This is the week we celebrate Earth Day. But I know that no one wants to come to a food blog and read about overfished seas, rising global temperatures, factory farming, or food scarcity. So let’s talk about delicious solutions instead! Eating lower on the food chain, and incorporating more plant based dishes addresses all of those issues. And Spicy Tofu is just so addictively crave-worthy, you’ll be happy to celebrate Meatless Monday any day of the week.
It has always been important to me to have lots of options for vegetarians and vegans on our restaurant menus. And those options have to be as exciting, yummy, and visually appealing as all of our other dishes, or what’s the point? Spicy Tofu meets all of those requirements, and is packed with protein as well. Best of all? It takes less than 10 minutes to make!
Spicy Tofu is usually served as a side for Korean BBQ. You can serve it as part of an Asian plant based feast, along with other vegan favorites like Braised Burdock, Roasted Cauliflower with Cashew Sauce, and Funky Spicy Green Beans, or you can take it easy and serve Spicy Tofu with a side of rice for a simple and satisfying meal.
A Spicy Flavorful Sauce
Tofu will take on the flavors of any sauce, so I make sure the sauce is super flavorful. This one has little bits of garlic, scallions, and minced chili that add great texture to the final dish.
Tofu gets a bad rap. But I maintain if you don’t like tofu that you’ve never had it prepared properly. Tofu comes in an endless variety of textures and forms. For my Spicy Tofu, I use medium firm because it holds its shape while still absorbing the sauce. You can use silken tofu as well, though it may fall apart while serving. First I drain and rinse the tofu before proceeding.
I use the microwave to cook Spicy Tofu; it steams gently and quickly, without making a mess. You can also use a steamer insert to do this work, but I find it unnecessary to take out another piece of equipment when the microwave does a great job. Plus, it can be difficult getting a hot dish out of the steamer.
Once you’ve cooked the tofu, be very careful removing the film after; steam burns are no joke. And make sure you drain the liquid in the dish well. The tofu will continue to give off more liquid, so make sure your serving dish has a lip to avoid any spills.
Pour the sauce over the steamed tofu, and top with sesame seeds and slivered nori for even more flavor and texture.
Whether you are a seasoned pro at cooking with tofu, or have never used it before, you are going to love this dish. It’s ready in minutes, and so delicious. The soft steamed tofu drenched in the vibrant sauce is plant-based perfection! Rate the recipe and comment below, and show us your beautiful creations by tagging us @funkasiankitchen.
Find more Asian plant-based goodness here!
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 scallions, minced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 or 2 pieces thai bird chili minced (optional)
- 1 package medium firm tofu (about 14 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ sheet nori, cut into small thin strips
- Mix the garlic, scallions, soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, korean chili flakes, sesame oil, and thai bird chili (if using) in a small bowl, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Drain and rinse the tofu. Cut the tofu into 8 pieces, first by cutting it in half lengthwise and then into thin slices, keeping the pieces even and attractive.
- Place the tofu into a shallow microwave-safe plate that will fit the tofu comfortably.
- Wrap the tofu with plastic wrap and microwave the tofu for 3 minutes. Carefully unwrap the tofu and drain any liquid.
- Pour the sauce on top.
- Top the tofu with the sesame seeds and seaweed and serve immediately.
* Use a dish with a lip to contain the liquid from the tofu along with the runny sauce.
Keywords: vegan, tofu, korean, spicy, plant-based