Friday, February 24, 2017

Spiced Edamame Stuffed Tofu

This simple little appetizer dish is so flavorful that I am confident that it can turn any non-tofu eaters into tofu-lovers. This dish is 100% vegetarian, vegan and sugar free. The dried shiitake mushroom that I have included in the stuffing gives the overall dish a umami oomph that is sure to wow your family and friends. They will never see beans and tofu the same way again!

A quick and easy appetizer that you can make even on a weeknight with some planning.


Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients:

Stuffing:
1.       1 block of 14 oz tofu (either firm or extra firm will work)
  (ideal starting size of tofu block = ~ 4 inches L x 3.5 inches W x 1.5 inches H)
2.       ½ cup shelled edamame beans, thawed if frozen
3.       ¼ cup red bell pepper, fine diced
4.       1 clove garlic
5.       1 small shallot
6.       1 dried small shiitake mushroom
7.       1/8 teaspoon sea salt
8.       1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Marinate:
1.       2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2.       1 clove garlic
3.       1 teaspoon chili flakes
4.       1 teaspoon smoked paprika
5.       1 teaspoon ground cumin
6.       ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
7.       5 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
8.       Zest from 1 lemon
9.       2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:
1.    First, make marinate. Put all marinate ingredients into a small food processor and grind to combine completely. Marinate should be quite fluid. Set aside.
2.    Prepare tofu for marinate. Slice the tofu into 2 layers lengthwise. Then cut each layer into 4 equal pieces. That will yield you 8 pieces of tofu. Place tofu in a single layer on a sheet pan.
3.    Using a pastry brush, spread marinate all over each piece of tofu (top and sides), cover sheet pan with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 2 hours. Best if you have time to marinate overnight.
4.    When the tofu is almost ready for use, start preparing the stuffing. In a small food processor, grind the dried shiitake mushroom into a powder. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the red bell peppers and grind to a paste, with still some visible chunks of the edamame beans. Remove stuffing into a bowl and mix in the diced red bell peppers.
5.    Brush any excess marinate off the tofu. Then using a paring knife, lightly trace an inner rectangle on the top of each piece of tofu, leaving about a ¼ inch of border all around. Then using a little teaspoon, remove some tofu to create a shallow rectangular hole for the stuffing. Save the tofu remnants for another dish like a stir-fry.
6.    Set up your steamer. (You can use a bamboo steamer over a Chinese wok or an electric steamer or even a steamer basket in a pot.)
7.    Stuff each piece of tofu with about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of the stuffing and place onto the dish that is going to go into your steamer.
8.    Steam tofu for 10 minutes.
9.    Serve warm!

Notes/Tips:
Omit or reduce the amount of chili flakes if you plan to serve these to kids or friends and family who would rather not eat spicy food. 

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