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


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

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

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!

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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