Sep 16, 2011

Japanese style baked Tofu with Saffron and chili flakes


'Tofu is not a food'

I was once told so by a dear blogger friend of mine. I of course disagreed. Today I thank my lucky stars that I did not agree with that. In fact, I like the fact that Tofu is like a blank canvas , but with a texture. You know, blank canvases have often inspired great art. All good art started off from one. And when it comes to food, I find no reason to disagree.

This very Japanese style Tofu recipe is one which needed a blank canvas. With a bit of crunch from pickles, color from saffron, heat from chili flakes and flavor of soy sauce (or Tamari, if you will), a block of Tofu turned out miraculously comforting. I can almost say that it will go equally well with Paneer or baked cottage cheese. A side of jasmine rice topped with toasted sesame seeds, some wilted spinach drizzled with garlic salt and olive oil. Comfort could not have been any less colorful and healthy

Japanese style Tofu--with saffron, chili flakes and soy sauce
You will need

1/2 lb of extra firm tofu. You can use Paneer or cottage cheese. If you are using cottage cheese, drain the water to make it easier to work into squarish shape
3-4 big pickled green chili

For the marinade
a few strands of saffron, soaked in 3 tbsf of olive oil for 10-15 min
1 pinch of chili flakes
3-4 tbsf of good quality soy sauce
A pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper 

Mix all ingredients of the marinade together. Cut the tofu/paneer/cottage cheese in recatangular pieces. Lay them on a baking tray. Pour marinade all over. Add the whole pickles. Let stand for 10 mins. Bake at 420 for 40 mins and then at 450 for another 15-20 min. Alternatively, you can slow cook for 30 mins, followed by 5 min on high heat. You can even shallow stir fry (but I would recommend the slow cooking or baked.. There is something soothing about the recipe that way).
Serve warm with some wilted spinach topped with olive oil and garlic salt. Some jasmine rice on the side.

There was once a blank canvas. All we did was add color.

Happy eating and healthy living



4 comments:

Anncoo said...

Mmm...I love the way you prepared the tofu. I just made cold tofu the other day but yours definitley very flavourful with saffron and chilli, very creative :)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Nice fusion cusine. When I go back to Tokyo, I'm always amazed at the variety of Tofu products and the high quality of Tofu in general.

A vegan acquaintance of mine visiting Tokyo wolfed down an entire mound of Tofu as to him, it really tasted fantastic - especially after all the mediocre Tofu he had had over the years... ;)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Nice fusion cusine. When I go back to Tokyo, I'm always amazed at the variety of Tofu products and the high quality of Tofu in general.

A vegan acquaintance of mine visiting Tokyo wolfed down an entire mound of Tofu as to him, it really tasted fantastic - especially after all the mediocre Tofu he had had over the years... ;)

The Japanese Redneck said...

I wish I could learn to like it....

But, tofu is not my favorite.