So tofu is one of those things that has slowly grown on me. I always love it when it’s prepared for me at places like Whole Foods or restaurants, but I can’t seem to make it taste that great on my own. After much trial and error, I’ve learned a few things. Number one: pressing the tofu is key. Even extra firm tofu has a lot of water in it, so pressing it for about 20 minutes really helps the texture and allows it to soak up a marinade. I’m hoping to buy a tofu press in the near future (they are only like $20) but in the meantime, I used my heavy crockpot and just placed the tofu in a foil pan with paper towels to soak up the water.
Yep, the tofu is underneath there. Some people say they use super heavy books but this worked really well. The second thing I’ve learned is that tofu tastes best when it is seared or grilled-similar to fish in my opinion. I’m not really sure why this is the case, but it doesn’t fall apart and really holds its flavor when cooked this way. And lastly, if you’re using tofu in something like a stir-fry….MARINATE!! Tofu is a sponge just waiting to soak up whatever flavors you want to infuse it with, so marinate ahead of time (overnight is really great) and you will be surprised at how flavorful the tofu remains.
For this recipe I didn’t have to marinate it, but I did press it and then cut it in half length-wise so that I had thin triangles to coat in the crushed almonds. Tofu blocks are pretty thick so this was easy to do.
To make the almond crust, I just put 1/2 cup of raw almonds in the blender and processed them until a crumb mixture formed. I stirred in a little salt and pepper at the end.
Then just place each piece of tofu into the almond mixture and coat both sides. Press down lightly so that the mixture sticks to the tofu.
Then you want to heat a pan over medium heat with a little olive oil and sear each side of the tofu for about 3 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
Next, you want to make the roasted red pepper sauce. This couldn’t be easier and it’s so flavorful. Ingredients include roasted red peppers, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and salt. And the best part is that you don’t have to cut or chop anything because it goes right into the food processor!
Pulse it for a few minutes until a beautiful and textured sauce forms.
And that’s it! Serve the tofu with the red pepper dipping sauce and you have a delicious, light and healthy meal. We served this with polenta as well but it would be great with quinoa or rice on the side. Give this tofu recipe a try, I promise that the texture + taste will not disappoint.
- one block of extra firm tofu, pressed
- 1/2 cup of raw almonds
- Pinch of salt + pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 6 oz of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry of any oils
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup of packed fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon of salt
- Press the tofu using a tofu press or a heavy piece of kitchen equipment for at least 20 minutes. Use paper towels to absorb the water
- Once pressed, slice the tofu in half, then into triangles. Cut the triangles length-wise to decrease the thickness of each piece
- Blend the almonds in a food processor until an almond meal forms. Add in salt and pepper once blended
- Coat each piece of tofu in the almond mixture, pressing down lightly to ensure that it sticks to the tofu
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Sear the tofu pieces for 3 minutes on each side or until they begin to brown
- Blend the roasted red peppers, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and salt in a food processor until a textured sauce forms
- Serve alongside seared tofu