Wednesday, December 3, 2008

73. Panfried Tofu on Sesame Watercress with Soy Orange Dressing (p. 279)

A few weeks ago, I was looking for something quick to make for dinner, when I came across this recipe in the Grains and Beans chapter. (Oh yeah, tofu is made from beans, isn't it?)

This is one of the few recipes that I have come across in The Book that serves two. With an active time of 15 minutes and a total time of 25 minutes, this is a perfect weeknight meal for a busy couple.

The first step is to toast some sesame seeds in a dry skillet. Toasting sesame seeds is always pretty dicey since they can take a little while to get going, but once they start to turn, they can go from toasted to scorched in no time at all. The last few times I've toasted sesame seeds, I've relied more on smell than appearance to tell when they're done. After the sesame seeds were toasted, I put them aside for a while.

Next, I cut a block of extra-firm tofu into four slices and cooked them in some oil on a hot skillet. The Book says to cook for 6 to 8 minutes. It took me a bit longer to get the slices nicely browned and crispy. When the tofu was ready, I removed it from the pan and set it aside.

Next, I cooked the watercress in the same skillet with a bit more oil. Once it wilted a bit, I added the toasted sesame seeds, and then put it on the same plate with the tofu.

Finally, I made the soy orange dressing by simmering some ginger, garlic, orange juice, soy sauce and sesame oil for just a little while until it thickened a bit. I drizzled the dressing on the tofu and watercress, and served it with The Book's Foolproof Long-Grain Rice.

This was a quick, easy and delicious dinner. I've always liked fried tofu, and this preparation was excellent. The tofu was crispy on the outside and light and tender on the inside. The sauce had a very nice combination of ginger, orange and toasty sesame flavors. The watercress was crisp and peppery, and the sesame seeds was a nice touch.

Date Cooked: November 2, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: B+

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