Continuing on in my journey to celebrate four years of blogging by posting fantastic old Big Girls, Small Kitchen recipes that have less-than-awesome photos, we come to this incredibly easy, immensely satisfying Sweet and Sour Tofu, formerly known simply as New Favorite Tofu. Yes, along with an understanding of light and dSLR lenses, I have become acquainted with search engine optimization and the art of choosing at least mildly descriptive names for the food I cook.
Am I allowed to call myself adorable? Because if so, then I’d like to admit that the post that originally accompanied this recipe is really cute. In my introduction to New Favorite Tofu, I detail the email exchanges between my friend Marc’s Aunt Sara and me. Sara sent me this recipe with notes of praise so actionable that I made the tofu within a few days of getting her email. I couldn’t believe how good the tofu was, but I was also awed at the power of the internet to connect two people who liked to cook vegetarian food and let them share good recipes.
“I know this is going to make me sound like a naive 86 year-old,” I wrote, “but I think the Internet is really amazing.”
It is, isn’t it?
But the internet runs at high speed, and in the whirl of creating and posting new recipes, I haven’t returned to this sweet-and-sour tofu as often as I’ve craved it–just like the Creamy Squash Rigatoni I posted on Monday.
When I finally made this tofu again, I added some chopped bok choy so that the meal could be served as one dish, over rice. The other update is that since 2009, I’ve basically stopped eating brown rice. I finally admitted don’t really like it, and I absolutely hate cooking it. So I paired Old Favorite Tofu with white basmati rice. Except for frying the tofu, this recipe is super easy and comes together really fast.
Sweet-and-Sour Tofu with Bok Choy
Don’t be put off by the sort of peculiar ingredient list. And I promise, you do need to use that much honey. I’ve tried it with less and it’s not the same. If you’re vegan, sub in the sweetener of your choice.
1 block firm tofu (14 ounces)
about 1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons safflower, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic (3 cloves)
2 bunches baby bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 scallions, white and green parts chopped and separated
Cut the tofu into slices about 1 inch thick. Press the water out of the slices, then cut them into 1-inch square cubes. In a baggie or on a wide plate, toss the tofu with the flour and salt until all the pieces have a thin coating.
Mix the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water.
In a frying pan, warm the oil. In one layer, brown the tofu (in two batches if your pan is small), about 4 minutes per side.
Return all the tofu to the pan if you browned it in two batches. Put in the white and light green parts of the scallions and the crunchy part of the bok choy and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the green leaves and cook 1 more minute, then add the sauce.
Bring the tofu to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce has reduced and coats the tofu thickly, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions.