour the soy sauce and mirin on top, allow to marinate for 5 minutes, then turn the strips so that they are all coated and allow to marinate for a further 5 minutes.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a grill pan or shallow roasting tin under a preheated hot grill. Put the tofu strips in the pan or tin in a single layer and scatter with half the sesame seeds, then immediately turn them over and coat with the remaining sesame seeds.
  • Put the pan or tin back under the grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until the tofu is crisp and browned, then turn the pieces over and grill the other side.
  • Meanwhile, make the satay sauce. Put the peanut butter into a saucepan and gradually stir in the coconut milk to make a smooth sauce, then add the garlic, tamarind, ginger and chilli. Heat gently, taste and add sugar to taste, you may find that you did not want to add any. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and set aside until required.
  • About 5–10 minutes before the tofu is ready, bring 1 cm (½ inch) depth of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the broccoli, bring back to the boil, cover and cook for 2–3 minutes. 
  • Add the kale and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and dress with lemon juice, zest and toasted sesame oil.
  • Put some broccoli, kale, tofu and a drizzle of satay sauce on each plate, sprinkle with some coriander and chopped peanuts and serve with a lime wedge. Season to taste.

About Rose

Rose Elliot 

Rose Elliot is the UK’s best-known vegetarian cookery writer. She has published more than 60 vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and, in 1999, was awarded an MBE for services to vegetarian cookery.

She is also passionate about mindfulness and meditation and has written two books on the subjects, I Met a Monk and Every Breath You Take.

Read Rose's interview here.


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