I don’t have a big drawn-out recipe for you tonight, but my quickly thrown-together dinner turned out so well I photographed the result and figured I’d post it. I had homemade tofu I needed to use up, so as usual I asked Mark what he wanted for dinner, but this time restricted it to tofu. He said he wanted tofu and rice, and when I asked what kind of rice, requested sushi rice, “the best kind of rice”. So, thinking in vaguely Japanese terms, I threw together what I ended up calling Tofu Mark. Maybe it should be Tofu Mark-san.
12 oz very firm tofu, preferably homemade
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp chili broad bean paste (available in any Asian grocery store; the stuff I used was Japanese but very often it’s Chinese)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
prepared sushi rice
Prepare the sushi rice. I cook mine in a rice cooker. When it’s done, I cut in a little bit of salt and about a tablespoon of sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar with a bit of sugar).
Whisk together the chili paste, soy sauce, garlic, mirin, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
I won’t actually require you to use homemade tofu for this dish, but I will emphatically ask you to. I haven’t had commercial tofu in a while, but upon eating this tonight, I remembered why that’s the case! Homemade tofu is a million times better than store-bought! In any case, chop it into a 3/4″ dice, then toss with the cornstarch.
Heat a high-smoke-point oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tofu and allow to brown on one side before stirring, then stir and continue to pan-fry until golden on all sides. Pour the sauce into the wok or pan and stir to coat the tofu. It should immediately thicken. Remove from heat.
Serve with rice. You can sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like. I intended to and forgot. Good with steamed broccoli and some Japanese literature. I was reading Haruki Murakami, although his characters are always eating spaghetti and other Western food instead of traditional Japanese food!
I don’t even know if he realized it, but I was feeling a little blue today until Mark met me at the front door with not one but two bouquets of flowers when I got home from work. Do I have the best husband or what?!
That thing hovering above the flowers is Fang, our bat. We got him in a hurricane. Long story.
Here’s my dinner table tonight. The only thing wrong with it is the fact that I’m able to put those flowers on it. Were Tigger here he’d have knocked them over to drink the water out of the vase. I’m always discovering things I can do now that Tigger’s not here, but I’d rather have him back in a heartbeat than be able to leave glasses of water lying about.