September 21, 2018

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Tamari Tofu with Jasmine Rice

This is the ingredient that everyone loves to hate: tofu. More akin to a blank canvas than any other food out there, tofu will happily mingle with vegetables, grains and a multitude of condiments. It is not flavorless or bland, but rather flexible and agreeable. I enjoy cooking with tofu because each time the result is different and delicious.

One simple way of giving tofu a new personality is by marinating it. This time, I am using tamari (or soy sauce if you prefer), lime juice and a little maple syrup. Try it and you won’t be disappointed. Afterwards, you can experiment with other marinades made with sriracha, sesame oil, orange juice or flavored balsamic vinegars.

1 lb. block firm tofu

½ cup tamari

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ cup jasmine rice

2 cups water

2+ Tbsp sesame oil

Chopped cilantro to taste

Shredded carrot to taste

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Dry the tofu and cut it in half-inch cubes. Place it in a container. Mix the tamari, lime juice and maple syrup in a mason jar, and drizzle over the tofu. Keep the tofu marinating in this mixture overnight.

Rinse the rice well and place in a pot. Cover with the water and bring to a boil. After a couple of minutes, turn the heat off and let it steam with a lid on. The rice will be ready when all the water has been absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, place the sesame oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot (not yet smoking), drain the tofu and pan fry it until golden on all sides. Use enough oil so that the tofu does not stick to your pan. I use a large cast iron pan where the tofu has enough room to be turned.

Place a serving of rice in a bowl, place the cooked tofu on top and garnish with generous amounts of cilantro, carrot and sesame seeds. Drizzle a little tamari over the bowl and add a spritz of lime to intensify the flavor.

Cristina Clarimon-Alinder moved to Williston in 2016. She is originally from Madrid, Spain. She enjoys gardening, cooking and watching classic movies. For more of her writings, visit nectarnc.com.

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