Sesame tofu with steamed broccoli and brown basmati rice. Perfection!
You guys, my favorite Chinese restaurant no longer delivers to me. Green Sprout is 100% vegetarian, and until maybe a year ago, they'd bring amazing vegan Chinese food to my door. Then, they changed their delivery area by ½ mile, and now my house is just outside their radius. My heart!
"Just go up and get take-out," you are probably saying. I know. The thing is, the restaurant is about 30-40 minutes away, depending on traffic, and I'm not really the kind of person that travels that far for supper. Even for amazing vegan Chinese supper.
One of my favorite dishes from there was their Empire "Chicken." This sesame tofu recipe is - not that. But it does fill that same spot in my heart that craves a chewy protein coated in sweet sauce with lots of broccoli. And I can make it in less time than it would take to get Darrol into the car and drive up to Buckhead.
EZ Tofu Press Love!
This sesame tofu recipe is sponsored by the amazing folks at EZ Tofu Press. Seriously, you guys. EZ Tofu Press is one of my all-time favorite site sponsors. We've worked together for years, and I love coming up with tofu recipes for them. Ben, the owner, is a delight to collaborate with. If you're going to Atlanta Veg Fest, stop by his table and say hello!
Here's a video showing the press in action, in case you've never used one before:
The thing I like about using a press rather than pressing my tofu with weights or my hands is the consistency. Weights tend to be uneven, so you end up with a misshapen block of tofu. No big deal if you're making something like tofu ricotta, but for a recipe like this sesame tofu, those nice, even cubes look lovely on the plate.
Hand-pressing is my lazy go-to sometimes, but like weights, it tends to warp the tofu. And if you press too hard, it starts to crack and crumble. Not ideal for a recipe like this.
You can get the EZ Tofu Press on Amazon, or you can grab one at Atlanta Veg Fest in person!
But enough about the Tofu Press. Let's get to the recipe!
Sesame Tofu Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
- ¼ cup aquafaba from a can of chickpeas or white beans
- 1 tablespoon potato starch (or cornstarch, if you can't find potato)
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and then cut into 1" cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, peanut oil, or toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 4 cups broccoli florets (1 large or 2 small heads of broccoli should do the trick.)
- 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice (or your favorite rice or noodles!)
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- Whisk together the aquafaba and potato starch together in a bowl big enough to hold all of your tofu cubes with plenty of extra room for gentle mixing. Whisk the aquafaba and starch together until there are no lumps remaining, then gently fold the tofu into the aquafaba mixture. Toss these together to coat carefully, so you don't crumble your tofu in the process. A bigger bowl makes this easier!
- Make the sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high (NOTE: My stovetop goes up to a 6, and I cooked this on a 4 setting. 5 was too hot! If your tofu is sticking, turn down the heat slightly.). Add the tofu plus all of the liquid from the bowl to the pan. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. You want the tofu cubes nice and browned on all sides.
- While the tofu cooks, it's time to steam that broccoli! Pour a couple of inches of water into the bottom of a small pan, and place a steamer basket on top. Heat the water on medium-high until it boils, then add the broccoli, and cover the pan. Steam for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and bright green.
- Okay, back to that tofu! Without turning off the heat, add the sauce to the pan with the tofu, and cook, stirring constantly for just a few minutes, until it thickens and most of the sauce is now clinging to the tofu, 4-5 minutes.
- Divide the rice between your bowls, then top with the broccoli and the tofu. Serve immediately, topped with a little green onion, if you like.