I don’t know about you, but whenever I stood in front of the tofu at the grocery store, I would think, “what am I going to do that?”, and then I would move quietly on down the aisle. Nobody ever taught me how to cook tofu, and the whole eat right and torture yourself concept of crumbling raw tofu into your salad never appealed to me. If you do know what to do with it, tofu can be something you look forward to. My favorite way to have it is seared. I don’t like tofu to be mush cold, or hot. To balance out the softness, I like to get it together with raw crispy greens, and to spice it up, I saute it with a pile of finely chopped ginger and garlic. The whole thing gets mixed into soba noodles with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon and lime. Get a heavy saute pan hot over a medium flame. For two to three little bundles of soba (they are usually bundled in the package) use two garlic cloves and a two inch piece of peeled ginger. Chop both finely and add to a little extra virgin olive oil. Add a little chopped fresh parsely or cilantro. When all this is golden, scrape it to the side of the pan, and add a little more oil, half a pound of diced tofu (I like small pieces). Sprinkle them with salt, try to get all of that ginger and garlic on the top of the tofu, and then let them sit in the pan without bugging them until they are nice and chestnut colored on the bottom. If you are worried about burning the garlic and ginger, just get it all out of the pan before you add the tofu, and get it back in there, once the heat is off. When the tofu has a nice sear, lift them from the bottom of the pan with a pancake spatula so that you don’t break them and turn the heat off. Meanwhile, get a pan of salted water going for your noodles. Cook them until they are just done. You want them to have a little stiffness in the center. Drain well. Toss with the tofu, a bunch of arugula leaves, a little more olive oil, some salt, a squeeze of lemon, and even some fresh chive if you have it. This is really good with Saporo beer or homemade lemonade.
5:48 pm pst