Tofu and brussel sprouts: two misunderstood and under-appreciated plant foods.
The nutritional value of these foods are generally known and appreciated, however many people say they often don’t enjoy the taste of these two foods. They say there’s nothing appetizing about soggy brussel sprouts or spongy, flavourless tofu. They are not wrong.
This is where I step in – It’s all in how you prepare them, people!
One of my favourite ways to prepare tofu and brussel sprouts is to bake them. When baking brussels, you bring out the sweet caramelization flavour of this vegetable, along with a pleasant, crispy texture. Before baking tofu, make sure you press your extra-firm tofu, to eliminate any spongy taste. I also like tossing my tofu in a bit of oil and flour/cornstarch before the baking, to add a pleasant outer layer. After the tofu and brussels are baked, they are combined with a delicious honey-sesame glaze and placed over a bed of barley.
The challenge is on – if you are one of those people who say you don’t like brussel sprouts or tofu – I dare you to try this recipe out before you make up your mind 🙂
Honey-Sesame Crispy Tofu & Brussel Sprouts
One of my favourite ways to have tofu - crispy and flavoured with a mix of sweetness and spicy flavour. This is complimented with caramelized brussel sprouts, over a bed of barley.
- 1.5 cups uncooked barley
- 1½ pound Brussels sprouts
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- Fine grain sea salt
- 1 (15 ounce) block of organic extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon flour (any kind)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add barley to a large saucepan and cover with 2 cm of water. Place over element on medium-high heat and bring to boil. Turn heat down to medium and let simmer for 25 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
- Drain the tofu. Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with a tea towel or paper towels. Fold the towel over one tofu slab. Top with more towel and place something heavy on top to help the tofu drain.
- Trim the nubby ends and any discoloured leaves off the Brussels sprouts, then cut the sprouts in halves lengthwise. Toss the sprouts with a light, even layer of olive oil. On a large baking sheet, arrange the sprouts in an even layer, flat sides down, and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Transfer the drained tofu to a cutting board. Slice three long columns and five rows on each slab. Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil and tamari, then drizzle it over the tofu and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over the tofu, and toss the tofu until the starch is evenly incorporated. Arrange the tofu in an even layer on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
- To bake the sprouts and tofu: Transfer the pan of Brussels sprouts to the lower oven rack, and the pan of tofu to the top rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing the contents of each pan halfway through cooking, until the sprouts and tofu are deeply golden on the edges.
- To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk together the glaze ingredients (start with 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha and add more to taste). Bring the glaze to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring often and reducing heat as necessary, until the glaze is reduced by about half (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.