Tofu!

So last night’s SCL dinner was my 12th week.  It was also the last class of the second term (don’t worry, a 3rd term starts next week!).  After all this time I figured it was about time I made the ultimate scary vegetarian food:  tofu!

I’m a big fan of tofu, but don’t make it very often because it takes a bit of planning.  I think I changed some opinions on tofu, this was a VERY popular salad!  I served this with the Mango and Mint Salad with Cashews, and the best cupcakes I’ve ever made!

Tofu, Mushroom, Green Bean and Grain Salad

Serves 20

Adapted from Cooking Light (September 2010)

Tofu:

  • 4 (12oz) packages extra-firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated

Salad:

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 package dried shiitake mushrooms,
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced

Dressing:

  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

The day before serving, press your tofu.  Drain and rinse the tofu in cold water, then wrap tofu in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and put something heavy on top (like a pan with your olive oil bottle on top).  Let sit for several hours or overnight.  Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and garlic into a large ziploc bag.  Once the tofu has been pressed, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the marinade bag.  Allow the tofu to marinate for several hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.  Allow tofu to cool.

Toast the bulgur wheat in the 2 tsp sesame oil for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.  (Alternatively, you can use the leftover water after soaking the dried mushrooms for extra flavor.)

Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain and plunge into an ice bath.  Drain well and pat dry.  Add the beans to the cooked bulgur.

Soak the dried shiitake in very hot water for about 2 minutes.  Drain, and place mushrooms in a skillet, saute with the baby bella and about 1 Tbsp of the dressing.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup, and whisk until well mixed.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour dressing on just before serving.  Serve room temperature or cold.

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