I was supposed to try pho for the very first time this past Thursday. I was very excited. However, it did not happen because that very same morning, during my long run, which is the time when I just think of what foods to make, try, create, eat, taste, I remembered that I had some oranges that desperately needed to be eaten before they went bad. They were tucked away in a dark corner of my fridge, so I decided I needed to use them for something delicious and postpone my pho indulgence until next week!
I still wanted something with Asian flavors so I made Orange Glazed tofu with sesame seeds. The sauce that I used is very similar to the sauce used for my coconut crusted tilapia, except this sauce was reduced longer until it became nice and thick. Making this was very fun ( when is cooking not fun eh…)
- Firm tofu block (cut into 1″ cubes; drained)
- 1 tbs oil
- Breading procedure set up ( 1/2 c white flour, 1/2 panko crumbs, 1 egg with 1 tbs water)
- 2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 c white vinegar
- 1/8 c granulated sugar
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 c orange juice
- 1 teaspoon 5 China spice blend
- 1/2 tbs corn starch
1. When working with firm tofu, I like to make sure that it has been completely drained. In this case, the flavor of the sauce it very strong, so I did not find it necessary to marinate. I cubed the tofu and used a paper napkin to absorb excess moisture. I then set up my breading station and placed the tofu into the flour, patted away excess flour before dipping it in egg wash, and finally tossed it in the panko crumbs. In that order
2. I can be a health nut most of the time, so I try to avoid frying foods anytime that I can. I decided to coat a baking sheet with oil and then I lined up the breaded tofu cubes on the sheet and placed in the oven @ 350 degrees until they were nice and crispy on all sides. I checked about every 7-10 minutes to make sure there were no burning accidents and to turn the cubes to ensure equal crispness.
3. While that baked, I heated up my stainless steel pan and poured in the vinegar and sugar and wisked it until the sugar dissolved. While that was simmering, I mixed the starch into the orange juice and added in the China spices. I mixed everything very well and added it into my simmering vinegar and sugar mix. I added my tbs of soy sauce but more can be added to taste, i only used 1 tbs because of sodium. Finally I let it reduce down until it thickened into a glaze and when the tofu became nice and crisp, I just tossed it into the pan and let the glaze get all over it. I then added the final touch by sprinkling some sesame seeds over the glazed tofu and served with steamed white rice. A healthier alternative to white rice can be quinoa, which is very easy to make, simply rinse it before cooking to get rid of the sour taste. Quinoa is very high in protein, it has all 9 essential amino acids found in “complete”proteins, so it is perfect for vegetarians!
The hubby really liked these, although he did suggest adding a hint of red chili pepper paste to the sauce just to get a spicy kick. We are absolutely in love with spicy foods, so a tablespoon of the chili paste from the Asian isle in the supermarket can really take your sauce to a way spicier level! Enjoy!!