I get a lot of interesting (i.e. rude) comments from people when they find out I am a vegetarian.
“So you just eat vegetables?”
“So you know you aren’t actually saving any animals, right?”
“Eww, do you eat tofu? Its SO gross!”
Personally I find eating the flesh of animals somewhat nasty, but I am able to contain my opinion over other people’s personal choices. Usually, anyway.
I will be the first to admit that a lot of the tofu that is served at restaurants is gross. It is spongy, mushy, and often tasteless. But if it is cooked right, tofu can be a delicious, healthy protein source for your dish.
The key to good tofu – get ALL the water out. Tofu is packaged in water to preserve it, but it needs to be squeezed out before cooking or you will never fully cook the inside. I start by taking the tofu out of the package and dumping the water, then wrapping the tofu in a cotton towel and gently squeezing it. Sometimes I will leave it wrapped up and sit something heavy on it for a while. You don’t want to squish too hard, or you will have crumbled tofu. Once you think you have all of the water squeezed out, wrap the tofu in paper towels and blot until you really DO have all of the water out.
For this dish you will want to slice your block of tofu into about 8 pieces. Blot them again with a paper towel. Then slice them into about 6 pieces each. Make sure they are thin so they cook all the way through.
If you have never cooked tofu before, the color it takes on from the liquid aminos might fool you into thinking this is done before it actually is. This is not done:
This is pretty darn close to done:
Once the sauce starts to get thick and bubble, you will see the tofu start to blacken. Keep a close eye on this because there is a fine line between blackened, and burnt to a crisp. If the tofu starts sticking to the pan, drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the mix.
One last note: when I say ramen noodles, I mean REAL ramen noodles. No shrink-wrapped, 29¢ versions. If you can’t find ramen, soba or udon noodles will suffice.
- 1 package tofu
- 3 T liquid aminos
- 2 T vinegar
- 2 T honey/agave nectar
- 2 T orange juice
- 1/4 t hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
- 1 C frozen peas, thawed
- 1 sleeve ramen noodles
- Thoroughly squeeze water from tofu. Slice into 8 pieces, then slice those pieces into 6 pieces. In a mixing bowl whisk liquid aminos, vinegar, honey, and orange juice. Put a wok or deep sauté pan over medium high heat and add liquid mixture. Once heated through, add tofu and stir to incorporate sauce. Cook, turning frequently, until cooked through and slightly blackened. In a stock pan cook noodles according to package directions and add peas to the noodles while they are boiling. Drain and return to stock pan. Add tofu and toss in remaining liquid. If liquid has all cooked off, add some additional liquid aminos. Serve immediately.