Soy Sauce and Sesame Tofu Satay

Soy Sauce and Sesame Tofu Satay
Makes 60 pieces

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3 boxes (about 3 lbs) extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 mirin (rice wine)*
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

*Mirin is a great pantry item. If you don’t have any, substitute regular white wine or dry sherry.

Cut each block of tofu into 5 thick slices. Arrange them on a cutting board lined with a dish towel or paper towels. Cover with more towels and a baking sheet. Weight the sheet with heavy objects; hardcover cookbooks and cast-iron pans work really well. Let rest for at least 1 hour.

When ready to cook, preheat the over to 375°F. Combine the oils, soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine.

Cut each slice in half both vertically and horizontally, then arrange them in a 9 x 13″ metal baking pan (they don’t cook as well in glass), leaving a centimeter or so of space between each one if you can. Pour the sauce evenly over the tofu.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the tofu is very brown and the liquid is mostly absorbed. While it bakes, toast the sesame seeds in an un-oiled frying pan over medium heat until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Let the tofu rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the tofu to absorb the remaining liquid in the pan. When it’s cool enough to handle, stick the short end of each morsel with a toothpick. Arrange on a plate with the toothpicks sticking out. Garnish with cilantro or chopped scallions.

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