meatless Monday: hot-and-sour seared tofu
For a whole load of reasons, over the past few years I have been slowly moving away from meals in which meat is the centerpiece. My entire family enjoys meat–what I have been trying to do is make meat a bit player in the meal rather than the lead. Now that we seem to have adjusted to that transition, my next move has been to make more meatless meals.
Last night was a first: tofu. I followed Melissa Clark’s recipe for hot-and-sour seared tofu with sugar snap peas served with brown rice. I enjoy her New York Times column because her recipes are straightforward, easy to make and tasty, and she provides great cooking tips (like how to sear tofu).
I deliberately made this dish while our family’s most devoted meat lover (my husband) was out of town. This way no one had to listen to his tofu smack. Son and Daughter #1 have cooked and shared many meals with vegetarian and vegan friends at college, so for them tofu was nothing new. D#2 was wary about her first taste of tofu, but she gamely tried it and ate most of what was on her plate.
So this recipe has been deemed a keeper. Recipe suggestions from my kids: D#2 prefers cubes of tofu to the slab, which does make sense–more tofu surface connects with the sauce that way. And all three concurred: double the sauce!
Note: because it contains fish sauce, this recipe is not vegetarian. Check out the reader comments below the recipe for vegetarian substitution suggestions and additional tips for cooking tofu.