Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crispy Tofu Cutlets with Jasmine Succatash Fried Rice

This is a tasty vegan supper I whipped up two nights ago. It's a nice way to use tofu as a "meat alternative" because the cutlets are prepared similarly to breaded chicken. The tofu recipe was adapted from The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell Kingsley, an editor from Vegetarian Times. It's a really fantastic vegetarian/vegan cookbook that I highly recommend. The rice was my own "throw it all in there" concoction which turned out so good, I'm eating a leftover dish of it right now. An egg or two thrown into the rice at the beginning with the garlic and ginger would be delicious, but the goal was vegan, so I didn't this time.

The tofu should be drained first, or the consistency will be too silky. To drain tofu, I use the plastic carton it comes in to prop up a cutting board so that it's edge is angled towards the sink. Then I put the tofu on the board, cover it with a paper towel and place a large can of beans or tomatoes or whatever on it and let it drain into the sink for about an hour or 2. This sounds more complicated than it is, so here's a picture to explain the process:

See that? So easy!

For the tofu cutlets:

  • 1 lb tofu, drained
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ c flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • canola oil cooking spray

  • preheat oven to 425 and ready a flat baking sheet
  • cut tofu in half horizontally and then into fours vertically, making 8 cutlets total
  • mix the flour and sesame seeds in a shallow bowl
  • mix the panko and garlic powder in a shallow bowl
  • mix the water and soy sauce in a shallow bowl
  • in this order, dip each cutlet, coating evenly on all sides
  • water
  • flour
  • water
  • breadcrumbs
  • repeat until all are coated
  • spray each side of each cutlet evenly with the canola oil
  • place on the baking sheet
  • cook 10 minutes, then flip and cook 10 minutes more till golden and crispy

A note on stir fry - since stir frying requires high heat and a speedy hand, using the "everything in it's place" or mise en place method seems to make the process move along more smoothly.

Example of mise en place for the fried rice

For the Jasmine Succotash Fried Rice:

  • 3 c cooked jasmine rice
  • ¼ c blanched cubed carrots
  • ¼ c frozen corn, thawed
  • ¼ c frozen, shelled, edamame, thawed
  • handful of scallions, cut fine
  • 1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 c red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2-4 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tbsp dark sesame oil

  • heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan
  • add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper and stir fry about 30 seconds
  • mix in the vegetables, except scallions, and stirfry about 30 seconds
  • add the soy sauce and stir fry about 15 seconds
  • add the rice and toss it to incorporate all of the ingredients, then add the sesame oil and stir fry, tossing constantly, for about 3 minutes
  • remove from heat and add scallions, toss to incorporate
Serve the cutlets along side the rice and enjoy a vegan, low fat, and healthy meal.


Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds truly scrumptious! I'm looking forward to trying it tomorrow!! Hopefully it will look (and taste) as delicious as your picture exhibits the meal!!!! Thanks! Foodzfun!!!

Anonymous said...

This sounds truly scrumptious! I am looking forward to trying this recipe this week. Hopefully it will taste as good as your photo looks!! Bon Appetite! Foodzfun.