When it comes to natural cooking, there’s nothing quite like the richness of fried tofu. Golden brown and hearty, fried tofu serves us on so many levels--nourishing, satisfying our cravings for rich foods, releasing muscle tension in our shoulders and legs. Combining the relaxed energy of tofu with a strongly flavored, deeply vitalizing ginger relish, we get the added benefit of stimulated circulation.
Makes 3-4 servings
sunflower or avocado oil
1, 4-ounce block extra firm tofu, 1-inch cubes
light sesame oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
5-6 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
2-3 shallots, finely minced
generous pinch cumin
6-8 leaves fresh basil, finely shredded or ½ teaspoon dried basil
1/4 red bell pepper, roasted over an open flame, peeled, seeded, finely diced
brown rice vinegar
Place enough sesame oil in a skillet to generously cover the bottom. Turn the heat to medium and when the oil is hot (you’ll see patterns forming in the oil, known as ‘dancing’), begin to pan-fry the tofu until golden on each side, about a minute, turning once. Drain on paper and place tofu in a warm oven.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger and shallots, with cumin and a pinch of salt until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, stir in basil and red pepper and cook for 1 more minute.
To serve, stir tofu into ginger relish and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle lightly with rice vinegar and serve hot.